© Carey Jones
Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy
Updated December 29, 2014

Lots of sparkling wine cocktails just use bubbles for lift and sparkle, but the best drinks should really highlight the Champagne itself. If you're going to use such a classy wine, you might as well show it off!

The trick is to find a bottle that's special enough for a celebration but not so pricey that you feel crazy turning it into a cocktail. We recommend Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve, a classic and balanced Champagne that drinks beautifully on its own but, clocking in at around $25 to $30 a bottle, is a great cocktail candidate.  

Easy: Champagne Cocktail

When a Champagne cocktail is named the Champagne Cocktail, that should tell you it’s a classic. And because all you have to add are sugar and bitters, it's about as simple as a cocktail can get. We love how it highlights the nuanced spices of Angostura without the bitters dominating the Champagne itself.

Instructions: Take a sugar cube and douse with Angostura bitters until saturated. Add to the bottom of a flute and top with 6 ounces of Champagne.

Intermediate: Atlantic City

What's classier than Champagne? Scotch and Champagne. This cocktail pairs the sparkling wine's toasty, bready qualities with the almost chocolate-y undertones of blended Scotch like Cutty Sark Prohibition. A little honey pulls it all together.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, stir together 1 1/2 ounces of blended Scotch (for this one, we really think Cutty Sark Prohibition is the way to go), a 1/2 ounce of honey syrup (equal parts honey cut with hot water) and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Strain into a coupe and top with 2 ounces of Champagne. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Advanced: 75 Redux

If you know the French 75, it's probably as a gin-lemon cocktail with a sparkling wine float. But in this version, we’re going with Cognac and a real dose of Champagne rather than just a float.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of Cognac, a 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice and a 1/2 ounce of simple syrup (equal parts sugar dissolved in hot water). Shake all that up and strain into a flute. Top with 4 ounces of Champagne. Garnish with a long, skinny lemon peel.

Related: 8 Bubbly Cocktails Guaranteed to Make Your Guests Happy Drunk 
5 Cocktail Mixing Tricks from a Pro 
Sometimes Less is More: 5 Indispensible Lower-Proof Cocktails

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