— Jenny Neill

House Cocktails: Bourbon, Bubbles, and Bitters

Already, dear readers, you know I have a fondness for putting bubbles and bitters together. Sometimes, the occasion calls for something a bit stronger and more nuanced. This week, I’m drinking another favorite cocktail that combines bubbly with bitters. This one features Kentucky whiskey and is sweetened by an orange-flavored liqueur. Top that all off with a healthy pour of champagne and garnish it with a twist of lemon to complete this pre-prohibition classic.

Seelbach Cellar

Photo courtesy of Brian Hoffsis.

The Seelbach comes from the historic Louisville hotel of the same name. Gangsters, celebrities, and presidents have all had a tipple or two in the acclaimed restaurant or private council’s cellar over time as the neighborhood fell in and out of favor. This drink was created just a few years before the Volstead Act went into effect and the original recipe was forgotten for nearly three-fourths of a century. Or so the story goes.

Seelbach Ingredients

Photo courtesy of Mike Russell All rights reserved.

The basic recipe involves stirring together two parts bourbon with one part l’esprit d’orange and several dashes each of Angostura and Peychaud’s on ice. Strain that into a champagne flute, top with sparkling wine and garnish. I prefer to use a Chardonnay-based bubbly with this drink. Brut or extra brut, please!