The Classic Champagne Cocktail Recipe

The classic Champagne cocktail features champagne, bitters, and a sugar cube that melts from the bottom of your flute glass! It’s perfect for special occasions.

Champagne Cocktail in flute glass with sugar cube melting in bottom

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your next party, or just want a delicious and refreshing drink to enjoy, then the Champagne Cocktail is a great option.

Part of the beauty is watching how the sugar cube interacts with the bitters and champagne or sparkling wine. It causes the drink to bubble and sparkle for quite a while!

The Champagne cocktail is a classic drink that’s guaranteed to impress friends and guests.

The History of the Champagne Cocktail Recipe

The Champagne Cocktail dates back to the mid-19th century when it first appeared in cocktail books. It was made with a sugar cube soaked in Angostura bitters, topped with champagne.

The cocktail gained popularity in the early 20th century and has remained a classic ever since. Over the years, variations of the original recipe have emerged, incorporating different liqueurs and fruits.

Some believe the Champagne Cocktail was created as a way to make lower-quality champagne more enjoyable.

Which Champagne Should You Use?

When choosing your bottle of champagne or sparkling wine, consider your personal taste preferences. 

While you don’t necessarily need a high-quality vintage champagne for a classic Champagne cocktail, the flavor of the drink can certainly be influenced by the quality of champagne used.

If you’re after an exceptional taste experience, consider using a mid-range champagne that has good reviews. However, if you’re on a budget or making cocktails for a large crowd, an affordable Prosecco or Cava will be delicious.

Remember, though, the other ingredients (sugar cube, bitters, and usually a lemon twist or cherry) will also affect the overall taste of your cocktail. It’s all about finding a balance that suits your palate.

A dry or extra-dry champagne works well in a Champagne Cocktail as it balances the sweetness of other ingredients.

If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, opt for a demi-sec champagne. Experiment with different champagne brands and styles to find the perfect match for your taste.

Essential Ingredients for a Perfect Champagne Cocktail

The essential ingredients for a Champagne Cocktail include champagne, sugar cube, Angostura bitters, and a twist of lemon peel.

  • The sugar cube provides sweetness to balance the acidity of the champagne.
  • Angostura bitters add complexity and aromatic flavors to the cocktail.
  • A twist of lemon peel adds a citrusy aroma and enhances the visual appeal of the drink.

While these are the basic ingredients, you can also experiment with additional liqueurs or fruit garnishes. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Champagne Cocktail

To make a Champagne Cocktail, follow these simple steps:

  1. Start by placing a sugar cube in a champagne flute.
  2. Add a few dashes of Angostura bitters onto the sugar cube.
  3. Pour champagne into the flute, filling it about three-quarters full.
  4. Give the cocktail a gentle stir to dissolve the sugar cube, or just let it dissolve on its own
  5. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Can you Make Big Batches?

Yes, there is a way. Since you need to fill the glass with champagne just before serving it, you can’t just mix up a pitcher for pouring.

But what you can do is put out glasses, drop sugar cubes in them, and put the bitters over the cubes. Then as guests arrive or need a second drink, you simple pour the champagne.

Other Classic Champagne Cocktails

If you enjoy this one, there are other champagne cocktails you should try.

The Kir Royale uses crème de cassis as a sweetener instead of a sugar cube.

The Bellini, made with peach puree or peach liqueur instead of a sugar cube.

And the St. Germain Spritz blends prosecco with delicious elderflower liqueur.

Variations on Your Cocktail

You don’t have to stick to the recipe on classic cocktails. There are a few things you could do with this one that won’t go wrong:

  • For a fruity twist, try adding strawberry puree or a splash of pomegranate juice.
  • Add a dash of any fruity or floral liqueur, such as creme de cassis or creme de violette.

Tips for Serving and Garnishing Your Champagne Cocktail

For an elegant presentation, chill your champagne flutes in the refrigerator before serving.

Garnish your Champagne Cocktail with a fresh twist of lemon peel or a fruit skewer for a visually appealing touch.

Remember to serve your Champagne Cocktail chilled and enjoy it slowly to savor the flavors.

The Perfect Occasions to Enjoy a Champagne Cocktail

A Champagne Cocktail is a perfect choice for special occasions, like any brunch with friends, a work party, a bachelorette party, weddings and bridal showers, New Year’s Eve and Christmas.

Champagne Cocktail in flute glass with sugar cube melting in bottom

The Classic Champagne Cocktail

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

The classic Champagne cocktail features champagne, bitters, and a sugar cube that melts from the bottom of your flute glass! It's perfect for special occasions.


  • 1 sugar cube
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Chilled champagne or prosecco
  • Garnish with a lemon twist


  1. Place the sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute.
  2. Pour 4 dashes of bitters onto the sugar cube to start it melting.
  3. Fill the glass to the top with champagne, and serve immediately while the sugar cube dissolves.
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Last Updated:

November 30, 2023