Best Champagne Drinks From Pittsburgh Mixologists

February 27, 2013 6:00 AM

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

In the midst of winter weather, it is time to add some sparkle to your next social gathering. Champagne cocktails are light, refreshing and will feel like a little bit of spring in a glass. Here are some classic and new recipes you may not have tried from some local experts.

Legume Bistro/The Butter Joint
214 N. Craig St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 621-2700

Will Groves, bar manager at Legume Bistro’s Butterjoint, offers some recipes for not-so-typical cocktails which use champagne or sparkling wine. If you are looking for something different to offer guests at your next party, why not try one of these?

This champagne cocktail combines bright citrus flavors and the sweetness of sugar to the sparkling qualities of champagne or sparking wine.


  • 1 white sugar cube
  • 6-7 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 6 ounces sparkling white wine
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Add the sugar cube to the bottom of a champagne flute. Dash bitters onto the cube. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.

The Seelbach combines orange citrus flavors and heavier burbon with the light effervesce of sparkling wine. The result is a great balance of sweet, sparkly, crisp and deep flavors.


  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur, such as Combier or Cointreau
  • 7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 7 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Sparkling white wine, to top
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Add bourbon, orange liqueur and bitters to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 10-13 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or champagne flute. Top with 2-3 ounces sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.

The French 75 combines dry gin and fresh lemon flavors to sparkling wine for an herbal and crisp effect.


  • 1 ounce London dry gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces sparkling white wine
  • Lemon twist for garnish

Add gin, lemon and syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake for 7-10 seconds. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.

About Will Groves

Will Groves was raised in Lewisburg, WV. He has been bar manager at Kaya, the general manager of Root 174 and is currently the bar manager of Legume Bistro’s Butterjoint. His primary interests are beer, whiskey and coffee. His big passion is mountain biking, but he also loves to swim and has ran marathons.

Related: Best Places to Get A Hot Toddy In Pittsburgh

Palate Partners/Dreadnought Wines
2013 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 391-1709

If you are looking to make some champagne cocktails, don’t forget about the classics. The Kir Royale and the mimosa never go out of style according to Deb Mortillaro, partner at Dreadnought Wines in the Strip District. It is important to use a high-quality champagne or sparkling wine suited to each cocktail to really make your cocktail pop.

The Kir Royale adds flavors of tart raspberry to sparkling wine. Using some fresh raspberries in addition to the Chambord will really add a special quality to the cocktail. Deb recommends Cuvee Stephi Cremant de Limoux Ebullience for the Kir Royale.


  • 1 teaspoon Chambord
  • Few fresh raspberries
  • 4 ounces champagne or sparkling wine

Pour the Chambord in the bottom of a champagne flute and add a few fresh raspberries. Add chilled champagne to fill the rest of the flute. Be sure to serve it right away because this cocktail is best when cold.

The mimosa is a classic cocktail to enjoy for a brunch or lunch gathering. If you want to add a little fun to your daytime gathering, this simple cocktail is always a hit and very easy to make. Mix up a pitcher in advance and you are good to go for the duration of your gathering. For a mimosa, Deb recommends Kiara sparkling wine.


  • 1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 carton of orange juice, chilled

Fill a pitcher half way with orange juice. Just before you are ready to serve, fill the rest of the pitcher with sparkling wine and stir. Pour into champagne flutes. If you like, you can add a dash of Triple Sec to each glass for some extra flare.

About Deb Mortillaro

Born in Rochester, NY, Deb took on the world of professional chef when the ratio of men to women at the Culinary Institute of America was 20:1. In 1995, Deb partnered with Mike Gonze, the owner of Dreadnought Wines, to open Palate Partners. With their combined passion and knowledge of wine and food, they spend time educating people on how to happily wine and dine with ease and comfort.

Related: Best Sommeliers In Pittsburgh

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at

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