This festive, 4-ingredient Classic Champagne Cocktail is meant to be shared, so gather some of your friends together and pop a bottle of bubbly this holiday season.

Champagne poured into a flute glass with a bowl of brown sugar cubes and a bottle of bitters for a Classic Champagne Cocktail.

It’s bubbly season! 
 
Too often champagne or sparkling wine only makes an appearance on New Year’s Eve. But this Classic Champagne Cocktail is simple, easy to make and always party ready. 

 
Hosting a gift exchange this year? Maybe a festive happy hour with the neighbors? Try offering your guests something a little unique – a Classic Champagne Cocktail. 

 

What is a Classic Champagne Cocktail? 

If you’re a history buff, you can trace the origins of the Classic Champagne Cocktail to the 1800s in England. The original iteration of the Cocktail included a smidge of cognac, but as the recipe has evolved over the years, it has often faded from recipes. 
 
Today you will likely find Champagne cocktails with four ingredients: bubbly, sugar cubes, bitters and a citrus twist, including this one. 

 

How do you make a Classic Champagne Cocktail? 

Making this cocktail is pretty straightforward. 
 
Start by placing your sugar cubes on a small plate and soak them with bitters. 
 
Add the soaked cubes to the flutes and top with champagne. You’ll need to add more champagne to the glasses after the initial foaming has subsided. 
 
The last step is to float a piece of lemon or orange rind in the glass for a hint of freshness. 

 

Do I need to use champagne for this cocktail or will any sparkling wine do? 

A reasonably-priced brut (dry) sparkling wine makes this cocktail shine, so skip the sweeter versions of bubbles out there. Especially since you are adding a sugar cube to this drink. 
 
The sugar cube does add sweetness but the main purpose of the cube is for the festive bubble action as it reacts with the champagne. 
 
I love the amber color that brown sugar cubes give this drink, but feel free to use white sugar cubes if that’s what you have on hand. 
 

Ready to give this drink a go? Here are a few tips to make your champagne cocktail stand out this holiday season: 

  • Make sure your sparkling wine is well-chilled. Sparkling wine tastes best when it is cold. 
 
  • You do add sugar to this drink, but that doesn’t make up for bad wine, so don’t cheap out on your wine purchase. A trusted liquor store will be able to point you in the direction of a $20 bottle of brut sparkling wine that will work well with this cocktail.
 
  • Pour small amounts of wine into the glass at a time, or you will end up with a foamy mess all over the counter. After the foam has subsided, continue pouring small amounts until the glass is full. 
 
  • Use chilled flutes, if possible, to keep your cocktails cool for a bit longer. 
 
That’s it, folks. This party-ready Classic Champagne Cocktail is simple for the host to prepare and luxurious for the guest to receive. Sounds like a match made in heaven. 
 

Check out some of these other tasty Champagne Cocktail recipes! 

 
Elderflower French 75 – Garnish with Lemon®
 
 
Ginger Grapefruit Prosecco Cocktail – Garnish with Lemon®
 
Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail – Cookin’ Canuck
 
Mexican Mimosa – Garnish with Lemon®

Two champagne flutes, one filled with a Classic Champagne Cocktail.

Image of Champagne being poured into flute for Classic Champagne cocktail.

Two images of a Classic Champagne Cocktail

Yield: 1 serving

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Classic Champagne Cocktail

Bubbles make every occasion special, and this Classic Champagne Cocktail is party-ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 sugar cube (brown or white)
  • 5-6 drops of Angostura bitters
  • Brut (dry) Champagne or sparkling wine
  • Strips of lemon or orange peel, optional

Instructions

  1. Soak sugar cube with 5-6 drops of bitters. Drop into champagne flute.
  2. Slowly pour Champagne into flute, pausing to let the foam subside. Continue filling until full.
  3. Garnish with citrus, if desired.