Soyer au Champagne

There are so many bubbly drinks bouncing around the blogoverse right now that it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. (Or maybe just an adult in a booze store.) As I pondered which champagne cocktail I’d like to have a go at for this post, this drink in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails caught my eye. What makes this cocktail unique is the fact that it’s a dessert drink. Now, before you go shouting “blasphemy!,” let me assure you that this isn’t some cake batter or raspberry cheesecake martini. The Soyer au Champagne (translation: “Silk with Champagne”) is a classic cocktail dating back to the late 1800s. Haigh’s description of it “really hit[ting] a sophisticated harmonic that sweet, after dinner dessert beverages rarely aspire to” piqued my interest. Add to that the fact that I’d have a rare opportunity to bust out my vintage dessert glasses and there’d be pretty, foamy white bubbles involved — I was sold.

The agreed-upon ingredients for this drink today appear to be maraschino liqueur, orange liqueur, brandy, champagne, and vanilla ice cream. There are a few recipes out there that call for fruit garnishes (from the modest cherry and orange slice to a veritable fruit plate [which Marleigh notes might feel like a bit much]). Considering everything else that’s going on with this cocktail (spoons, straws, ice cream, etc.), the garnishes do seem to be rather unnecessary. Many recipes (including this one), opt for pineapple juice instead. Don’t let that limit you though, since part of the fun of an old cocktail with varying recipes is picking and choosing the ingredients that suit your tastes. Feel free to swap out the pineapple juice for whole fruit garnishes, or keep the recipe as is and add in a couple things as you see fit. (A brandied cherry or ten two never hurt anyone.)

While this isn’t a cocktail you’d plan on serving more than one of to your guests in an evening, it’s a fun way to end a meal (and perhaps segue into more libations). It’s bubbly, a little boozy, very tasty, and — in general — a lovely little drink.

And for more awesome champagne cocktails to enjoy on New Year’s Eve, check out the following:

The Airmail. (rum + lime juice + honey syrup + champagne = SO GOOD)

The French 75. This is, hands down, my favorite champagne cocktail. It might be the fact that its name has badass origins. It might be the gin. No matter how you slice it, it’s one hell of a drink. (I also really like that Tracy uses sugar cubes here, as it looks cool and I tend to like my F75s less sweet. [It’s a time-release sweetness, though. So if it takes you a while to finish the drink, you might find it a bit cloying by the end. If you go with cubes, drink it briskly and the marvel at the level of inebriation you’ve achieved with just one drink.] If you don’t have cubes, you can use simple syrup or just add some superfine sugar to your shaker with the gin and lemon juice.)

The Champagne Cocktail. I love this drink for its visual appeal and simplicity. Sugar cube. Bitters. Champagne. Done.

The Stratosphere. Champagne and Crème Yvette (and a pretty awesome name).

The Brooklyn Beauty. Similar to a French 75, but with the addition of St. Germain (and its tasty floral notes) and the subtraction of simple syrup.

Fish House Punch. I really like the idea of this drink. First and foremost, it has some pretty cool history. Second, it’s something you can make up a big batch of beforehand, and then just serve in a punch bowl with champagne, or dish out individually and top with champagne.

Soyer au Champagne

makes: 1 drink

  • 2 dashes (or 1/4 tsp) maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes (or 1/4 tsp) pineapple juice
  • 2 dashes (or 1/4 tsp) orange curaçao or Grand Marnier
  • 2 dashes (or 1/4 tsp) brandy
  • 1 tbsp vanilla ice cream
  • champagne

Place vanilla ice cream at the bottom of a parfait or coupe glass.

Combine maraschino liqueur, pineapple juice, orange liqueur, and brandy in a shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into the glass over top of the ice cream.

Top with champagne. Serve with a spoon and a straw.

Happy New Year!!


  1. says

    Oh my God. You have the straws. You have the straws. Those straws are beautiful. I can’t get them in the UK so I have literally been considering just buying plain straws and drawing on the birch bark effect with a pen hahaha :)

    Happy New Years Carey! x

    • says

      Gah, damn that Atlantic ocean! When I was getting all my styling props set up, there was a brief moment where I wondered, “do these straws actually go with all this other stuff?” But then I realized I didn’t care — I’ve been waiting for any opportunity to use them!

      Happy New Year, Izy! :)

  2. says

    I have never heard of this champagne cocktail–and we drink kind of a lot of champagne in one form or another, so it’s a really nice surprise! Who doesn’t want a champagne float for new year’s eve dessert? :)

  3. teresa says

    Just wondering about the book you got the recipe from. The author says ‘soyer’ translates to ‘silk’ in French? Or is it another language? In my understanding ‘soie’ translates to silk in French. Perhaps since it is a vintage cocktail the word ‘soyer’ for silk is old or no longer used? The present subjunctive tense of the verb être (to be) is ‘soyez’ (be). I am a curious cat, wondering where the translation came from!

    Love your blog as always, Happy New Year!

    • says

      I was also really curious about that. My French is super rusty (to the point of being laughable), so I like to triple check phrases to understand their origins and translations. This one, however, proved difficult to figure out. I couldn’t find any French-English translations after a little bit of online searching. What I did find was this definition, though. I can glean from this that it is somehow related to the production of silk (and then there’s the last definition that seems to perhaps relate directly to the drink itself). The Google translation of the definitions is only marginally helpful. But given all that, it does seem to be related to silk, and perhaps also a word that’s no longer commonly used in the French language (considering what a tough time I had finding a translation). I’m thinking “Silk with Champagne” might not be the most literal translation, but perhaps the closest, simplest one.

      (I’m so glad you asked about this, because the phrase research led me down a curious path, but I didn’t want to work all the crazy details into the post for fear of putting most people to sleep.) Happy New Year, Teresa! :)

  4. says

    Ahh, I really wish I could drink that I’m too young :/

    But, your drinks look & sound delicious :) I also love the mood in the photos, the way you set it up looks so lovely.

  5. says

    Oh my gosh, so many wonderful things in one little glass. Boozy, sweet, creamy, sparkly–so fun. “silk with champagne” is too dreamy to pass on.

    The French 75 is one of my favorites of all time too. We were gifted some Hendrick’s over the holidays and this is a good reminder that I need to get on some F75s stat. Love these photos and your beautiful parfait glasses too. Happy new year!

    • says

      Oh yes, you’ve got to love a friend that gives delicious gin as a present. (Also, I’m not sure how far out of Vermont or across the Canadian border this has made it, but if you ever happen upon Bar Hill Gin by Caledonia Spirits, I highly recommend picking up a bottle. It’s dangerously delicious [and their vodka is too].)

      Happy New Year, Laura!

  6. says

    I love everything about this post. The recipe sounds delicious and the photos are just beautiful! (I am also obsessed with those straws. SO CUTE.) Those vintage glasses are stunning as well. I really want to give this a try the next time I have something to celebrate, it just looks so elegant and festive.

    • says

      Thank you, Eva! Things like this make me wish I lived in a big house where I could hold dinner parties and bust out fancy glasses and crazy drinks, and then people could actually enjoy them at a real table, not awkwardly crammed onto a saggy couch and a random assortment of chairs around my living room. :) Some day!

      Happy New Year!

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