Who needs a cocktail?
Oh you do? Well if you like Bourbon and Champagne then do I have the cocktail for you…
The Seelbach a seductive bitter bubbly cocktail, reminiscent of a bygone era sparkling with forbidden glamour. Think the roaring 20s, flappers and jazz darling.
First mixed by accident around 1917 when Champagne was serendipitously poured into a Manhattan. Thanks to that happy accident the Seelbach was created and became the namesake cocktail of the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Legend has it that F. Scott Fitzgerald hung out at the hotel bar while writing The Great Gatsby (if you recall Daisy Buchanan was from Louisville). Oh and that dashing Gatsby character? He is rumoured to have been inspired by a gangster Fitzgerald met at the Seelbach Hotel—of course while enjoying their signature elixir.
That story may just be too good to be true!
What is known, as fact, was that during prohibition the recipe for the signature cocktail was lost. In 1995 the manager at the Seelbach Hotel discovered the recipe and with that the Seelbach cocktail was given a resurgence. Originally the hotel management were going to keep the recipe a secret, but thankfully they changed their mind.
Pleasantly easy to make, the Seelbach is an ideal cocktail for a party or to glitz up a Friday night at home. Cocktails are always best when made with quality ingredients, but I generally don’t go over board. So leave the small batch Bourbon and Champagne in the cupboard for another night, Cava (Conde de Carait Brut is my pick) and Kentucky’s Maker’s Mark are good quality and reasonable priced – perfect for mixing this cocktail. Besides it is really the bitters that make this cocktail sparkle.
You can serve in a flute or a coupe glass. Personally I’m a fan of the coupe glass. And I can not image Daisy Buchanan drinking out of a flute!
Hope you enjoy my favorite cocktail as much as I do!
- 1 ounce Bourbon
- ½ ounce Cointreau
- 7 dashes Angostura bitters
- 7 dashes Peychaud's bitters
- 5 ounces sparkling wine
- orange twist for garnish
- Mix the Bourbon, Cointreau and bitters. Pour into a chilled flute or coupe glass.
- Gently pour in the sparkling wine.
- Add a orange twist for garnish, and serve.