To start the year off right I have a pre-prohibition cocktail to add to your recreational rolodex. The intriguing combination of champagne, bourbon and bitters brought me to this drink, but the smart flavor is what will keep you coming back.
The legendary Seelbach Hotel of the same name, host to presidents, gangsters, writers, and ne’er-do-wells, is the birthplace of this fine pick-me-up. According to legend the drink was accidently discovered in 1917 when a bartender topped a manhattan from an overflowing champagne bottle. The drink gained instant popularity but was lost during prohibition when the hotel stopped serving booze. Fortunatley for us, the recipe was rediscovered in1995 and put back into circulation.
To make the Seelbach cocktail, start one ounce of bourbon in a mixing glass. To hold to tradition make sure it is a strong Kentucky bourbon, Woodford Reserve is a good choice. Add one half ounce Cointreau, seven dashes angostura bitters, and seven dashes peychaud bitters. Stir with ice until chilled and pour into a chilled champagne flute, top with a dry champagne of your choice, and garnish with an orange twist. Imagine yourself sitting at the bar with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Woodrow Wilson, and Al Capone sharing a cigar, a fine drink, and a healthy amount of bullshit.
1 oz bourbon
½ oz cointreau
7 dashes angostura bitters
7 dashes peychaud’s bitters
Combine the bourbon, cointreau, and bitters in a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled champagne flute, fill with champagne and garnish with an orange twist.