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
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!!