This Champagne cocktail is a classic drink that’s remarkably easy to toss together and present with a flourish. And there’s no need to wait for a special occasion.
This Champagne cocktail—actually, Champagne cocktails, plural, thanks to some lovely and inventive tweaks on tradition that you’ll find as variations beneath the recipe—is the quintessential something to sip at an elegant soirée, a large party, or just because it’s a random Tuesday night. The classic Champagne cocktail features lightly sweetened Champagne, bitters, and Cognac, but we think with the options featured here, everyone is certain to find a favorite fixation.–Angie Zoobkoff
- Quick Glance
- 5 M
- 5 M
- Serves 1
- 1/2 to 1 sugar cube or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (2 to 4 g)
- 3 drops bitters, such as Angostura or orange or any other preferred bitters
- 1/2 fluid ounce Cognac (optional) (15 ml)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup chilled Champagne or sparkling white wine (120 to 160 ml)
- A squeeze of lemon juice per glass and/or a long strip of lemon zest with all the white pith removed
- 1. Place the desired amount of sugar in a chilled flute or other glass. Add the bitters and allow to soak in, about 1 minute.
- 2. Pour in the Cognac, if using, and then swirl the glass gently to combine. If necessary, stir to dissolve the sugar. Top off with Champagne, add the lemon juice or zest, and serve.
Champagne Cocktail Variations
- Rosewater & Pomegranate Champagne cocktail
- For a gorgeous magenta cocktail that’s slightly sweet tart, omit the bitters and instead dissolve the sugar in 1 to 2 teaspoons rosewater (5 to 10 ml) and 1/4 cup chilled pomegranate juice (60 ml). Top off with 1/3 to 1/2 cup chilled Champagne or sparkling white wine (80 to 120 ml).
- Chambord & Orange Champagne cocktail
- For a refreshing alternative to a Mimosa, omit the bitters and instead dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup chilled blood orange juice (60 ml) and 3 to 4 teaspoons Chambord raspberry liqueur (15 to 20 ml). Top off with 1/3 to 1/2 cup chilled Champagne or sparkling white wine (80 to 120 ml). Garnish with fresh raspberries or a thin slice of orange.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I can't think of a more refreshing cocktail to help welcome warmer temperatures! A classic Champagne cocktail is just that—classic and always a delight. But when I saw two of my favorite flavorings added to a glass of bubbly, I was sold. I always keep a bottle of pomegranate juice in the fridge for those sweet yet tart cravings and lately have been using rosewater in a lot of different capacities, including baking, drinks, even savory dishes. But I had never combined the two before trying this drink.
The pomegranate juice gives the bubbly that gorgeous magenta hue, and the beautiful fragrance of rosewater adds just the right amount of a floral scent and taste. Instead of a sugar cube I used superfine granulated sugar (sugar that I whizzed in the food processor) but I also think a teaspoon of simple syrup would work well. After adding the rosewater and 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, I stirred to make sure the sugar had dissolved well and filled the rest of the glass up with 1/2 cup of Prosecco. This was a super tasty flavor combo that I think would also do well in a gin or vodka tonic!
Although my personal preference is usually for less sweet cocktails, any necessary adjustments are easy to make depending on who you’re serving.
My initial assumptions were to divide a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine into 6 servings (125 ml x 6 = 750 ml, or 4 1/4 oz) per cocktail. I used a Spanish Cava-style sparkling wine, not too sweet.
The classic Champagne cocktail approaches a French 75 or 77, using sugar rather than a simple syrup. I made it with Peychaud’s Whisky Barrel-aged bitters, La Granja Cava Brut, a dry Cava available at Trader Joe’s, Germaine-Robin brandy, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a long strip of lemon zest. I found that 125 ml sparking wine wasn’t quite enough to balance the other ingredients, and added an additional 80 ml (total 205 ml or about 7 oz). I think at that level (fortunately my stem could hold that volume) this was a very nice drink. I made the classic Champagne cocktail a second time using classic Angostura Aromatic Bitters. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 teaspoon and used just 100 to 110 ml Champagne and proceeded with the strip of lemon zest. This was the perfect sweet spot and made this recipe a 10!
For the rosewater and pomegranate Champagne cocktail, I made one straight to the recipe, using freshly squeezed pomegranate juice and the La Granja, granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons rosewater, and approximately 125 ml sparkling cava. This was too sweet for our taste, and the pomegranate and rosewater seemed to drown the sparkler. I made a second version with half the rosewater, sugar, and pomegranate and the full amount of cava and felt it was better and I probably would choose this less-sweet variation for myself and think this would please most folks. The sugar left a small amount at the bottom in both versions, and I was fine to just leave that in the glass rather than further sweeten the drink. The traditional sugar cube is fun if you are serving these in flutes.
These are good one-drink recipes, but are sturdy, so I think only one per person is a good guide. These are good, though slightly on the sweet side for me, and bubbly drinks do go to your head a bit too quick, so I can’t have too many!
The original recipe produced a fine Champagne cocktail, but I felt it needed some depth to create a dry, bitter, and sweet cocktail all in one. I then went to work on tweaking the recipe. We didn’t have any Cognac so I used 1/2 ounce vermouth, which gave the cocktail the dryness for which I was looking. The 3 drops of Fee Brother orange bitters weren’t enough to bring that orange bitter flavor into the drink. I added 1/8 teaspoon which was perfect. I kept the lemon juice in the drink as I felt orange juice would make it too sweet. Finally, a slice of orange peel was the perfect final touch.
I purchased 2 bottles of cava and a few other ingredients and we set to work making a number of delightful Champagne cocktails. I prefer cava to Champagne in general and definitely feel it is an acceptable substitute. For the Classic cocktail, I used Alpenbitter no. 7 and Cognac. For the Chambord and Orange, I used 3 teaspoons Chambord and fresh squeezed blood orange juice, garnished with a strip of orange peel. We both agreed that the Chambord and Orange was our favorite—bright and flavourful with just enough sweetness without the extra sugar. The rosewater and pomegranate was delicious and the prettiest, too. We made two versions of each cocktail, one with the full sugar cube and the other without; I found that amount of sugar was far too sweet for my taste. My tasting partner didn't mind the full sugar cube but after testing a few glasses did start having second thoughts. The addition of juice or sweetened liqueurs gives enough sweetness without being overpowering. All in all, we had a great time testing these recipes; they are a nice way to make Cava (which I already love) that much more fun.
This Champagne cocktail was perfect, simple, and delicious on a very hot (90+ degrees) and humid day in southern Maryland. We used Regans bitters and I only used 3/4 tsp sugar. We omitted the Cognac completely and used a Canard-Duchene brut Champagne. A thick twist of lemon was used in lieu of juice.
We have just found our favorite Champagne cocktail! Delicious! Seriously, how is it that we haven't discovered this sooner? We love our champers and drink it often for every occasion. I KNOW we will be drinking more of these more often! The Cognac adds a smoky depth, the orange bitters a little complexity, and the lemon brings zip. It all comes together in a smooth, sparkly cocktail. We couldn't stop at just one. I am in love. Bottoms up! I used 1 tsp granulated sugar as we didn't have any sugar cubes. I also used Dillon's Orange Bitter. Yes, I used the Cognac. How is Cognac optional?! I used both squeeze of lemon juice (from a Meyer lemon) and a strip of lemon zest.