New Year’s Day Brunch Cocktail: Satsuma Champagne Cocktail

New Year’s Day Brunch Cocktail: Satsuma Champagne Cocktail

cover photo copyright W&P Design

New Year’s Day Brunch Cocktail: Satsuma Champagne Cocktail

Champagne cocktails have the reputation of being not quite legitimate: light, bubbly, often a little lazily constructed with some cheap sparkling wine and a bunch of juice. We’ve found, though, that the right champagne cocktail can be the perfect one to please a broad spectrum of tastes. It’s ideal for brunches or for pitcher drinks at parties. The key: no juice. Employ sparkling wine in the place of a base liquor (particularly gin or vodka), but otherwise add the other elements you would for a much harder drink. It’s a bit stronger than the usual champagne drink, somewhat softer than the average cocktail, and contains the flavor combination you’d want from a well-constructed drink.

Our friends over at W&P Design shared with us a recipe along those lines that we think would be a good fit for New Year’s Day. This one adds a bit of vodka to stiffen it some. But the real stars of the drink are an atypically large amount of bitters–which turns out to be quite interesting–and charred oranges, which bring in a large amount of orange flavor without the sugar content or volume of a juice.

Speaking of W&P, today’s the last day to get 15% off any product at W&P Design. This is obviously our favorite, and so many of our staples from this past year come from the Shake recipe book. We’re also eyeing their tonic line.

Head over to their website and use the code: ROBERTS&JUNE2015

The Satsuma Champagne Cocktail


  • 4 half-inch rounds of satsuma orange (or mandarin oranges, if unavailable)
  • 4 cubes of sugar [R&J Note: 8 tsp of simple syrup works too]
  • 15 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 & 1/2 shots of vodka
  • Champagne [R&J: we did a 3:1 ratio champagne to vodka].
  • 2 satsuma orange zest strips (to garnish)


  • Place the satsuma oranges on aluminum foil and broil under high heat until slightly charred [R&J: we’d say medium charred. We tried it twice, once with a light char and once more thoroughly charred, and vastly preferred attempt #2]. Let cool.
  • Add sugar cubes to a mixing glass.
  • Dash bitters over sugar cubes. Muddle until crushed.
  • Add vodka and orange rounds and ice to above the level of the liquid. Stir for 5 seconds.
  • Fill mixing glass with champagne, stirring once to combine.
  • Pour into chilled coupes, garnishing with orange zest.

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images copyright W&P Design

Roberts & June