Recommend some festive, easy champagne cocktails
November 25, 2013 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I have roughly a case of cheap, but drinkable champagne. It was purchased to go in mimosas, but fewer mimosas were consumed than anticipated, so I have lots and lots of leftovers. Luckily, its the holidays, and people feel festive, so I should be able to serve it to everyone I meet, right? Wrong. In my crowd, if I offer this up at a party, I'm going to be met with a chorus of "thanks, but I'll have a craft beer please."

So, recommend me a champagne cocktail I can make that is not terribly difficult or expensive for the novice mixologist, but will look interesting or festive enough to make people consider having one or two before switching to IPAs. Holiday-themed is good, but I have a feeling this is going to last me well into spring, so something tasty that relies on fresh strawberry puree or something will be read with interest as well.
posted by juliapangolin to Food & Drink (40 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Variations on the mimosa that aren't orange juice. My favorite is champagne and pomegranate juice. Mmmm.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:25 PM on November 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm a huge fan of the French 75 which is mastered very quickly.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 3:27 PM on November 25, 2013 [18 favorites]

a friend of mine makes mimosas with a bit of oJ and some raspberry or strawberry lambic.

the carbonation and flavors are amazing.

in fact, i can't drink regular mimosas anymore.
posted by sio42 at 3:28 PM on November 25, 2013 [4 favorites]

The Bellini is apparently traditionally made with Prosecco but it is much better with champagne.
posted by elizardbits at 3:29 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you get tired of champagne cocktails, you could also make sorbet.
posted by scody at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was coming in to suggest the French 75, but Nimmie Amee beat me to the punch.

(Punches are a go to for parties in my circle. Tasty and cocktaily, but self-serve!)
posted by chatongriffes at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2013

Aperol Spritz, although it's probably unlikely that you would have a bottle of Aperol around without already knowing the recipe.
posted by bcwinters at 3:32 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, I frequently serve this punch that features champagne and it's always gone faster than I expect, but my party group does skew more cocktail than craft beer.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 3:32 PM on November 25, 2013

My "oh, no, I'll just have a sip of someone else's" grandma would drink your entire stock's worth in poinsettias during the holidays if you let her.
posted by phunniemee at 3:32 PM on November 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Black Velvet (stout+champagne)
posted by Big_B at 3:32 PM on November 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

Kir royale - champagne and some creme de cassis or raspberry liqueur
posted by leslies at 3:33 PM on November 25, 2013 [12 favorites]

The champagne cocktail: sugar cube, dash of bitters, fizz.
posted by holgate at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2013 [7 favorites]

2nd-ing the black velvet. Sounds like an odd idea, but is so, so right when you try one.
posted by neroli at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2013

Make oleo sacrum with baker's sugar and the peel (no whites) of two oranges and two lemons. Mix with a bottle of gin, a bottle of sparkling wine, and water equivalent to a bottle of gin. Pour it over a large block of ice and you have a damn tastey punch. I served it at my wedding and it was a hit.
posted by munchingzombie at 3:34 PM on November 25, 2013

The newly-revived Crème Yvette is very nice in champagne.
posted by irrelephant at 3:46 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, regarding the traditional champagne cocktail holgate mentioned: use enough bitters to soak the sugar cube. Just a dash will be disappointing.
posted by irrelephant at 3:47 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Black velvet is the go to beer+champagne cocktail, but champagne is also great in a white wine punch with fresh fruit.
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on November 25, 2013

I am also a super fan of French 75s. Since they were already mentioned, I am also a big fan of a Death in the Afternoon and though I have never had one, have always been interested in trying its sister cocktail, the Death at Dusk.
posted by primalux at 3:49 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I served Brass Flowers at a party once and they were very popular.
posted by little cow make small moo at 4:05 PM on November 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

Spiced blood orange champagne punch. Seasonally appropriate.
posted by Lieber Frau at 4:11 PM on November 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Punch frequently has champagne as its not-hard-liquor component. I'm rather fond of the Chatham Artillery Punch.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:12 PM on November 25, 2013

The best way to use it at a party, is a toast. You guests will be mystified, but you just pour out 30 (or however many) glasses and hand them around. You then say, "I just want to thank you all for being such awesome friends, you light up my life and I'm so glad everyone is here tonight! To good friends!!!" and you drink your champagne, and everybody else drinks their champagne, and remembers how unexpectedly festive the evening was.

