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A simple, sophisticated champagne cocktail from British cook and food writer, Simon Hopkinson. The perfect drink to kick off a celebratory dinner party.

Introduction

1 bottle of champagne will make 5 cocktails.

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Ingredients

5 white sugar cubes
15 drops Angostura bitters, 3 per sugar cube
5–6 ice cubes per glass (almost the most important part of the drink)
100ml triple sec (or Cointreau, if you like it), 20ml per glass
100ml decent cognac (Remy Martin or Courvoisier, say), 20ml per glass
1 bottle of champagne, 150ml per glass
5 thin slices of orange

Method

Take five roomy stemmed glasses; a finely made large tulip-shaped red wine glass might be appropriate here. Pop a sugar cube into each glass and shake the drops of Angostura over each one. Divide the ice between the glasses and pour over the triple sec and cognac. Now pour in the champagne. Carefully does it; be skimpy with the initial pour, then return to the first glass and top each one up until the champagne is evenly distributed. Slide a slice of orange into each glass and then stir with a long thin spoon to distribute all the components. Drink with great joy!

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