Champagne cocktail with lemon peel garnish

Champagne Cocktail

By Timo Torner / Last updated on March 14, 2022 
The Champagne cocktail is a typical festive drink. It is an elegant cocktail that features a sugar cube soaked in cocktail bitters and fine Cognac along with Brut Champagne.

Champagne is an exquisite and costly ingredient. A luxurious sip that doesn't need any other ingredients to shine. But at the same time, Champagne works amazingly well in a variety of drinks. Combined with fruity, sweet, and sometimes fresh flavors, it can lift your cocktails and confer class.

The interesting bit here is that in most cases, Champagne helps to lift a drink by creating additional layers of flavor and adding some sparkling to a flat cocktail. It just brings it all together. In the Champagne cocktail, however, it is the other way around. All the ingredients are there to complement and enhance the experience of drinking the finest Champagne.

And due to the simplicity end elegance of the drink, it's a perfect drink to enjoy on New Year's eve or other festive events.

History of the Champagne cocktail

Like so many other classic cocktails, the recipe for the Champagne cocktail first got mentioned in Jerry Thomas's book The Bartender's Guide. A bible for every (home) bartender that includes an endless list of classic cocktail recipes. However, some of them outdated due to the unavailability of certain ingredients. But that's not the case for the Champagne cocktail: In his first recipe, Thomas just asked for Champagne, sugar, cocktail bitters, and lemon zest - all still readily available today. Interestingly the drink was served on crushed ice and in a tumbler back then. Which is, in turn, as far from today's version as possible, I would say. 

And then, apparently, it wasn't Thomas who came up with the idea. Robert Tomes mentioned the drink seven years before in his book "Panama in 1855". Along with the name of the cocktail, he also described how it should be served. But he left out the recipe. He wrote:

"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"."

Robert Tomes, Panama in 1855

That looks pretty much like the directions Jerry Thomas listed in his first book. Over time he further improved the recipe by reducing the amount of ice and replacing the tumbler with a goblet glass.

Today's recipe is even more refined. The ice is gone completely, and, to enhance the depth of flavors in the cocktail, a splash of Cognac entered the mix.

How to make a Champagne cocktail

Unlike many other cocktails that need to be shaken or stirred, you can simply assemble the Champagne cocktail in a Champagne flute. The first step is to coat your sugar cube with Angostura bitters. Then drop the soaked sugar cube into a chilled (!) Champagne flute. Pour over the Cognac and fill up the glass with bubbly Champagne.

Finally, an elegant garnish of lemon peel will make the drink perfect. Ready to be served at your next New Year's eve event.

Other cocktails made with Champagne

This drink is only one of many cocktails made with Champagne. And it seems that those drinks are ready for a comeback in the imminent future. For a long time, they were almost forgotten and only served on special occasions. But honestly, they're too good not to be ordered and served in bars and restaurants as well.

Think of the Mimosa, one of the most famous brunch cocktails. Or the Kir Royale and the classic French 75. All of them are classy, elegant, and refined drinks even though they're so easy to make. Naturally, there are also more complex Champagne cocktails. The Russian Spring Punch, for instance, is a different story. But, nonetheless, these are delicious cocktails that shouldn't be forgotten.

And if you're open to using other sparkling wines, as well, try out the Bellini or Aperol Spritz or the famous Barracuda cocktail.

Champagne cocktail with lemon peel garnish

Champagne cocktail

An elegant cocktail based on Champagne. A perfect choice for having at NYE.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Champagne, Cognac
Servings: 1
Calories: 283kcal
Cost: $7.20



  • 3.5 oz Brut Champagne
  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 3 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 Sugar cube
  • Lemon peel (garnish)


  • Coat and soak the sugar cube with Angostura bitters and drop it into a chilled Champagne flute.
    3 dash Angostura bitters, 1 Sugar cube
  • Pour chilled Cognac over the soaked cube.
    1 oz Cognac
  • Then top with Brut Champagne and garnish with lemon peel.
    Lemon peel


Serving: 5.75oz | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 153.52g | Sodium: 1.16mg | Potassium: 306.82mg | Sugar: 153.52g | Calcium: 27.41mg | Iron: 2.77mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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