The origin of champagne cocktails is unclear, but some believe they first splashed on the scene in 1861, when England went into mourning for Prince Albert

According to historians, a bartender at London’s Brooks’ Club decided champagne should also be in mourning, and paired it with Guinness stout to make a black velvet.

This classic champagne cocktail recipe debuted around the turn of the 20th century. Today, there are countless variations on this basic theme.

In the movie Casablanca, there are two cocktails explicitly mentioned, both variations on the champagne cocktail. 

Best Picture 1944


“Always keep a bottle of Champagne in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes, the special occasion is that you’ve got a bottle of Champagne in the fridge.”  Hester Browne

The Recipe

What you need

2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/3 oz Cognac (brandy)
3 oz Champagne
1 Sugar cube

What you do

Chill the champagne flute or coupe
Add a dash of Angostura bitters onto a sugar cube and drop it into the champagne flute.

Add cognac followed by gently pouring chilled champagne. 

Garnish: Orange Slice & Maraschino Cherry
Serve: Coupe or Champagne flute
Style: Aperitif
Taste: Dry, light, subtle

Patrick (Paddy) Moore

Patrick (Paddy) Moore is the author of the series Quarantinis, Eh? featuring cocktails that commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

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