Nothing’s more festive than bubbly champagne cocktails! They’re easy to make, and add class and style to any celebration.
Are you ready to celebrate? Champagne has been a festive drink for centuries. Of course, you can just pop the cork and drink it straight up (which Alex and I do, often!). But why not try a champagne cocktail? The tangy, bubbly sparkling wine is perfect with all sorts of flavors, from lemon to St Germain to cranberry. Even just adding one or two ingredients to champagne really alters the flavor and adds depth. And of course, holding a glass says, “Hey, I’m someone with sophistication and class!” Ready to toast?
And now… the best easy champagne cocktails to try!
This isn’t just an champagne cocktail, it’s THE champagne cocktail. Yes, the Champagne Cocktail is a classic recipe on the International Bartender's Association list of IBA official cocktails. It's a thing. Even better: it's tangy and refreshing, perfect for sipping with a little nuance from the angostura bitters and lemon. The best part: Adding a sugar cube to champagne makes a fountain of bubbles that positively sparkles! Are you celebrating something? Because this is the drink for you.
Here’s one of the most sophisticated and refreshing cocktail recipes out there: a French 75! It’s got a mysterious name, but it’s made with a few simple ingredients. It’s tangy, bubbly, and a bit botanical. Perfect for entertaining, use it as a brunch drink or a dinner party with friends. Really, any occasion is better with this drink in hand! The flavors are simple and classy: gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne.
Here’s the classic easy champagne cocktail the mimosa! How to make a perfect mimosa? We like to use Prosecco instead of champagne for a sweeter, nuanced flavor: but you could use either! Pour the bubbles with a heavy hand, and add a dash of orange liqueur. It’s tart, just sweet enough, and bubbly as all get out. Here’s how to make this beautiful and bright mimosa!
Meet the Negroni sbagliato, a “mixed up” version of the classic cocktail using sparkling wine instead of gin! The lightly sweet champagne against the bitter Campari and sweet vermouth makes for a better balanced flavor than with gin. Who can’t resist a little bubbly?
Here’s a drink that’s made for celebration: a St Germain champagne cocktail! It’s sophisticated and refreshing: floral, botanical, tangy, and bubbly all at once. If you’ve never purchased a bottle of St Germain, now’s the time! It's a liqueur made with elderflowers, the small white flowers of an elderberry plant. This bottle of fancy liqueur should be part of your alcohol arsenal: it's perfect for cocktails of all kinds! But this particular champagne cocktail is our favorite.
Bubbly, citrusy, herbal, subtly bitter and lightly sweet…it's the Aperol spritz! This drink is renowned the world over, reaching max popularity in the 2000’s. But did you know it’s actually a classic cocktail from the 1950’s? This Italian cocktail has been capturing hearts and minds for years. Made the right way: it’s absolutely worth the hype. Try it with either Prosecco or champagne.
Here’s a champagne cocktail that’s full of beautiful fresh flavor: the peach Bellini! The bellini is a classic cocktail that comes from Italy. It's typically made with Prosecco, but you can make with champagne too! It’s ideal in the summer during peach season, as a signature drink for cocktail hour. And of course, it’s natural for brunch like its cousin the mimosa. Luckily, you can use either fresh or frozen peaches: so you can make it anytime!
Here’s an effortlessly easy cocktail to make: Kir Royale! Creme de cassis, a black currant liqueur, goes with champagne like one of those famous pairings: tomatoes and basil, peaches and cream or peanut butter and jelly. Simply mix the liqueur with bubbles and you’ve got a sophisticated Champagne cocktail perfect for celebrations of all kinds. The bubbly sweet tart flavor is refreshing and unexpectedly nuanced for two ingredients.
Here’s a champagne cocktail that features the uncanny pairing of beer and wine in one drink! Or stout and champagne, that is. It’s the Black Velvet! This ages old cocktail pairs the hoppy bitterness and dark notes of coffee and chocolate with the light fruity bubbles of champagne. It might sound odd, but it really works!
Want a Mojito topped off with champagne? (Yes, please.) Enter the Old Cuban cocktail: one part Mojito, one part French 75. This mashup cocktail is a modern classic created by a famous bartender in the early 2000’s. It’s minty fresh, with complexity from the bitters and vanilla and coconut notes from the aged rum. Combine it with a splash of bubbles, and it’s a cocktail masterpiece!
Got a bottle of Prosecco you want to make even better? Try this Prosecco cocktail. It’s classy and sophisticated, pairing the citrus notes of Grand Marnier with lots of bubbles. Add an orange twist and it’s a fancy cocktail that takes only minutes to make! It’s almost an evening version of a mimosa: strong on the citrus but with an “after 4 pm” vibe.
Move over cosmos: there's a new cranberry cocktail in town! This cranberry champagne cocktail has a brilliant color and cozy vibe, and the flavor is tart and refreshing. While it's most suitable during fall and winter, you can serve it any time of the year, too! It uses only a few simple ingredients: cranberry juice (make sure to find 100% juice), cointreau, and champagne.
If you love bubbly spritzes, run don’t walk to try the Hugo cocktail! This Italian cocktail is a spin-off on the Aperol spritz and even better, in our opinion. It’s made with delicate floral elderflower liqueur and bubbly sparkling wine, which compliment each other perfectly. While it's typically made with Prosecco, champagne works too! The bubbly combination transports you right to Northern Italy, where this cocktail was born and is popular to this day.
Includes Prosecco cocktails too!
As you can see, this list of champagne cocktails includes Prosecco cocktails too! You can really use any type of sparkling wine in these champagne cocktail recipes. The most popular types of sparkling wine outside of champagne are:
Prosecco: an Italian sparkling wine. It’s a little sweeter than champagne and has lighter bubbles. It’s fruity and flowery, with notes of apple, pear and lemon.
Cava: a Spanish sparkling wine. It has more citrus notes, and is a little more savory and less fruity.
When to serve champagne cocktails
The champagne cocktails are so festive, they work well for almost any occasions! Here are some times we can imagine serving them, though it’s not an exhaustive list! Champagne cocktails are perfect as a:
With champagne and most alcohol, the higher the quality, the better the flavor. We use the rule: buy something in the medium price range, and you’re usually safe. That is: don’t buy the cheapest bottle. But don’t go overboard on the most pricey one either! Usually middle of the road in price is a good quality bottle.
Add a sugar cube to bottom of a champagne flute**. Add 5 dashes of bitters to the sugar cube. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a small strip of lemon skin. Squeeze the lemon skin into the flute to release the oils.
Fill the glass with champagne and serve immediately: watch how the sugar cube makes the bubbles sparkle! Garnish with a lemon twist if desired (here’s how to make a lemon twist).
*You’ll get about 5 drinks per 1 bottle of champagne. **You can also serve this drinks on the rocks in a cocktail glass. Follow the same instructions, just place the ice in the glass with the sugar cube, then top with champagne. The drink will have a more subtle flavor.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.