Welcome the newest soon to be abandoned Blackened Out Series: A Quick Drink. A Quick Drink will be a brief glance at a cocktail, bottle of wine, or pint of beer. No pretentious tasting notes, immersion circulator fueled infusions , or overly flowery descriptions of hops that sound like descriptions of potent marijuana. Just booze, served up neatly.
The three biggest improvements in American dining in the last ten years have involved roast chicken, hamburgers, and cocktails. Cocktails, perhaps more than anything, have benefited from increased attention to sourcing and improved techniques from bartenders. A well-curated list of house made cocktails employing elderberry shrub and house made nocello is so standard it must be given out with a liquor license. All of that is well and fine but sometimes you need to pour drinks in a hurry and you aren't going to shrub your own elderberry. Scoff not wine nerds, cocktail connoisseurs are just following in your well-trodden foot steps. Beer geeks, you aren't far behind to the path to ubiquity and a touch of over saturation.
The Champagne Cocktail is a fantastic flourish and can be prepared with stuff you probably have around the house. I've taken a couple liberties with this drink. First, don't use Champagne. If you are buying real deal Champagne, don't use it in a cocktail unless you want to be painted as a ne'er-do-well or worse, a charlatan. A fifteen dollar Cava Brut, St. Hillaire, prosecco, or Californian sparkling will do.
Second, ditch the champagne flute. I know it is pretty and traditional, but you don't get enough juice to balance out the sweetness of the sugar cube. And while you can probably get five ounces in a champagne flute, it will more than likely spill out of the glass. Use a large wine glass instead. Thirdly, ditch the traditional lemon twist. Use a orange bitters in its place, which delivers the citrus punch without the fussiness and sadomasochism of twisting and bending a lemon peel.
1 sugar cube, I like the brown demerara kind
2 dashes of Peychaud's Bitters
2 dashes of orange bitters
5 oz sparkling wine
Place sugar cube in bottom of wine glass, add bitters. Pour sparkling wine in glass. Serve immediately; the sugar will continue to dissolve as you sip the sunset hued elixir.