Of course, this only works once. But once the champagne's open, you can lure people into finishing off the open bottle(s) by offering them juices, etc for the various cocktails above.
posted by aimedwander at 4:26 PM on November 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm serving a champagne punch this week. One bottle of champagne, 2 cups cranberry liquor, 1/2 cup orange liquor, and maybe some cranberry juice to taste.
posted by raisingsand at 4:29 PM on November 25, 2013

Champagne, cranberry juice and triple sec (or Cointreau) equals the Poinsettia.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 4:56 PM on November 25, 2013 [3 favorites]

I like to slug back this Cranberry Ginger Sparkler from Thanksgiving to New Year's - I'm serving it this week, in fact. It's nice because the champagne is the only alcohol, so it won't knock you on your ass, and it's spicy and tart rather than overwhelmingly sweet (perhaps a selling point for the hops-devoted.)
posted by superfluousm at 4:59 PM on November 25, 2013 [4 favorites]

Champagne cocktail is bubbly plus sugar cube, bitters, lemon peel. London special is the same drink with orange instead of lemon, and I tend to like it a little better.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:04 PM on November 25, 2013

Champagne cocktails are made significantly better via the inclusion of brandy. Also more dangerous but I feel the tradeoff is worth it.
posted by fshgrl at 5:32 PM on November 25, 2013

I like Champagne with a dash of St. Germain, myself.
posted by artemisia at 5:33 PM on November 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not a drink - unless you make it a shot!

What about champagne jelly with fruit

but you could use christmassy fruits instead - like spiced orange
posted by insomniax at 5:38 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Apparently you can pour it over fairy floss (spun sugar confection? I can't remember the US name) and it looks hella pretty and is then flavoured with the sugar.

I imagine I'd drink a bunch of them just to watch it dissolve.
posted by geek anachronism at 5:45 PM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

This one's simple and oddly flavorful: The Carthusian Champagne Cocktail. Put a swirl of Green Chartreuse into a chilled champagne shell. Twirl to coat the interior and fill with chilled champagne. Then it's off to Vespers...
posted by jim in austin at 5:50 PM on November 25, 2013

Drop a candied hibiscus plus some of the syrup in a glass with champagne. The bubbles will open the candied flower.
posted by bfranklin at 8:04 PM on November 25, 2013

My people are craft beer people too. But the only drink that was completely gone at the end of our wedding was the champagne - because we served it as a champagne cocktail, and there's just something really festive about the way that bubbles. I'd recommend that or the French 75 - both of which I think of as 'real' drinks (I'm just thinking that few people who like IPAs are going to want to drink a pink fruity drink instead).
posted by leitmotif at 8:06 PM on November 25, 2013

Seconding The Poinsettia - sparkling, cranberry and cointreau (and thank you SweetTea, now I know what it's called!)

Christmas isn't Christmas without it.
posted by chiquitita at 3:00 AM on November 26, 2013

I know it's not quite what you asked but this cake made with champagne, white chocolate and raspberries has been a huge hit in my experience. The recipe is in Dutch but if you're interested I could send you a translation.
posted by Ms. Next at 6:27 AM on November 26, 2013

The Black Velvet seems an obvious choice for a beer-drinking crowd. But as you get closer to spring/summer, maybe an elderflower cocktail will be tempting: one measure elderflower syrup, one measure gin in a champagne glass. Finish off with champagne.
posted by mumimor at 10:46 AM on November 26, 2013

At my recent Oscar Wilde-themed birthday party, this (strawberries, sugar, and cognac) was the thematically appropriate cocktail. I used (thawed) frozen strawberries instead of fresh because of money and season, which I think might have been better in terms of them integrating in with the rest of the drink.
posted by naturalog at 12:41 PM on November 26, 2013

Go to Williams Sonoma or any website selling wild hibiscus flowers in syrup. Buy these. Drop them into a glass of champagne and you get something like this...though it actually looks much prettier in real life!
posted by pearl228 at 12:51 PM on November 26, 2013

nthing the standard champagne cocktail. Sugar Cube+bitters+champagne. The beauty of this is that it is simple and delicious with standard aromatic bitters such as Angostura, but can also be changed up with the bitters of your choice. I love to use Fee's Orange Bitters with this.

Also, it is portable enough that you can bring the necessary ingredients to your next Thanksgiving/New Year's party.
posted by soy_renfield at 5:01 AM on November 27, 2013

For bourbon lovers: The Bourbon Lancer.
1/2 tsp sugar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz of your favorite bourbon*

Stir in an old-fashioned glass, then fill with brut or semi-sweet champagne (according to your tastes).

* This drink is like a long-savoring, drinkable version of the bourbon you put into it (a bubbly shot you sip for a while), so don't use generic booze here.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:20 PM on November 27, 2013

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