Not to sound like a total white girl (I promise I won’t include any Marilyn Monroe quotes in this post) but it was probably around my fourth or fifth glass of champagne* at a friend’s birthday party a few weekends ago that I decided I really, really like champagne, you guys (I guess I was undecided for the first three glasses). Always preferring prosecco, I’m considering switching to sparkling French wines given their ability to elevate any occasion, or say, a super boring Tuesday night. Below are two of my favorite champagne cocktail recipes. which made even my depressing dinner of half a yogurt eaten standing up at my kitchen counter extra glamorous.
~ the French 75 ~
(…or my favorite cocktail that’s named after WWI artillery)
1 oz. gin (I use Bluecoat or Tanqueray because both are very mild and don’t overpower champagne)
½ oz. simple syrup (simple syrup is extremely easy to make. Or buy…Because my laziness knows no bounds)
½ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Brut Champagne or a dry sparkling white wine — I used Veuve Cliquot because I like its…grapiness (I don’t know how else to put that. Food writing at its finest here), but if you want a less expensive option, sparkling wine by Marquis de la Tour is another fave
Lemon twist, to garnish**
Combine gin, simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist to serve.
If you’re feeling crazy, switch the gin out for vodka, add a dash of grenadine, and you have a French 76.
~ the Classic Champagne Cocktail ~
(if you’re more Audrey Hepburn-esque)
1 sugar cube (I like pure cane rough cut sugar cubes)
Brut champagne or dry sparkling white wine
Orange or lemon twist, to garnish**
Soak the sugar cube in Angostura bitters and drop into a champagne flute. Top with Brut Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish.
If you’re not trying to get super aggressive on a school night, I recommend buying a champagne stopper. This protects the wine during storage in your fridge so it will still be bubbly the next day.
*Champagne glasses are like, really small
** If you want to up your garnish game, I’ve made candied grapefruit peels to use as a garnish before in champagne-based cocktails by following this recipe by Amanda McClements, the owner of DC’s Salt & Sundry.