3 Champagne Recipes You Can Try At Home

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Here, three champagne bottles for every budget—and every possible food pairing. Here, Frank Caiafa, author of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, reveals his top picks.


Champagne Cocktail
“One of the “big bang” cocktails, this indulgent sipper has lasted for a reason. It’s a splurge—an exercise in decadence and a fine treat. I would stop short of including vintage Champagne and if a nonvintage remains out of the question (especially if you’re in a group setting), a refined, dry Spanish cava will do the trick. If you use the recently rereleased Abbott’s bitters in the Angostura slot and an orange twist, you have the Monopole, a favorite of Oscar Tschirky. I would also recommend trying the classic Death in the Afternoon, created by Ernest Hemingway, which is simply 1½ oz. absinthe (preferably from the freezer) and 4 oz. of Champagne. If you must, you may stray from Mr. Hemingway’s recipe by reducing the absinthe by a half an ounce, especially if planning on having more than one. A personal favorite.”


1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
5 oz
Laurent-Perrier brut Champagne nonvintage (Tours-sur-Marne)
Lemon peel


1. Place sugar cube on small plate and douse with bitters.
2. Place into champagne flute, then top with Champagne.
3.Twist lemon peel to release oils, then discard.

Entourage Brut Chocolate Ganache
From Jackson Triggs Winery chef Tim MacKiddie


1 cup
35% cream
1 vanilla bean, seeds
scraped (optional)
1 cup dark chocolate,
finely chopped
⅓ cup Entourage Brut


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, vanilla seeds and scraped vanilla pod (if using) to a simmer.
2. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.
3. Continue to stir until chocolate has completely incorporated into cream mixture. Add the Brut and stir through.
4. Pour into plastic wrapped-lined terrine or loaf pan and refrigerate until firm. Once set, rewrap tightly.
5. To serve, remove from terrine or loaf pan, unwrap and slice with a hot knife. Alternately, you could use a melon ball scoop to form chocolate truffles. You can also warm the ganache and serve it as chocolate sauce.

Italian Gingerbread Man
“Mixologist tip: If you’re concerned about overindulging on the alcohol front, this cocktail is a good choice as this Prosecco’s alcohol content is only 11 per cent, and mixing it equally with a non-alcoholic drink such as ginger ale cuts the potency in half. You can still enjoy and even have a second glass, without overdoing it.”


Equal parts:
Chilled Ruffino Prosecco
Chilled ginger ale
Cinnamon, to sprinkle


1. Combine Ruffino Prosecco and ginger ale.
2. Pour mixture into chilled festive glass.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir.

Excerpted from The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by Frank Caiafa. Copyright © 2016 by AB Stable LLC DBA Waldorf Astoria New York. Published by Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Limited. All rights reserved.

A version of this article appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 issue with the headline, ‘3 Recipes To Try”, p. 68-70.