Classic Champagne Cocktails

While we all know that there are dozens of champagne or sparkling wine cocktail recipes out there but a Butler or bon viveur only needs to know the classics.

So in spite of Ms Lily Bollinger’s opinion that,“…champagne should only be mixed with atmosphere.” here are the Butler’s top 5…

In no particular order the butler’s short list of champagne cocktails should only be made with a nice non vintage champagne or a good quality sparkling wine, but dry – brut – of course. Vintage champagne would be wasted on these concotions!

Black Velvet

Invented at Brooks Club in London in 1861 as a sign of ‘mourning’ for the recently deceased Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria:

  • 1 part chilled Guinness ( I prefer the bottled style of Guinness as opposed to the draft)
  • 1 part chilled champagne

Ideally served in a silver or pewter tankard. Pour in champagne first and then top up with the Guinness – don’t bother with all that floating one on top of the other malarkey!

Bucks Fizz ( also known as a Mimosa)

First created at the Buck’s Club in London and later copied by the French ( Mimosa) this is an ideal drink for early in the day celebratory drinking occasions – wedding breakfasts, christenings, brunches etc.

  • 1 part chilled champagne
  • 2 parts chilled fresh orange juice ( or to taste)


Champagne Cocktail

The classic, apparently invented in New York in 1899 for a cocktail competition and still going strong:

Color a white cane sugar cube with Angostura Bitters and drop into a champagne flute add a good splash of cognac, enough to cover the cube, and top up with chilled champers – fancy garnish, as seen below, is optional:

How To Make A Champagne Cocktail

The Bellini

Originating from the famed Harry’s Bar in Venice this was originally made with Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, but globally it’s more common to have this replaced with champagne:

  • 1 part peach puree ( blend ripe skinned and stoned peaches in a blender or food processor) or peach smoothy style product ( tinned peaches or peach schnapps doesn’t do it justice).
  • 2 parts chilled Champagne or Prosecco (or to taste)

Prepare the blended peach in advance and chill in the fridge – add to a tall champagne flute, add half the champagne and stir, then top up.

How To Make A Bellini Cocktail

Kir Royale

Named after a mayor of Dijon, France this simple drink is all too easy to get wrong. Only use Crème de Cassis ( a blackcurrant flavored liqueur) and not a non-alcaholic blackcurrant flavored syrup. Do not use too much Cassis. The end result should be the color of a nice rose wine ( or champagne!)

  • A teaspoon, or less according to size of glass) of Crème de Cassis
  • Top up with chilled champagne

None of these drinks has ice as an ingredient so make sure everything is well chilled – glasses too if possible.

Related posts:

  1. The Classic Martini Recipe

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