grapefruit mimosa cocktail

Leftover Bubbly from NYE = Champagne Cocktails

Trader Joe's "champagne"

In victory you deserve champagne. In defeat, you need it.

Lore goes that these are the famous words of Napoleon Bonaparte, and apparently that little guy loved him some champers. The act of ceremonially sabering a champagne bottle is said to have begun in the Napoleonic era, during which soldiers celebrating a victory on the battlefield would use the dull side of their blades to remove the collar and cork of a bottle.

A couple of my (badass) recently married friends asked for a champagne sword on their wedding registry, so the guests at our New Year’s Eve party had the pleasure of seeing this age-old tradition in the flesh. Have you ever seen someone open a bottle of champagne with a champagne sword? The cork comes flying off, along with the lip of the bottle and a shit ton of bubbles. It’s pretty cool and exciting and festive (until someone slices their finger on the top—watch out for that part.)

But let’s get back to the booze. This season got me wondering: does anyone actually spring for real champagne these days? Marc picked us up a couple bottles of Trader Joe’s Blason de Bourgogne Crémant de Bourgogne, which the website describes as a sparkling wine that’s made using “exactly the same methods employed in the making of Champagne.” Full disclosure: I don’t drink a ton of champagne, or sparkling wine for that matter, so my judgment is based purely on taste. The stuff from TJ’s isn’t too sickly sweet and has a nice, subtle fruity flavor. Somehow we still had a bottle leftover after New Year’s Eve, so I thought it might be fun to whip up a couple champagne Crémant de Bourgogne–based cocktails. Enjoy!

grapefruit mimosa cocktail

Fancy Grapefruit Mimosa

  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz. Lillet blanc
  • Grapefruit bitters (optional)
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

grapefruit mimosa

In a shaker filled with ice, mix the grapefruit juice, orange juice, Lillet, and a dash of grapefruit bitters. Stir until chilled, and pour into a flute. Top with champagne or sparkling wine.

French 75 cocktail

French 75

  • 1 1/2 oz. Ransom Old Tom gin*
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

French 75

In an ice-filled shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake until chilled and strain into the stemware of your choice. (I really need to buy a coupe!) Top with champagne or sparkling wine.

* You can make this with standard dry gin as well, but a friend of mine mixed these up with Ransom Old Tom gin before and they were delicious.

What’s your favorite champagne cocktail?