No New Years celebration would be complete without flute glasses full of Champagne raised in the air at midnight. The quintessential New Years Eve beverage, even Julius Caesar was said to include bubbly white wine with his midnight toast, making it a tradition dating back thousands of years.
For a Champagne with more pizzaz, try making a Pink Champagne Cocktail. Just soak a sugar cube with a few droppers of ruby red Bermuda Bitters and drop it into a glass of sparkling wine to watch the magic unfold as it transforms into a tropical pink fountain of bubbles.
As your guests enjoy the tropical notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and banana from the Bermuda Bitters dancing with the fruity notes of Champagne, they'll gush over the Pink Champagne Cocktail's enchanting pink hue, making it an even more memorable New Years celebration.
What is a Champagne Cocktail?
No one really knows when the Champagne Cocktail was first invented but the first reference to it was made in Jerry Thomas's Bon Vivant's Companion in 1862. The recipe called for just three ingredients: Champagne, a sugar cube, and bitters.
At the time, the term “cocktail” meant any drink made with spirit, bitters, and sugar. For the Pink Champagne Cocktail, the “spirit” is Champagne and the pink comes from the deep red color of the Bermuda Bitters.
Bermuda Bitters also adds layers of flavor that compliment the notes of the Champagne. The sweet banana fills in the dryness of the bubbly, while the spice aromatics of cinnamon balance notes of bright citrus and green apple, making for a complex and full bodied cocktail.
Do I need to use Champagne for a Pink Champagne Cocktail?
If you're worried about committing cocktail heresy by making a Pink Champagne Cocktail with a sparkling wine other than Champagne, you need not fret.
Since Prosecco and Cava wouldn't be introduced into the U.S. market until at least a century after the original Champagne Cocktail was conceived, Jerry Thomas and his contemporaries didn't choose Champagne out of preference but out of necessity. They didn't have the option of making a Champagne Cocktail with anything but Champagne and if they did, there would certainly have been a Prosecco Cocktail, Cava Cocktail, or maybe just a Bubbly Cocktail.
While one might assume that Champagne is the only option for a Pink Champagne Cocktail, other bubbly options like Prosecco and Cava taste equally as delicious. Each option makes a unique flavor base for the drink.
Champagne - Traditionally aged for a minimum of 15 months, Champagne is on the drier side for bubbly. Because of this, a Pink Champagne Cocktail made with Champagne will be a bit more dry than if it were made with a sweeter, sparkling, wine like Prosecco. If you're the kind of person who finds yourself saying “not too sweet” any time you place a drink order, this option might be for you. Champagne tends to have delicious notes of toasted bread and almond which blend marvelously well with the banana and cinnamon in the Bermuda Bitters.
Prosecco - Made with different grape varietals and un-aged, Prosecco tends to be a bit sweeter than Champagne. It has a fresh fruit flavor profile with notes like apple, pear, and tropical fruit. The tropical fruit notes in Prosecco harmonize with the tropical Bermuda Bitters, making it a crowd pleasing choice for mixing a Pink Champagne Cocktail. Because it is un-aged, Prosecco also tends to be less expensive which is an added bonus when choosing which bubbly to mix with.
Cava - Made primarily in the Catalonia region of Spain, Cava is a bit harder to find but well worth the search because of its unique flavor. It adds a bouquet of aromas and flavors like chamomile and quince to the vanilla and hibiscus flavors of the Bermuda Bitters, making it a great choice for those attracted to floral flavors.
Whichever type of bubbly you choose, make sure it is nice and chilled when served as there's no ice involved in making the Pink Champagne Cocktail.
Do you need sugar cubes for a Pink Champagne Cocktail?
For any other type of cocktail, sugar cubes are not ideal because they tend to make inconsistent drinks, but for a Pink Champagne Cocktail sugar cubes are a must.
The first step to making a Pink Champagne Cocktail is to soak a sugar cube with Bermuda Bitters before dropping the cube into the drink. The bitters soaked sugar cube creates a fountain of bubbles once it hits the Champagne that draws the flavor and color of the bitters out of the cube and into the rest of the drink. Without the cube, the enchanting bubble fountain effect would be lost and the bitters and sugar will have a harder time mixing into the drink.
Pink Champagne Cocktail Ingredients
We suggest you use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here's what you'll need to make this Pink Champagne Cocktail:
Sparkling wine -
As Bermuda Bitters are full of flavors that pair with any sparkling wine you can choose a bottle of bubbly that is preferable to the drinker. Champagne and Cava are on the drier and more astringent side, while Prosecco is going to be a bit sweeter and more of a crowd pleaser.
Make sure to chill your sparkling wine before preparing your Pink Champagne Cocktails. Not only does the colder temperature deliver the nuances of flavor better, it also produces more bubbles which everyone loves.
If you have a whole bottle of bubbly but only need one glass, you can use a Champagne stopper like this one to create an airtight seal on your bottle. This will keep your sparkling wine fresh and effervescent for at least two days after opening.
Sugar cube -
There are many options for sugar that all have remarkably different flavors. Two in particular work best for a Pink Champagne Cocktail but impart different flavors.
White sugar - This is the most refined, least flavored, and most common sugar cube. If you want to taste the nuances of the bubbly and tropical Bermuda Bitters as unadulterated as possible, this is the best option. Because white sugar cubes tend to come as neatly cut squares, they make consistent cocktails. This is especially helpful if you need to make a round of Pink Champagne Cocktails for all your friends.
Demerara Sugar - Where white sugar is fully refined, meaning there is no molasses left in the sugar, Demerara still retains a small amount of molasses, giving it a darker color and notes of caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla. These warm flavors impart a more tropical profile to a Pink Champagne Cocktail. Keep in mind, though, that Demerara has larger crystals so a Demerara sugar cube may take longer to melt into the cocktail than white sugar.
Pro Tip: The one sugar that is not recommended is brown sugar. The molasses content is so high that the nuances of the Pink Champagne Cocktail will likely get lost behind the boldness of the molasses.
Bermuda Bitters -
To make the Pink Champagne pink, Bermuda Bitters are a necessity. Made with hibiscus, the bitters have a deep ruby red color that appears as a lovely pink blush in light colored drinks such as sparkling wine. Bermuda Bitters make the color of Pink Champagne both eye catching and a whimsical delight of a drinking experience.
Bermuda Bitters infuse the Champagne with tropical party time flavors like banana and hibiscus, as well as baking spice flavors like vanilla and cinnamon, giving the drink a touch of seasonal warmth. This combo of winter and vacation vibes makes the Pink Champagne the perfect cocktail for a New Years bash.
Don't know how to measure bitters? Check out our blog on all things bitters here: What Are Bitters?
Place a sugar cube on a spoon and soak cube with 3-4 droppers of Bermuda Bitters.
Fill glass with chilled sparkling wine.
Drop soaked sugar cube into glass and stir lightly.
Garnish with lemon twist.
Standard Drinks: 1