≡ Menu

Best Champagne Cocktails with Brandy

A Guide to the best Champagne Cocktails with Brandy (You’ll make in you Life!)

Ask most people what they think of when it comes to champagne, and they’ll answer with a wedding toast. Or New Year’s Eve. Or a black tie gala. Perhaps the most creative image they’ll com up with is a mother-in-law ordering her second Mimosa during Sunday brunch. And chances are, no one wants to experience that more than once every other month.

The truth is, champagne is one of the most versatile ingredients in everyday cocktails. And when combined with brandy, you’ve got a recipe for a taste that can transform everything you thought you knew about champagne.

You don’t need to break the bank or have the sophisticated palate of a sommelier to enjoy a champagne cocktail. All you need is an open mind and a little forethought; and you’ll be able to diversify your taste buds without being an A-list Hollywood mogul.
Below, you’ll find a little bit about what to look for when choosing brands, as well as some tips on buying and a few recipes to get you started.

What to look for when buying champagne

True Champagne – with a capital C – is technically produced in a small district of the Champagne region east of Paris. Through a traditional method of growth and production that is strictly adhered to, true Champagne is considered the apex of quality… but at a price that commands it. Expect prices ranging from $38 all the way to $190 per 750 ml bottle.

For those of you who are on a more cost prohibitive budget, sparkling wine is a perfectly adequate substitute; in fact, it’s what most people have learned to associate with when they think of champagne. Different countries refer to them by different styles; you may see them in Italy referred to as Prosecco, in Spain as Kava and in the Burgundy region of France as Cremant de Bourgogne. And while there are definitive differences in both grapes, styles and brewing techniques, they’re all worth exploring… and all make an excellent foundation for your next cocktail. Prices can range from $15 to $90, so you may want to use more than a little discretion when shopping around.

Types of champagne

Cuvee: A blend of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Sweet, high quality, but generally also the most expensive.

Extra Dry: Don’t let the name mislead you. It’s actually a semi-dry sparkling wine. For those who are looking for the driest champagne, look for a…

Brut: Often divided into “brut natural” and “extra brut.” “Brut natural” is the driest you can get.

Blanc de Blanc: Or “white of white”, meaning it’s pressed solely from Chardonnay grapes with a light, dry but occasionally acidic taste.

Blanc de Noir: Pressed from a mix of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, these are generally more full bodied and fruity in taste.

Rose: Typically pressed using dark grapes. During fermentation the skins get left on briefly, allowing for a taste that can be earthy, fruity or sweet.

TOP 5 CHAMPAGNE BRANDS FOR COCKTAILS IN 2019

1. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin NV Yellow Label Brut

The top selling brut in the US (owing to a high social media presence,) the Yellow Label Brut boasts of a balanced acidity with hints of almond and toast. Perfect for organic drinkers, this brand is among the better of the moderate priced ones, with prices starting at $45.

2. Nicolas Feuillatte NV Brut Réserve

An elegant and fruity blend with a light lemon acidity, this is another excellent cost prohibitive choice. Standard bottles typically start at $36.

3. G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge

Aromatic and rich, this particular Mumm was a 2015 Gold Medal winner at the International Wine and Spirits Competition. Expect to pay $40 and up for a bottle.

4. Laurent-Perrier Brut NV

With a crisp, fruity taste and a rich brand history, this brut starts at $36 per bottle.

5. Taittinger NV Brut la Française

With a blend of three different grapes, this is a light, fruity and crisp choice, with bottles starting at $38.

While the above brands may not fall into the average person’s budget to stock up on for daily cocktails, they’re all well worth having around for special occasions, romantic dinners… or simply those nights when you want to treat yourself. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for; and while you may wake up in the morning with a fatter wallet, you’ll feel worse for the wear if you choose one of those $5 bottles of pink champagne you might remember from high school!

TOP 5 CHAMPAGNE COCKTAILS AND RECIPES

Tired of that Mimosa rut? Break out with these 5 easy-to-make champagne and brandy cocktails.

Atomic Champagne Cocktail

1 ½ oz. champagne (chilled)
1 ½ oz. brandy
1 ½ oz. vodka
1 tsp. almond extract

In a chilled mixer over crushed ice, stir well the brandy, almond extract and champagne. Pour into a chilled martini glass. Add the champagne, garnish with an orange slice or maraschino cherry (optional) and voila!

Barbotage

1 ounce brandy
4 oz. champagne (chilled)
½ ounce Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 slice orange

Into a chilled brandy snifter, stir well the brandy and Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Let champagne sit for 5 minutes before pouring. Add orange slice, and it’s as simple as that.

Ambrosia

1 ½ oz. hard cider
1 ounce brandy
1 ½ oz. Champagne (chilled)
1 tsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Juice of 1 lemon

In a chilled mixer, shake well all ingredients (except for the champagne.) Pour over a brandy snifter full of cracked ice. Add the champagne, stir well and serve.

French 125

1 ½ oz. sweet and sour mix
1 ounce brandy
1 ½ oz. champagne (chilled)

Pour brandy and sweet and sour mix into a tall glass over cracked ice. Stir well. Fill with champagne. Stir lightly. Add a slice of lemon and it’s that easy.

International Bar Fly

1 ounce brandy
1 ounce Grand Marnier or Cointreau
2 oz. champagne
2 dashes bitters (optional)

Place a single ice cube into a champagne flute. Add all ingredients (except for the champagne) and stir lightly. Pour champagne and serve.