Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
slkinsey

ISO: Champagne Splits or Halves for Cocktails

Recommended Posts

I like the occasional cocktail topped with champagne, but each cocktail only takes a few ounces and when making cocktails at home I rarely want so many that it would be worthwhile to open a whole bottle of champagne.

So, I'd love to pick up a case or two of decently-priced, good quality in the context of cocktails champagne in half-bottles or, better yet, splits (quarter-bottles). That way I could have a few in the refrigerator ready to be used, and it wouldn't be such a big investment to crack one open for 3-4 cocktails.

Any recommendations? I'm thinking I really want to stick with champagne or very champagne-like. I tend to prefer prosecco if I'm drinking it on its own, but it doesn't have quite the richness of champagne for cocktails.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're willing to consider bubblies from outside Champagne, you might have more options.

Like what? I don't necessarily need somehing from Champagne. I just don't want something that's going to be a lot sweeter, for example, or something lighter and more acidic. "Reasonably Champagne-like" would be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no champagne expert; but, the only New World wines I've tried (so far) that I think are really "reasonably champagne-like" are the products from Roederer in Mendocino County.

I don't think they make splits or half bottles.

Still, at around $17 for a full bottle of the NV Brut, it's not something you feel horrible about using in cocktails, cooking, or whatever. Plus, it's tasty enough you probably won't have a problem finishing the bottle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you're willing to consider bubblies from outside Champagne, you might have more options.

Like what? I don't necessarily need somehing from Champagne. I just don't want something that's going to be a lot sweeter, for example, or something lighter and more acidic. "Reasonably Champagne-like" would be fine.

You can get 12 oz bottles of "The Champagne of Beers" for about a dollar a pop. Is that close enough?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The restaraunt where I work is very focused on their wine, and is owned and managed by people who are very passionate and very knowledgable about wine. We have the best wine selection in the area, including over 300 by the bottle, over 60 by the half bottle, and over 45 by the glass, and they were all carefully selected for their quality. I say all this because I have not personally (yet) tried the sparkling wine we offer by the glass (in a split) but I trust that it is of good quality, even if it has a modest price. The wine director himself told me it is good, so I feel confident recommending Cristalino Cava for this purpose. For drinks calling for sparkling wine I typically use Cava because it is such a great bargain, cheap enough to buy for any occasion or no occasion at all. I don't know how much it goes for at reatil, but we sell splits for $6, so it must be $3-4 at the store (if you can find it).

Hope this helps.

-Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy 187ML bottles of FREIXENET CORDON NEGRO BRUT for about $3-4 a bottle here in New Jersey.

I find they're perfect for the occasional champagne cocktail as they don't take up a lot of room in my small bar fridge.

Rich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cava is one of the great bargains in the wine world.

One of the nice things about cava (as opposed to most prosecco) is that they're all method champenois.

For New World sparklers, Iron Horse is terrific, at $20 a bottle...but that's steep if you're just making a couple drinks with it.

There are some excellent French method champenois sparklers from outside Champagne (known as Cremant)....many as low as $10. I'd say that one of these or Cava is the way to go -- they'll give you the right mouth feel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[...]

There are some excellent French method champenois sparklers from outside Champagne (known as Cremant)....many as low as $10.  I'd say that one of these or Cava is the way to go -- they'll give you the right mouth feel.

Yeah, a local grocery store carries a couple Crémant d’Alsace and I was really surprised by how good they are. The ones I've tried have been in $10-20 per 750ml range and definitely "Reasonably Champagne-like". Or at least closer in style than most California sparklers in that price range.

Hmm... Will have to investigate some Cavas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L'Hereu Cava at about $13 a bottle retail is a very dry, tart Cava that would make a great float.

Cristalino Cava seems to be the house industry standard -- I've seen it used in 2-3 star restaurants all over Manhattan as the mixing bubbly. They also make a rose if that appeals...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a Cost Plus World Market near you? They sell some splits at good prices, though the selection varies from location to location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for "richness," I'd go with the Gruet Blanc de Noirs, which IMHO is a spectacular Bollinger clone for about $12.99 a bottle (at Astor, anyway). Yes, it only comes in 750ml bottles, but at that price, who cares? Just drink the rest with dinner...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately I've been enjoying Blason de Borgogne, a cremant cru that sells for $10/750 here at Trader Joes. It's a great value; not bad on its own, but even better for champagne cocktails. It's pink, so it also lends a beautiful tint to the drink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately, I like the Grandin Brut Traditionelle for mimosas, or even for sipping on it's own. It's about $10/750ml and tastes like an exponentially higher priced bubbly. A great facsimile for true Champagne from the Loire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the champagne splits we use for btg are Laurent Perrier brut. I think we pay about $6 per split. For cocktails we use Segura Viudas brut reserva cava. It's my (fuzzy) recollection that it holds its carbonation better than the Cristalino the next day. About $6 for a 750. The little champagne stoppers from Laurent Perrier are a favorite too, good seal.

Lots of wine companies do special pricing on champagne in restaurants this time of year, so maybe a friend in a restaurant can find a good deal for a case or two of splits for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Thanksgiving, my hosts had splits of Casalnova Prosecco for the grownups before dinner. We were all walking around with them with bendy straws in them. Kind of like a juice box for adults. :rolleyes:

The Casalnova was quite tasty. Fruity yet not too sweet. Certainly still dry enough to mix with if one were so inclined. It's about $15/4pack 187ml here in PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having a top notch French 75 from the flatiron longue my girlfriend asked what type of champagne they used in the drink. They told us they use Charles de Fere, a brand I had never heard of. Turns out they sell it for 9 bucks a bottle at Astor Wines, and it's really very good.

From what I've seen I don't think they sell half or 1/4 bottles....but for 102 dollars a case....not a bad bargain.

Here's the link: Charles de Fere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never seen it in any size other than 750ml but I have been enamoured for most of this year with the Francois Montand NV sparkler. It is from France (not a Cremant though) and sells for about $10-11/btl. Blind you would think it was a $40 Champagne, I actually prefer it to many real Champagnes I've had. I was buying it by the case though of course the TX distributor dropped it so it is getting increasingly rare but it may still be available in your neck to the woods.

I'll add here that I've had decent successes with champagne stoppers at work, as long as you're not trying to keep the bottle more than 24 hrs or so. The ones that have little wings that grab on two sides seem to work best. (Don't know if that makes any sense).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gruet has been popular in these parts for topping up cocktails...though with that popularity, the price seems to have moved north as well, and so I'm not seeing it used for that as often these days. Half-bottles are around $9-10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adriano Adami makes several varieties of Prosecco that are much more champagne like (more carbonation than typical prosecco, yeasty-bready flavor, good mouthfeel) that aren' too much. Their Giardino Prosecco is fabulous for $16 for a 750. No new 187's for that purpose that I've been made aware off. Then again, I'm not high on the need to know list for such things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×