Saved for last, it’s the Champagne Cocktail:
- 1 sugar cube
- 4 dashes Angostura Bitters
In either a tall (pretty) champagne flute or a saucer (traditional) champagne glass, add the sugar and bitters. Fill with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
No, this is not my last cocktail but it is the last of the 110 recipes (including the appendix) in Ted Haigh’s seminal Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails book. It took me a little over two years to make them all, so that averages out to about one a week. I wonder how many other people have managed to “make them all”?
Of course, I made a number of other cocktails as well, and the complete list can be found in the index.
I saved this for last because Champagne is usually associated with celebration, and because it didn’t sound all that good. It is vintage, having been referenced by the man himself, Jerry Thomas, but it doesn’t seem very “cocktail-like” to me.
It kind of reminded me of when I was in college and wine coolers became popular. We used to joke that they were invented so that women would have something to drink at keg parties. This seems to be a cocktail for a person who doesn’t care for cocktails, but needs something to drink when among people who do.
I don’t really see the point in adding sugar and bitters to good Champagne, but I do find it interesting that modern versions include a bit of brandy. Might improve this a bit. The sugar cube does cause the bubbles to greatly increase and the bitters adds a nice golden hue to the drink, so it is pretty if not exactly tasty.
Rating: 1/5. I’m giving this a “1” because I don’t have any 1’s in this list, but the grade is based on this cocktail not really being a cocktail more than the actual taste, which would have placed it as a high two or a three.
Notes: I like brut Champagne, stuff that’s so dry you don’t even really have to swallow, and my go-to brand has always been Perrier-Jouët.