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Tips for using champagne in cocktails
There are plenty of reasons to enjoy champagne cocktails. They're light and refreshing, lower in alcohol than cocktails made with hard liquor, and of course, champagne seems to add a festive touch to any occasion. At the same time, champagne's mystique makes many people nervous about choosing and using champagne in cocktails. There's no need to worry, just keep these tips in mind.
Champagne cocktails don't have to be budget busters. There's no need to buy the most expensive champagne, just don't skimp with the cheapest. Good cocktails require good ingredients. Champagne cocktails don't even have to mean champagne! When it comes to making cocktails, it's simply about the bubbly. It's fine to substitute other sparkling wines if you prefer – and other varieties sometimes come with a smaller price tag.
Should you use sweet champagne or dry (brut)? For the most part, it's purely a matter of personal preference, but remember, combining a sweet champagne with a sweet mixer may be too much of a good thing. A dry champagne may be a better choice to avoid a sticky sweet drink.
Champagne and ice are not a good combination, but warm champagne makes for an unpleasant cocktail. For the best results, chill the ingredients ahead of time. Chilling the glasses will also help keep the cocktails cold, but don't put the glasses in the freezer – the frozen condensation won't improve the cocktail.
Unless the recipe specifically calls for it, don't add the champagne to other ingredients in a shaker. Shaking will destroy the bubbles, and what's champagne without bubbles? Add the chilled champagne to the other ingredients in the glass, and stir very lightly, if at all.
Who knew that champagne could be so easy?