Serious Eats: Recipes

Drink the Book: Champagne Cup

[Photograph: Marleigh Riggins Miller ]

There isn't a drink that connotes celebration as clearly as Champagne. The word itself is universally synonymous with elegance, glitter, and festive exuberance. And though it's delicious on its own, sparkling wine's crisp, refreshing nature marries beautifully with a huge array of flavors. Vintage cocktail books are rife with recipes for champagne cocktails and punches that bring together liquor and fresh fruit to create easy, lovely bowls of bubbly dressed up for company.

The Champagne Cup is one of six champagne punches featured in Esquire's Handbook for Hosts. The book notes that a "bowl of cheer is a natural hub of a party...you'll be surprised at the converts you win with some of these mixtures—particularly if you ladle them into stemmed Delmonico glasses or outright tumblers rather than those cute-handled cuppies known as knuckle-traps."

Combining the fresh tang of pineapple, cucumber, orange and cherry with the rich flavors of cognac and Benedictine, the Champagne Cup underscores the wine without overwhelming it. The only advance preparation required is freezing a large piece of ice. And for those of you who don't have punch bowls lying around, never fear: this punch is served by the pitcher. True Champagne is not required; a good American sparkler or Spanish Cava works just fine.

About the author: Marleigh Riggins Miller writes and photographs for SLOSHED!, a website about cocktails, spirits, home bartending, and entertaining.

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