For my final recipe for 2016, with New Years Eve coming up I decided the arrival of these simply stunning champagne coupes from The White Company (sadly they don't sell them anymore, but I'd 100% recommend getting some to enjoy at home, there are some great options here) would be the perfect excuse to share my personal recipe for the ultimate classic (and one of my wintertime favourites): the Classic Champagne Cocktail. All you need is some Cognac (or brandy if that is more your style), Angostura Bitters (even Tesco sell them these days), sugar and ice cold bubbles (preferably champagne, but I'm not going to stop you if you want to use Prosecco (you know it is just carbonated wine, right?), Cava or English sparkling wine instead!)
Traditionally, you put a sugar cube in the bottle of a champagne flute, soak it with bitters, add the Cognac and top it up with fizz, but I've decided that if you don't do sugar cubes usually, it is stupid to buy them especially. So, I've come up with this recipe measured entirely with measuring spoons. It seems stupid to get too bogged down with the details on New Years Eve. You can use the same measurements in traditional champagne flutes, but you'll get more, slightly stronger cocktails, as coupes carry more liquid. But honestly, don't sweat the details (though, if you want to get fancy, I've always been slightly in awe of these Homemade Angostura Sugar Cubes designed for champagne cocktails over at Reclaiming Provincial).
The measurements below make one cocktail (because you need to measure the ingredients between the glasses), but if you're planning ahead, a standard bottle of bubbles will make roughly 6 cocktails in champagne flutes, or 4 cocktails in coupes, obviously give or take depending on your individual glasses.
- 1/2 tsp Golden Caster Sugar
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 tbsp Cognac
- Chilled Champagne
Measure out the sugar into the bottom of each glass, then add the bitters. Follow with the cognac, then top each glass up with chilled champagne. Serve with a selection of canapés: perhaps including my Easy Asian Devilled Eggs, my Mum's Classic Cheese Straws, or my Easy DIY Gin & Dill Cured Salmon (all of which we're serving up at our New Years Eve party), or my Parsley Butter Popcorn or Homemade Sesame Prawn Toasts.