Easy Champagne Cocktails: Top 5 Christmas Tipples

Harry Lambourne
13th July 2021

Nothing says celebration like sparkling wine. We toast all the significant moments in our life with something fizzy. Easy Champagne cocktails are the best way to add more fanfare and excitement to those already significant moments. 

Champagne was previously confined to French aristocrats, but following the French revolution the deserving common folk got their hands on it. In fact, the UK became a refuge for the aristocrats and royals of France. This meant it also became the leading importer of Champagne in the world.

Champagne, (and sparkling wine as a whole), is something attainable now. It’s an ever-present part of how we celebrate. To further enhance your experience, here are 3 easy Champagne cocktails to help you cheers!

Most Popular Champagne Christmas Cocktails

One of the best things about easy Champagne cocktails is just that. They can be whipped up in under 3 minutes. Let’s look at the top 3 easy Champagne cocktails for you to make this Christmas. All delicious and all perfectly attainable from the cosy comfort of your Christmas living room. Cheers to that!

A mimosa is a delicious option for breakfast, (if you’re really celebrating). Simply by adding around 75ml of orange juice to a Champagne flute and topping with 100ml of Champagne, you have got one of the easy Champagne cocktails.

Then, for something more adventurous the Negroni Sbagliato. Sbagliato means ‘mistake’ in Italian, but it’s hard to believe this was unintentional when you drink it. Traditionally made with Prosecco, but other sparkling wine will work. This is one of the easy Champagne cocktails which combines sparkling white wine, sweet vermouth, Campari and soda water. A full recipe is available here. Although I wouldn’t start drinking one of these too early!

While the two outlined above are both tasty options, I think the first three in the list are the perfect choices for Christmas. A perfect balance between simplicity and celebration. These are the easy Champagne cocktails to tuck into this festive season.

How To Make a French 75

Let’s begin with the French 75. This easy Champagne cocktail dates back to World War I, from the iconic Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Harry’s New York Bar is said to be the creator of a number of other iconic cocktails such as the Bloody Mary, (one for Boxing Day), and the Sidecar. Likely drunk by many of the famous faces that have frequented Harry’s at one time or another. This list is long and varied and includes names such as Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Humphrey Bogart, Daft Punk and even the former King Edward VIII.

Harry's New York Bar (Paris) - birthplace of the French 75
Harry’s New York Bar (Paris) – birthplace of the French 75

With the name originating from the French 75mm field gun, you can be sure that this is one of the easy Champagne cocktails that will give you a kick! Now, we need to know how to make it. The ingredients you’ll need to make a French 75 Champagne Cocktail, as well as step by step instructions are available here.

French 75 Champagne Cocktail
French 75 Champagne Cocktail

In this easy Champagne cocktail, the sharp acidity of the lemon juice is balanced well with the dry gin. The alcohol from the gin combines well with the dryness and acidity of the Champagne.

How To Make a Kir Royale

Next is a Kir Royale. This is a variation on ‘Kir’, which is a French cocktail combining creme de cassis and white wine.

Creme de Cassis is a sweet blackcurrant liqueur. You’d expect sweetness from a liqueur which requires 400g of sugar per litre. The distinctive aroma from Creme de Cassis stems from the Cassis buds. These are flower buds from the blackcurrant plant itself. These fragrant extracts can be found in both the world of food and drink, as well as a number of Chanel’s famous perfumes.

The Kir Royale is a cocktail which is perfect for Christmas because it’s so easy to make. To create this easy Champagne Cocktail – simply add a splash of Creme de Cassis to the bottom of your Champagne flute and top with the sparkling wine of your choice. A full recipe and step by step instructions are available here. The sharp, sweetness of the blackcurrant cuts through the acidic Champagne to create something very moorish.

Kir Royale Cocktail
Kir Royale Cocktail

Another excellent thing about the Kir Royale is that you can actually tweak it with any number of delicious liqueurs to create something, which is not a Kir Royale. However, it will likely be very tasty. France’s premier elderflower liqueur ‘St. Germain’ has you covered if you’d like a herbal twist. A recipe for the ‘St-Germain Royale’ is available here.

Then, there is the brandy-based black raspberry liqueur ‘Chambord’. This again will have everything desirable about the traditional Kir Royale, with more of a Black Cherry or Raspberry flavour – if blackcurrant isn’t quite for you. Once more a full recipe is available here.

How To Make a Champagne Cocktail

Finally, the quintessential choice of the easy Champagne Cocktails. The aptly named ‘Champagne Cocktail’. With a history dating back into the 19th century, this tried and tested combination has a number of elements and tastes which are quintessentially Christmas. Namely, brandy and orange. Brandy is something I always associate with Christmas. This digestif is aged in oak barrels and taste can vary greatly from the length of ageing and fruit used in producing it.

To make a Champagne Cocktail you will need sugar cubes, Brandy, Angostura Bitters and Champagne with orange peel to garnish. Full instructions for how to make it are available here.

Champagne Cocktail
A Champagne Cocktail

When you combine the dry and acidic Champagne, with the sugar and Brandy, you achieve a well balanced fruitiness. With the Angostura Bitters providing the perfect vessel to bring out the flavours already present.

Champagne Cocktail Glasses: Difference between a Champagne Flute and Saucer

Now, you’ve got all the necessary recipes and know how to make the perfect easy Champagne cocktail for Christmas. Let’s look into the accompanying glassware and the differences between a Champagne flute and saucer.

The flute is the ubiquitous accompaniment to all sparkling wine today. The tall and slender glass is hard to spill, (a big plus). In terms of its effect on the drink itself – the flutes often retain a better mousse. Mousse in this context being the bubbles on top of your glass. Although good sparkling wine, like Champagne, will retain its mousse for quite some time anyway.

If you are one for all things Art Deco and Gatsby-esque. Perhaps you would like your cocktail glasses to be, ‘boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past’. The coupe is the way forward here. Famously, reported to be modelled on Marie Antoinette’s breast, further proving that it is hard to separate sparkling wine and French aristocracy.

Gatsby enjoying an easy Champagne cocktail
Gatsby enjoying one of our easy Champagne cocktails

The coupe may seem slightly more unstable and impractical. Yet their shape does serve a purpose. The wider bowl allows greater room for the aromas to escape and leads to a different taste and experience in general. Although, it’s likely to retain a mousse for a shorter period of time.

For a longer look into one of the top glassware producers and how they can affect your taste experience, read our overview of the ‘Riedel Wine Glass Company’. Riedel make excellent crystal cocktail glasses which are perfect for all your celebratory occasions. If Champagne is a little pricey then you substitute it for Crémant which is half the price.

Hopefully, all of the above has left you feeling inspired to whip up something simple yet spectacular. These easy Champagne cocktails are crowd pleasers leaving your guests inspired and talking about your cocktail skills for years to come. They’re a great treat on Christmas day because they’re just so simple. So, certainly a great way to elevate your drinks without taking away from you relaxing and enjoying the day as it was intended. Start mixing some easy Champagne cocktails today!

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