Sometimes it’s nice to get away from cocktails involving liquor.
The Champagne Cocktail is a very nice aperitif cocktail which involves no liquor at all.
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 other nice thing about the Champagne Cocktail, is it doesn’t really need a super fancy sparkling wine to be good. Any half way decent bottle will work.
Some other decent not too expensive options, include sparkling wine from regions of France other than Champagne. These are usually called something like “Cremant de blah”, where the “blah” is the region they come from. I’ve had some really nice ones from Alsace and Bourgogne. Usually these will run in the neighborhood of $10-$15 US, and taste like Champagnes or American Sparkling wines at twice or three times the price. In my case, I used a wine called, “Cremant de Limoux, J. Laurens Brut” I found at my local grocery store. It is an amazingly good dry style, sparkling wine for around $10.
If you want the cocktail to be a good appetizer or before dinner drink, stay away from anything too sweet or fruity. Even though they are also cheap, Italian sparklers with the word “Asti” in the name would probably be a bad choice, unless you are serving the cocktail for dessert. Proseccos from Italy and Cavas from Spain are also also cheap, dry and good. Though, I’ve run into a few stinkers when trying to save money by shopping in those categories.
This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.