I quite like champagne. Growing up we only had champagne a few times, and my mom was very particular about what was acceptable champagne. The real stuff—not Prosecco or Crémant. And Brut. She was big on dry champagne. Anyway, I have to say that getting a bubbly cocktail sounds fun, and while I know it is popular to use champagne for bubbles, it always struck me as a job for cheap, sweet champagne. The stuff you wouldn't drink right out. For this cocktail I was pretty limited with which I could use because I wanted only a split (half bottle) instead of a regular bottle, because I can only drink so much in one night and take coherent notes. I picked up some Brugnon Brut, which is a fine, if not splendid (and outrageously expensive), champagne. Oh, and yeah, I don't have champagne flutes, so I used a wine glass. If this really bothers you for some reason, I'm totally open to receiving gifts.
1 sugar cube
a little apricot brandy
a little cognac
Cafe Royal and Savoy omit the apricot brandy, make the cognac optional, and add an orange slice and lemon twist.
I'd say that overall this is a fine drink. It's a nice twist on champagne, and the bitters and slight sweetness don't overpower it., and add a little complexity. I don't feel strongly about the addition or lack of apricot brandy. It serves to sweeten the drink a little more, and in that regard I'm not surprised that Lommebogen had things a little sweeter than Cafe Royal and Savoy. That said, I think I'd prefer to just drink the champagne straight. I think the only champagne drink I really enjoy is a French 77 (not the 75), which uses Elderflower liqueur, and I think that is only because I have a definite weak spot for St. Germain.
This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender's notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen. You can read more about this project in my initial post, or browse all Lommebogen posts.