Champagne Cocktails for a Different Toast

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Throughout history, champagne has taken centre-stage in the launching of ships, celebrating marriages and ushering in the New Year. There are other beverages you can have to toast your mates on their birthday, wedding, baptism of a new addition their family or other milestones, but champagne, being the status symbol that it is, remains the favoured celebratory drink. Here are some champagne cocktails you can concoct and enjoy with good company.

The Mimosa

While this champagne cocktail mostly goes with brunch, there’s no reason this classic cocktail any time of day or night. It’s rumoured that the “original” mimosa was first concocted at the Buck’s Club London in 1921, and was known as “Buck’s Fizz”. Buck’s Fizz was also made with champagne and orange juice, but with more champagne. A few years later, a bartender at the Ritz Hotel in Paris named Frank Meier created the mimosa, which was equal parts of juice and champagne. Others claim that the mimosa was made popular as a drink enjoyed at brunch by legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock in the 1940’s.

Ingredients:

2 ounces orange juice

2 ounces brut champagne

Method:

Fill a champagne flute with freshly-squeezed orange a third of the way. Top with the champagne.

The French 75

Also called the “Soixante-quinze” (75 in French), this potent champagne cocktail was created as a tribute to the French army’s then-powerful 75-millimetre cannon in WW1. Its first version was made at the New York Bar in Paris by bartender Harry MacElhone. The kick of the French 75 was supposedly so strong that anyone who drank it would feel as if they were hit by a shell from the celebrated weapon. This cocktail may be strong enough to toast a good mate’s birthday, so why not send them the recipe and ingredients along with a champagne gift delivery, then make the cocktails and toast in a virtual night out?

Ingredients:

2-3 ounces champagne

1½ ounces gin

¾ ounce fresh lemon juice

¾ ounce simple syrup

Lemon peel for garnish

Method:

In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Close the shaker and shake for about 20 seconds, ensuring the mixture is well chilled. Strain the liquid into flutes and top with champagne. Twist lemon peel, holding it for a few seconds to keep its shape. Garnish flutes with lemon twists and enjoy while cold.

Classic Champagne Cocktail

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This cocktail goes as far back as 1862, and was invented by Jerry Thomas, author of “The Bar-Tenders Guide”. Champagne made in that era was much sweeter than today’s varieties, so making it with today’s champagne will create a slightly different version than the original. Nevertheless, it’s still a cocktail worth savouring.

Ingredients:

1 sugar cube

4 ounces chilled champagne

Angostura bitters

Lemon peel or lemon zest

Method:

Place the sugar cube on top of the bitters bottle. While keeping the sugar cube in place, invert the bottle to soak the cube. Drop the bitters-saturated sugar cube into a flute. Pour in champagne, then add lemon peel or lemon zest.

While you can always have the usual drinks you enjoy to celebrate with your mates, these three simple and easily-prepared champagne cocktails can spice up any live-streamed celebration. The ingredients aren’t difficult to get and the recipes are easy to make.

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