Pass the fizz:

 

Timeless champagne cocktails for weddings, engagements... and just because

oldvicocktail

“I only drink champagne on two occasions; when I am in love and when I am not,”

Coco Chanel, we salute you.

Synonymous with love and life-changing moments, there’s little wrong with a straight-up flute of fizz to lend sparkle at any time.

But for an alternative feel, remember mixologists have been creating champagne cocktails for more than 150 years. This is our homage to the classic recipes to bring an elegant twist to your romantic celebration.

Which one is perfect for yours?

The Bellini

One of Italy’s finest exports, hailing from mid-century Venice, the Bellini has become an intrinsic part of celebrations across the globe. With peaches, prosecco and a touch of Venetian style, this long drink embodies beauty and glamour. We like this version by Nigel Slater in the Guardian.

Its roots can be traced back to the 1940s, when the cocktail is said to have been invented by Giuseppe Cipriani at Harry’s Bar – a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles.

A saint’s toga depicted in a masterpiece by 15th century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini mirrored the drink’s soft pink colour, prompting Cipriani to use the artist’s name for his new drink.

Bellini

Best for: Summer garden celebrations.

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Elevate with: John Rocha signature champagne flutes – tall and slender, these modern pieces of stemware will give your cocktails an extra dash of charm.

The Kir Royale

The darling of France’s aperitif dynasty combines champagne and crème de cassis to create a fruity flavour and sunset hue.

The Kir Royale is a reimagination of original cocktail ‘The Kir’, popularised by Felix Kir, war hero and mayor of Dijon. Keen to support his local community in the aftermath of the second world war, Kir plied visiting dignitaries with what was then known as a blanc cassis, a combination of local white wine Bourgogne Aligoté and crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur.

The cocktail was elevated to dizzy new heights after the drink’s popularity spiralled across the country, soon reaching France’s upper class. In turn, they substituted champagne for the wine, creating spritzy sister, the Kir Royale.

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Best for: Think pink for engagements.

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Elevate with: The Occasions Happy Celebrations flutes, featuring delicately engraved patterns inspired by the bubbles of sparkling champagne.

The French 75

For a sophisticated, elegant and wickedly intoxicating beverage, sample the iconic French 75 seen here in The Independent; a blend of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar.

The drink can be traced back to the 18th century, although legend has it named by Harry MacElhone, around 1925, in his Paris-based Harry’s American Bar. Apparently, MacElhone christened the concoction in tribute to the 75mm Howitzer field gun, which had gained a reputation for speed and accuracy during the first world war.

Dubbed ‘the most powerful drink in the world’ by novelist Alec Waugh, the appellation was derived from the drink’s brute strength, said to a deliver as potent a kick as the ruthless field gun.

french 75

Best for: Sophisticated evening celebrations.

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Elevate with: Elevate the countdown with the Mixology champagne coupe set.

Classic Champagne Cocktail

A simple, quintessential blend, the classic champagne cocktail has been enjoyed for decades, laced with bitters to add plenty of depth and flavour.

It’s a perfect marriage of champagne, bitters and a sugar cube – furiously fizzing away in your glass.

One of the first cocktails to be created using champagne, the blend initially appeared in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bon Vivant’s Companion.

The original recipe can still be found in countless bars across the globe, with many connoisseurs fine-tuning the brew to include cognac to amplify the cocktail’s flavour.

oldvicocktail

Best for: Grown up toasts.

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Elevate with: Statement stemware such as Lismore Essence champagne coupes.

Buck’s Fizz

Effortless to create, but nevertheless a crowd-pleaser, Buck’s Fizz is blended with two parts champagne, one part fruit juice – traditionally orange.

One school of thought gives this blend the name ‘the Mimosa’ and says it was created in 1925 at the famously glitzy Ritz Hotel Paris – but its invention is clouded by controversy.

A counter-claim argues the blend was invented first in 1921 at London’s the Buck’s Club, where it had been named the Buck’s Fizz. The suspicion is that an audacious French bartender stole the idea, re-christened it ‘the Mimosa’ and staked claim to its invention.

Bucks Fizz

Best for: Your wedding breakfast.

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Elevate with: Raise a toast with the Wedding Heirloom champagne flute collection.

His and Hers

Alternatively, how about his and hers cocktails? Bartender of the year Ali Reynolds from Hawksmoor mixed us up a pair of romantic drinks – get the recipe here.

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