Romantic champagne cocktail recipe

Did you enjoy Valentine’s Day yesterday? We’ve been feeling the love at Golightly Towers, yes indeedy.

In my recent ‘romance without the price tag’ article for Ask Jeeves I mentioned that you could make a very agreeable cocktail with some sparkling wine and a little raspberry liqueur to welcome your honey back home.

I’ve been refining the recipe to make it more complex and deadly, and after some gruelling consumer testing we’ve arrived at the following combination. Do be warned, this will knock your socks off, and possibly a number of other garments too…

The Lupercalia

Into a chilled champagne flute, add the ingredients in this order:

  • 1 small drop of Angostura bitters
  • 5ml of triple sec (Grand Marnier or Cointreau are relatively easy to find)
  • 20ml of raspberry liqueur (I used Chambord but you can find other perfectly decent creme de framboise for a lot less)
  • dry non-vintage champagne to top up (or a ‘brut’/dry cava to save £££)

Add the champagne/cava very slowly and allow the bubbles to settle, then give a very brief gentle stir to ensure it’s all mixed together nicely. The dry wine is needed to cut through the sweetness of the liqueur.

So many recipes say that you should use the best champagne you can afford in champagne-based cocktails, but I take issue with that sort of talk. If I’m going to push the boat out and buy a fancy vintage champagne then I’d sooner drink that on its own and enjoy the pure flavours in it.

Besides, cocktails were almost certainly invented to disguise low-quality alcohol, probably rum. And look at how they flourished in Prohibition America thanks to bathtub gin. I rest my case – of cheap champagne.

Are you partial to a sparkling mixed drink? Do you have any favourite recipes? Please share them.

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