This year, I’ll be introducing everyone to an interesting take on the champagne cocktail.

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Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Home Bar: Seelbach CocktailThe holidays are already upon us, and it’s time to get ready for parties, friends, and family. All calling for — or requiring (depends on your family) — a tasty and festive beverage. A few years ago, I started adding to my parents’ home bar in order to mix simple cocktails when I went home for the holidays. It began with Wild Turkey Rye Old Fashioneds and whiskey sours on Thanksgiving. As with all things bar related for me, the collection grew quickly.

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Every time I’m home, I try to introduce my parents to a new drink. I won’t be there for Thanksgiving this year (don’t feel bad… I’m in Japan!), but I’m looking forward to slow days in December, reading, and relaxing with friends and family. Sparkling wine is at nearly every party, and if you have leftovers, it’s acceptable to pop a bottle at any time, day or night. It’s the holidays, after all.

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

According to Brad Parson, author of “Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All,” the Seelbach Cocktail is named after the hotel where it originated. If you believe the story, it was inspired by a bartender who grabbed a glass that still contained remnants of a Manhattan cocktail to catch the overflow of a champagne bottle. The final recipe cranks up the bitterness by introducing fourteen (yes, FOURTEEN) dashes of bitters. I wasn’t sure that the result would be appealing, but it ultimately received nods of approval at my most recent dinner party. The bitters are wonderfully balanced by the sweetness of all the other ingredients.

Glass

Coupe or champagne flute (due to the size of the drink it’s recommended that you use a large coupe or flute)

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Recipe

1 oz Bourbon (I recommend Henry McKenna 10 yr)
.5 oz orange liqueur (I recommend Ferrand Dry Curaçao)
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
5 oz brut sparkling wine (I recommend something on the cheaper side like Freixenet)
Garnish with an orange zest

Add all liquids, except sparkling wine, into a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir until chilled, approximately 15 seconds. Strain into the coupe or flute using your julep strainer. Top with sparkling wine, approximately 5 oz.

Home Bar: Seelbach Cocktail

Photography and styling by Hannah Levy.

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Posted by Jeffrey Levy

Jeffrey is on a never-ending quest to find the next addition to his home bar. By night, he shakes and stirs as the founding partner of cocktail consulting company JW Hawthorne. By day, he runs a health care software company. Follow him @jfflvy on Instagram.

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