How To Make a Champagne Cocktail

I pulled this groovy classic out of my Playboy Bar Guide. I’m not even one of those “cool” chicks that’s into Playboys, but this is the best boozing book I’ve found. NEWayz…this cocktail is a relic of the Civil War era and it’s truly a cocktail because it contains bitters, which was one of the original ingredients required in a drink to make it a cocktail. Man, that bitters really got around.

Basically it’s a way to doll-up some cheap champagne (I actually used some Spanish cava. Don’t tell Hef.) by adding some sugar and some flava. Try it next time you’re face to face with an annoying relative and a bottle of Andre. Another note on my incompetence: this really should be served in a champagne flute, not a boob-shaped bowl. So use a flute if you have one. It keeps the bubbles around longer and it looks prettier with the red sugar in the bottom.


Classic Champagne Cocktail

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  • Yield: 1 1x


  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
  • Dash bitters
  • 4 ounces very cold Champagne (or a cheap knock-off)
  • Strip of lemon rind


  1. Put the sugar in the bottom of a glass and douse with a little bitters.
  2. Slowly pour in the champagne. (The champers will mix it up slightly; you can stir gently with a chopstick if you want but then you don’t get the neato red sugar at the bottom so that’s your business.)
  3. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel dropped into the glass. Fancy times!

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  1. matt gordon on November 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    yes, i have been to many of those parties where the cool people are drinking mimosas. I am imported for entertainment I guess. While I am not much of a drinker I will keep this in my memory for the next time I would want others S#!tface drunk so that the party will be cool. Also cool WESIPE on the Website. easy to remember

    • Hilah Cooking on November 12, 2010 at 12:03 am

      I agree, Matt. Parties are always way better when people are sh!tfaced on cheap champagne!

  2. Kathryn on November 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    You are so fancy, Hilah! I wish I had seen this before this weekend, when my mom called me for champagne opening instructions. I tried to talk her through it on the phone and she ended up hurtling the cork at the ceiling. It’s stuck up on their ceiling fan now. Thanks for the wesipe!

  3. TipsyTexan on December 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Mimosas suck. Tired, tired, sleepy-ass tired. Champagne Cocktails are way better, whether served in a flute or in a coupe as you’ve done here. My actual nomination for the nextest bestest Champagne brunch drink is the St. Germain Cocktail. It could wake up in a gutter with no drawers on and a raging hangover and still beat the Mimosa’s ass. And I also like French 75s for breakfast (just don’t, for the love of G-d, serve them up in a Martini glass, as they do at some Austin establishments who shall remain unnamed)

    • Hilah Cooking on December 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      Hi TT! Thanks for writing! I love your blog. I also love a good boozy drink. Coincidence? Probably not.
      French 75 sounds so fancy — that has gin in it, yes? I love gin. Ask anyone!

  4. Christopher Sharpe on December 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Mimosas are the biggest scam ever. I only like them when they cost $1.00.

    @tipsytexas, agreed, French 75’s are kick-ass for brunch.

    However, if you’ve been drinking the night before then I think the #1 brunch drink is a Michelada.

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