A classic Champagne cocktail isn’t just for New Year’s Eve. This drink is welcome any time you want to feel a little fancy, whether you’re hosting a swank soirée or you’re wearing pajamas and watching a movie. You don’t even need the absolute best Champagne to build a great one—save the premium bottles for drinking on their own. Look for a solid brut Champagne, prosecco, cava, or another good-quality sparkling wine. No matter what type of bubbly you buy, look for something dry.
There are plenty of Champagne cocktail recipe riffs out there if you like citrusy additions like lime juice or orange liqueur (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, etc.) or ones with a pink blush from cranberry juice or a red maraschino cherry. This one, however, does things the old-fashioned way with just a sugar cube (or a teaspoon of sugar), a few dashes Angostura bitters (or other bitters of your choice), and chilled Champagne. Serve with a long lemon twist (a move that makes any drink seem fancy).
For more aperitifs, including a rose-Aperol spritz, head this way for our best drink recipes for New Year’s Eve. And if you end up with extra bottles of Champagne, try a French 75 spiked with cognac or gin, a Kir Royale with Chambord, or pop them open (quietly) for brunch favorites mimosas and Bellinis on New Year’s Day.
Combine sugar and bitters in a Champagne flute. Add a splash of Champagne and stir gently to combine. Pour in remaining Champagne; garnish with lemon zest.
Editor's note: This recipe was originally printed in our December 2016 issue. Head this way for more of our best Christmas cocktails →