Some things in life a truly timeless. As a wise man (or was it woman) once said, style and good taste never go out of fashion. That is probably one of the many reasons the Classic Champagne Cocktail has become a timeless thing of sophistication and elegance. It has appeared in films (such as Casablanca), in books, and on the drinks menus of many of the world’s best bars and hotels. It’s even one of the International Bartenders Association's Official Cocktails. For some it is seen as a weather vane of the quality of a bar, hotel or even bar tender. If you can walk into a bar, ask for the Classic Champagne Cocktail (without looking at a drinks menu) and have one served to you, with no further questions, you know the venue is worthy of a second visit. If you are met with questions, some would argue the venue you are in, is indeed questionable. So here is Cider's salute to one of the cocktail world's true champions: The Classic Cider Cocktail.
1 (Preferably brown) Sugar cube
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
15 ml (Roughly half a shot or two teaspoons) Cider brandy/ Calvados ( if you have it, if not use any regular cognac)
90 ml ( or so) of a good quality sparkling Craft Cider. (we would suggest trying to use something un-oaked, not too tannic, sweet , dry or big in flavour, but by all means do experiment)
N.B. Trick is to not be too fussy with quantities and may well need tweaking to work with the cider you using.
Preparation is simple. Take a champagne flute and pop your sugar cube into it, with the bitters added. Add the brandy and top up with the cider. Garnish with a fresh orange slice and a maraschino cherry. Sip, enjoy and above all, be fabulous.
Credit and thanks to the IBA for their inspiration on this, and to all the bar tenders who have served me this over the years. Cheers!