Just Good Food

by John Ryan


Champagne Cocktails


These rose-colored cocktails are beautiful, delicious, and you don't need to shell out a fortune for a great champagne. In fact, if you have a delicious champagne or sparkling wine, enjoy it as is. For cocktails, I prefer an inexpensive domestic or Spanish sparkler, brut or extra dry.


Sugar cubes—1 per cocktail
Angostura bitters
Sparkling wine, ice cold
1 lemon twist per cocktail


1) Drop a sugar cube in each glass, then shake two or three dashes of bitters over the sugar cube. You want the cube to soak it up.

2) Gently pour the sparkling wine in the glass. Because of the bitters the wine will foam much more than usual. Just go slow.

3) Twist the lemon peel, rub it around the rim of the glass, then drop it into the champagne.

4) When it's time to make the next cocktail, it's not necessary to use new sugar cubes. Simply fill each glass with champagne and shake a dash or two of bitters into it.


Lemon Twists

Unlike zest, lemon twists are made from the entire peel—the yellow skin and the pithy white part underneath. A regulation twist is a little over an inch long and a quarter inch wide. One way to make twists is to peel half a lemon with your thumb, like you would an orange, then cut several twists from the peel. (The other way is easy when you see it, but hard to describe. Next time you're at a bar and it's slow, you might be able to get the bartender to show you.)


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John Ryan

Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.

This page created February 1999