A Classic Champagne Cocktail is simply sparkling wine with the addition of a sugar cube doused with bitters and a twist of lemon zest.
There's something about drinking sparkling wine that feels special. Perhaps it's because it's the drink that is most commonly (and stereotypically) associated with celebrating.
Nonetheless, I just feel a little fancier when I'm drinking a glass of sparkling wine (and when I'm wearing sweatpants 6 out of 7 days per week, I'll take all the "fancy" I can get).
Of course, sparkling wine or "Champagne" is commonly associated with New Years Eve, as a bottle is often popped and poured just seconds before midnight strikes for all of your party guests to toast the New Year with.
Sound familiar? Perhaps you want to dress up your New Years Eve toast just a little bit this year, and instead serve a Classic Champagne Cocktail.
What is the difference between Sparkling Wine and Champagne?
Despite the name, I would suggest that a Champagne Cocktail can be made with any sparkling wine, not just Champagne.
By the way, all Champagne is sparkling wine, but only sparkling wine that is made in the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne.
That being said, all sparkling wine is often referred to as Champagne, regardless of the type or where it was made.
In any case, if you are already familiar with sparkling wine, choose your favorite bottle. It doesn't need to be a high end bottle by any means.
If you're not familiar with sparkling wine, ask someone who is (I'm not - I chose a Rose from Trader Joe's at random. It was not the best but not the worst I've ever had).
How do you make a Champagne Cocktail?
This cocktail is about the easiest cocktail I've ever made. It simply involves soaking a sugar cube with a few drops of bitters and placing it at the bottom of a champagne flute.
Then you just pour the sparkling wine (slowly to avoid overflow) over said sugar cube and float a twist of lemon zest on top.
Both the sugar cube and lemon twist can be prepared ahead of time, leaving just the bottle popping and pouring at midnight.
Hardly any more work than simply pouring sparkling wine, but just a little bit more impressive, and dare I say even fancier. Happy New Year!
Want more Cocktail recipes?
Champagne Cocktail Nutrition Notes:
The sugar (and carbohydrate) content of your Champagne Cocktail will depend on the sparkling wine you choose. Some sparkling wines are sweeter than others, and thus have a higher sugar content.
Unfortunately, alcoholic beverages are not required to bear a Nutrition Facts panel, so you're pretty much playing a guessing game.
Classic Champagne Cocktail
- 1 lemon
- 4 sugar cubes
- 12 dashes bitters
- 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
- Wash lemon well in hot water. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off 4 strips of zest, about 1 ½ inches long. Make sure that it is thin enough that it has very little pith (white). Set aside.
- Sprinkle each of the sugar cubes with 3 dashes of bitters each, and place in the bottom of a Champagne flute. Fill each glass with Champagne, being careful to pour slowly to avoid it bubbling over. Garnish each flute with one of the lemon twists and serve immediately.