Champagne Cocktail

Perhaps not a truly great drink, but elegant through and through. Born in pre–Civil War America, the Champagne Cocktail was for whatever reason something of a late bloomer. I suspect its wattage was too low to appeal strongly to the professional tipplers of the Gilded Age. In any case, it really hit its stride in the 1920s, at the Ritz Bar in Paris, where the crack corps of bardogs shot them out at the assembled press of Hollywood luminaries, Wall Street sharks, and other Prohibition-dodgers like so many machine-gun bullets.

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Chilled brut champagne
To finish: lemon peel

Put the sugar in a champagne flute and hit it with the bitters. Fill with champagne and twist lemon peel over the top.

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