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Champagne is the classic New Year drink and is also great for many other occasions.  But you don’t just have to drink champagne straight up – champagne cocktails are great fun and easy to make.  Here are some ideas for your next party or to use up that bottle you have on the bench.

Classics

Classic Buck’s Fizz

The Buck’s Fizz (also known as the Mimosa) is probably the most well-known champagne cocktail and has graced many a wedding reception.  There are two reasons for this – it is tasty, and it is very easy to make, especially in bulk hence the reasons restaurants and hotels offer it!

All you need is 50ml of orange juice for every 150ml of champagne.  Make sure the bubbly is chilled, add it to the glass and top up with the juice.  Instant classic champagne cocktail.

French 75

The French 75 was created back in World War I in the New York Bar in Paris by barman Harry MacElhone.  It was named for the powerful French 75mm field gun.

Easy to make, the drink uses 2ounce of dry gin, 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar and ½ ounce of lemon juice to 5 ounces of champagne.  Add the gin, juice and sugar into a cocktail shaker with ice then strain into a Collins glass and top with the champagne.

Air Mail

The Air Mail uses golden rum as well as champagne and many recommend Puerto Rican rum if you can get it (although I quite like Bacardi Oro Gold myself).

Take 2 ounces golden rum, ½ ounce lime juice and one teaspoon honey then mi in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Strain into a Collins glass and finish with around 5 ounces of champagne.

Champagne Cocktail

Well, there’s little doubt what the ingredients of this cocktail are!  This is an official IBA cocktail and was known as early as 1862 when a person appeared in a book called Bon Vivant’s Companion.

To make the cocktail, put a lump of sugar into a cocktail or champagne class and saturate with 1-2 dashes of Angostura Bitters.  Add 1 measure of brandy then top with champagne, around 4 measures worth.  To decorate, add a slice of orange on the side of the glass.

Kir Royale

Another simple champagne cocktail is the Kir Royale – it needs just two ingredients to make.  It is a version of the Kir cocktail which used white wine and replaced this with champagne.

To make it, add 2 teaspoons of crème de cassis into a champagne flute and top with chilled champagne.  The drink has a lovely rich pink colour.

Bellini

The final classic is the Bellini.  Created somewhere in the 1930-40s by Giuseppe Cipriani, he named it because it reminded him of a colour he had seen in a painting by Giovanni Bellini.  It was a favourite in Harry’s Bar in Venice where the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles would be seen and later became popular in the New York version of the bar.

The classic Bellini uses 2 measures of peach juice to 4 measures of chilled champagne with an optional dash of grenadine.  You can also make many variations including the Apricot Bellini that uses 3 fresh apricots, teaspoon of lemon juice and of sugar syrup and 2 measures of apricot brandy per bottle of champagne.

Colourful champagne cocktails

Bellini Blue Cocktail

Another version of the Bellini, the Bellini Blue, uses the lovely Blue Curacao that gives its distinctive colour to everything it touches.

For this drink use a 1 measure peach schnapps, 1 measure of blue Curacao and a strawberry or cherry in a champagne flute.  Top with chilled champagne or sparkling white wine.

Raspberry champagne cocktail

One for the raspberry fans, the Raspberry Champagne Cocktail is a twist on the Champagne Cocktail and adds some real fruit (you could almost call it a little healthy!!)

Add two to four raspberries to the bottom of a champagne flute and add one teaspoon of raspberry liqueur.  Top with chilled champagne.

Poinsettia

The Poinsettia has a Christmas-y name but would be very tasty at any time of the year.  It uses Cointreau, the orange flavoured liqueur but you could use other orange flavoured liqueurs such as Grand Marnier in its place.

Add ½ ounce Cointreau and 3 ounces of cranberry juice into a champagne flute and stir.  Top with chilled champagne.

The Volcano

I love fun coloured cocktails such as blue and green.  This one is a rare purple shade because of the mixture of blue and red ingredients.  Not sure where the name The Volcano comes from but it sounds fun!

Add ¾ ounce of raspberry liqueur and ¾ ounce Blue Curacao to a champagne flute then fill with champagne.  Garnish with a couple of raspberries and a little twist of orange peel to accent the flavours.

Paddy’s Night

Paddy’s Night ticks plenty of boxes – easy to make, funky colour and can be used for multiple occasions (it would be great for St Patrick’s Day parties for example).

Add 3 ice cubes, 1 measure of green crème de menthe and 1 measure of Irish whiskey into a cocktail shaker then strain into a champagne flute.  Top with chilled champagne.

Modern Twists

Peach Bellini Cocktail

Ingredients:
Simple Syrup: (optional)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
Bellini:
1 bottle of Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
2 fresh peaches, sliced or ½ bag frozen peaches, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.
Add peach slices and lemon juice to a food processor and blend until smooth. Scoop 1 – 2 tablespoons of the peach puree and a drizzle of simple syrup into a chilled champagne flute. Fill glass half way with Prosecco and stir lightly to blend before filling glasses.

Simple ingredients for the Peach Bellini

Prosecco and elderflower mojito

This is definitely a modern twist on the classic mojito and uses the popular Prosecco in place of traditional champagne.

Take 2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial, 2-3 mint leaves, 3 slices of lime and muddle them with a muddler.  Add crushed ice and fill with Prosecco then add a little mint to garnish and a straw to drink.

San Remo

The San Remo is a sophisticated looking cocktail that would sit well among other sophisticated drinks with its soft gold colour.

Add 3 ounces of champagne, ½ ounce triple sec, ½ ounce mandarin liqueur and 1 ounce of white grapefruit juice to a champagne flute.  Don’t stir or shake the drink and garnish with an orange twist.  I wonder if you could also substitute the mandarin for a normal orange liqueur and the white grapefruit for normal grapefruit juice – the colour would be darker, but the ingredients might be easier to find!

Melon Mimosa

I’ve mentioned I love colourful cocktails and I also love anything that contains Midori.  So, the Melon Mimosa is an instant hit with me.

Another simple one, all you need is 2 ounces of Midori to 4 ounces of champagne in a champagne flute.  Bright green and very tasty.

Fun and easy cocktails

These champagne cocktails show a few things – there’s never a need to let a bottle of champagne go flat and cocktails don’t need to be complicated with lots of ingredients.  So for your next part, why not give one or two a try?  I’d love to hear how you get on!

Champagne cocktails are easy to make and very tasty.  From classics like the Bucks Fizz and the Kir Royale to modern twists on favourites, these drinks often need only a few ingredients and are easy to create for a larger number of people.  Click to find the perfect recipe for your next party #cocktail #champagnecocktail #champagne #partydrink