Champagne Cocktail

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The Champagne Cocktail is a Cocktail which consists of Sugar, Bitters, and Champagne.


Historical References

"Panama in 1855: An Account of the Panama Rail-road...", By Robert Tomes 1855

"A Champagne cock-tail -- the most delicious thing in the world -- let me make you one," was his response; and he suited the action to the word. A bottle of prime, sparkling "Mum" was brought, a refreshing plateful of crystal ice, fresh from Rockland by the last steamer, and rather a medicinal looking bottle, upon which was written in direct, brief terms, "Bitters." My friend, whose benevolent eyes expressed pity for my sufferings, while his lips were eloquent of prospective alleviation to myself, and of consciousness, the result of long experience, of his own anticipated enjoyment, pounded the crystal ice, with a series of quick, successive blows, pattered it into the tumblers like a shower of hail, dropped in the bitters, which diffused a glow like that of early sunrise, dashed in the sugar, which somewhat clouded the beautiful prospect, and gave what the artists call a dead tint to the mixture; then out popped the eager "Mum," and the Champagne cock-tail, this perfected, went whirling, roaring, foaming, and flowing down mine and the friendly concocter's thirsty throats."

According to David Herpin the book states:

Panama in 1855: An account of the Panama rail-road, of the cities ... - Page 63 by Robert Tomes in 1855

"I have preached my sermon, and illustrated it by my own bad example, from which the reader may take warning, and not taste Champagne cocktails, for they are so supremely good that if he once takes them, he will continue to take them."


"Champagne makes a capital cocktail, but will not stand the shaking up process, so it is better, in this case, to shake up the rest of the ingredients, and add the champagne last. Lemon, sugar, bitters, ice, as aforesaid, a glass of good."

This drink is printed in many famous bartender's guides, even today. This drink dates between 1845 - 1855 and contained at least as of then:

Build these ingredients:

Place a sugar cube in a champagne flute

4 drops of angostura bitters

Fill with champagne

lemon peel garnish

"The Innocents Abroad", By Mark Twain 1869

In Paris we often saw in shop windows the sign "English Spoken Here," just as one sees in the windows at home the sign "Ici on parle francaise." We always invaded these places at once—and invariably received the information, framed in faultless French, that the clerk who did the English for the establishment had just gone to dinner and would be back in an hour—would Monsieur buy something? We wondered why those parties happened to take their dinners at such erratic and extraordinary hours, for we never called at a time when an exemplary Christian would be in the least likely to be abroad on such an errand. The truth was, it was a base fraud—a snare to trap the unwary—chaff to catch fledglings with. They had no English-murdering clerk. They trusted to the sign to inveigle foreigners into their lairs, and trusted to their own blandishments to keep them there till they bought something.

We ferreted out another French imposition—a frequent sign to this effect: "ALL MANNER OF AMERICAN DRINKS ARTISTICALLY PREPARED HERE." We procured the services of a gentleman experienced in the nomenclature of the American bar, and moved upon the works of one of these impostors. A bowing, aproned Frenchman skipped forward and said:

"Que voulez les messieurs?" I do not know what "Que voulez les messieurs?" means, but such was his remark.

Our general said, "We will take a whiskey straight."

[A stare from the Frenchman.]

"Well, if you don't know what that is, give us a champagne cock-tail."

[A stare and a shrug.]

"Well, then, give us a sherry cobbler."

The Frenchman was checkmated. This was all Greek to him.

"Give us a brandy smash!"

The Frenchman began to back away, suspicious of the ominous vigor of the last order—began to back away, shrugging his shoulders and spreading his hands apologetically.

The General followed him up and gained a complete victory. The uneducated foreigner could not even furnish a Santa Cruz Punch, an Eye-Opener, a Stone-Fence, or an Earthquake. It was plain that he was a wicked impostor.

Narrative of a Voyage Round the World, by Sir Edward Belcher, 1872

"And then Captain Bening made us a champagne cocktail. Half a tumbler of champagne, a little brandy, a little bitters, a little sugar."

"The Bartender's Guide" by Jerry Thomas, 1887 edition

Champagne Cocktail.

  • (Pint bottle of wine for three goblets.)
  • (Per glass.)
  • Take 1 lump of sugar.
  • 1 or 2 dashes Angostura bitters.
  • 1 small lump of ice.

Fill the goblet with wine, stir up with a spoon, and serve with a thin piece of twisted lemon peel. A quart bottle of wine will make six cocktails.

"The Ideal Bartender" by Tom Bullock (1917)

Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 lump sugar in tall, thin glass
  • 1 small piece ice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 piece twisted lemon peel

Fill up with champagne. Stir and serve.

"The Savoy Cocktail Book" by Harry Craddock, 1930

Champagne Cocktail

Put into a wine glass one lump of Sugar, and saturate it with Angostura Bitters. Having added to this 1 lump of Ice, fill the glass with Champagne, squeeze on top a piece of lemon peel, and serve with a slice of orange.

"The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book" by Albert Stevens Crockett, 1935

  • Champagne
  • One lump Sugar
  • Two dashes Angostura Bitters
  • One piece Lemon Peel, twisted
  • Fill glass with chilled Champagne

"Cafe Royal Cocktail Book" by W. J. Tarling, 1937


Put into a wine glass 1 lump of Sugar, and saturate it with Angostura Bitters. Having added to this 1 lump of Ice and 1/2 slice of orange, fill the glass with Champagne, squeeze on top a piece of Lemon Peel. A dash of Brandy as required.

"The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David Embury, 1948

Champagne Cocktail.

This drink should be served in a pre-chilled saucer champagne glass. Place a medium-sized loaf of sugar in the glass and saturate it with Angostura bitters - about 2 dashes. Fill with thoroughly chilled champagne. Add a twist of lemon or orange peel, or both.

Video Demonstrations on the Web

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