Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Champagne Cocktails: Elysee Palace and Lord Baltimore's Cup


Special occasions call for impressive champagne cocktails. A good champagne cocktail is balanced, not overly sweet or spicy; it should be elegant, colorful, effervescent and most of all, strong. Both of these cocktail achieve this in very different ways. The quintessentially French Elysee Palace is a blushing, bubbling flute glass with rich berry flavors and cognac. Lord Baltamore, the English governor of the Maryland colony, is a chunky chalice full of manly rye and bitters. 

The nice thing about offering a champagne cocktail during a party is that it makes use of the dry sparkling wine that is already open and being passed around. The rest of the recipes are not complicated and really only amount to sprinkling in a few ingredients to alter the champagne. 

Here are the recipes to these two cocktails. As usual, feel free to make substitutions when it comes to syrups, liqueurs and sparkling wine as needed to pull them off.

For instance, I used sparkling wine that is as dry as Champagne--Californian, not Italian, which runs the risk of being too sweet. I made my own raspberry syrup out of brandy, sugar, and fresh raspberries rather than buy a bottle of Chambord. And because I don't have framboise, (which does have a little fizz of its own) I fell back on strawberry-infused rum, hoping that the sparkling wine would take up the slack of the bubbles. 

        Elysee Palace

  • 1 oz. cognac (Martel single distillery used)
  • 1/2 oz. raspberry liqueur (homemade raspberry brandy used)
  • 1/2 tsp. framboise (homemade strawberry liqueur used)
  • brut champagne  

Combine cognac and raspberry liqueur in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a champagne flute and top with brut champagne.

         Lord Baltimore's Cup

  • 1/2 oz. sugar syrup to taste  
  • 1 oz. rye (Rittenhouse)
  • brut champagne
  • several dashes Angostura bitters
  • several dashes Pernod (Ricard used)

Combine rye, sugar and bitters in a wine goblet. Add ice cubes (I prefer cracked ice for drinks with floats) and stir. Float Pernod (or pastis like Ricard) on top.

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