TBT Classic Cocktail #15: The Seelbach Cocktail!

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Happy Throwback Thursday, everyone!

We’ve been feeling rather fancy this week, so we decided to focus our TBT Classic Cocktail energy on a delicious-but-little-remembered classic cocktail that just so happens to include two of our very favorite things: bourbon, and sparking wine!

All aboard the train to Louisville for the Seelback Cocktail!

As history would have it, the Seelbach Cocktail was invented in 1917 at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY. The story goes that the bartender used a patron’s Manhattan to capture champagne as it overflowed from the bottle, and just like so many of the best culinary innovations in the world, the mistake turned into a delicious new invention! Whether that story is true or an artfully crafted urban legend, the Seelbach Cocktail is a very unique and absolutely wonderful drink, perfect for bourbon lovers and bourbon on-the-fencers alike! We assure you that even if you are not a bourbon drinker, the Seelbach Cocktail is still one for you to try — it does not taste like a more purely bourbon drink like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, we swear.

The drink is also unique in that it uses a two different types of bitters, and both in much larger quantities than most other cocktails. The drink requires both Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters, so make sure you have them on hand in advance.

Peychaud’s is a specific type of bitters created originally in the 1830s by a Creole apothecary living in New Orleans. Although on the surface they appear similar to Angostura, the flavor is very distinct — highlighted by sweet, floral notes.

Enough yapping, let’s get to the recipe!

For the Seelbach cocktail, you will need:

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  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 triple sec
  • 7 dashes angostura bitters
  • 7 dashes peychaud’s bitters
  • Sparkling wine, preferably Cava or Prosecco
  • orange peel twist, for garnish

Gather all of your ingredients plus your bar glass, jiggers, bar spoon, and champagne flute.

First, put all your bitters directly into the bar glass. Remember to hold your bitters bottles vertically, directly over the glass. Each shake is one dash. This will seem like a lot of bitters–it is–but trust us, the finished product will be good!

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Next, add in your bourbon. At this point, do we really need to remind you to use Bulleit?

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Now your triple sec!

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Now fill your glass with ice (only about 1/2 way, you do not need as much ice for this as for a regular cocktail).

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Give the whole thing a good stir to combine and chill, but don’t over do it. You do not want to dilute the mixture too much.

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Now strain it into your champagne flute, and top it all off with your chilled sparkling wine!

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Add your orange peel garnish, and there you have it!

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This is a southern classic, and a very different take on a sparkling wine cocktail — perfect for cocktail parties, dinner parties, birthday parties, Day Of The Week That Ends In “Y” Parties, ANY PARTIES!

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So have at it y’all!

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(The drink is from Kentucky, we had to.)

Cheers!

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