How to Make the Seelbach, or a Festive Cocktail from the Heart of Kentucky!

How to make the Seelbach CocktailI love bourbon, but around the holidays, there are few drinks as festive as champagne.  There is something about popping the cork off a champagne bottle that adds ambiance to any celebration.  So bourbon and champagne, why not make a cocktail with both?  From the heart of bourbon country, there are few things better than the Seelbach.

The Seelbach
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 7 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
  • garnish with a lemon twist

Pour the bourbon, Cointreau, and bitters in a mixing glass over ice.  Stir with a cocktail spoon until chilled and mixed thoroughly.  Strain into a chilled champagne flute and garnish with a lemon twist.  To add a bit more flavor, squeeze the lemon twist over the glass before garnishing, this releases the oils in the lemon rind.  The bitters in this cocktail are a very forward flavor and enjoy a profile much stronger than they do in an Old Fashioned.  The beauty of this cocktail is it will fit any festive occasion, from a sipping cocktail to a drink you can knock back after a toast, and can be tailored to fit any budget.  Whether you make it with Old Crow Bourbon and Andre Brut or Blanton’s Single Barrel and Bollinger Special Cuvee, you are going to have an amazing cocktail with a delicious finish.

The Seelbach first appeared in the Lousiville, Kentucky in 1917, just a couple of years before prohibition.  The cocktail was named for the Seelbach in which it originated.  This drink is powerful, a wonderful combination of orange liqueur, champagne, and bitters on a solid base of bourbon.  The Seelbach may not be as synonymous with Kentucky as the Mint Julep, but I think you will find that this drink is more than justified as a representative of both bourbon country and pre-prohibition cocktails.  Try it for yourself or serve it up at your next holiday party, it is sure to be a hit!

Total cost per drink? $1.77

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Posted in Bourbon, Celebration Drinks, Cheap Cocktails, Sparkling Wine

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Nick McAfee
Nick McAfee is a student of Princeton University and is passionate about mixology. As a student with a low monthly income, he has developed ways to create simple cocktails with complex flavors from inexpensive ingredients. Learn more about Nick and Broke & Thirsty.
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