French champagne makes any cocktail instantly elegant and during the holiday season, it’s a great way to bring a festive sparkle to your gatherings. The delicate bubbles from the champagne brighten and enhance other ingredients, elevating your drinks to a memorable cocktail. Instantly transport your party guests to a glamorous Parisian bar with these 5 drinks that are sure to wow your friends and family.
While plenty of cocktails are made with sparkling wine, not all sparkling wines are created equal. These recipes call for champagne--a sparkling wine made only in the Champagne region of France, home to some of the most famous wines in the world like Dom Perignon, Taittinger, or Ruinart. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on these drinks. Brands like Pol Roger and Nicholas Feiullante offer affordable champagnes made with traditional French methods.
Stylish, sophisticated, and surprisingly simple, the champagne cocktail is a fool-proof way to impress.
Created by Head Bartender Nicola Battafarano at Hotel Lutetia’s Bar Josephine in Paris, this cocktail mixes vodka and champagne with floral, herby notes to create a drink that’s sweet, savory, and incredibly fresh.
.5 oz Vodka
.25 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquer
.25 oz Citrus and Celery shrub
Mix vodka, St. Germain, and shrub in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a chilled glass and top with champagne. You can make your own citrus and celery shrub ahead of time by combining one bunch of celery and the zest of one lemon with 1 tbs honey and ½ cup apple cider vinegar in a food processor and straining the mixture into a jar.
La Grande Dame
Take inspiration from Cannes’ Hotel Barriere Le Majestic with La Grande Dame, a bright and flavorful champagne cocktail made with gin and lemon verbena, invented by the hotel’s beverage director, Emanuele Balestra.
.5 oz 44 Paradiso Gin
Lemon Verbena Bitters
Lemon Verbena Essence
Use lemon verbena essence to lightly perfume a glass. Mix gin and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour into the glass, topping the cocktail with champagne.
A Taste of Two Regions
José Guzmán, Bar Manager of Fine & Rare has invented A Taste of Two Regions, a cocktail that combines French champagne with Armagnac, a brandy made in Southwest France.
.75 oz 20 year Darroze Armagnac
.5 oz Rosemary-infused Honey
.5 oz Lemon Juice
In a cocktail shaker, combine one muddled strawberry with honey, lemon juice, and Armagnac with ice. Shake and strain into a glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a strawberry.
Paris’s Hoxton Hotel has created a French take on the bellini, mixing an infused peach puree with champagne for a light, fruity take on the champagne cocktail. St. Germain, jasmine tea, and vanilla pods give the drink a rich, complex flavor.
Infuse white peaches with St. Germain, jasmine tea, cloves, and vanilla pods to create a peach puree. Measure 1.5 oz peach mixture into a glass and fill with champagne.
Perhaps the most famous champagne cocktail, the French 75 was invented at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris by Harry MacElhone. The light and refreshing gin cocktail is simple, refreshing, and classic.
.5 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sugar
2 oz Gin
Combine lemon juice, gin, and sugar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a glass and top with champagne.