Of champagne, Angostura Bitters and sugar cubes

I got the following e-mail from the owner of the Grand Cru Wine Bar in Belvedere Square after my post on having a champagne cocktail. Now I'm even more intrigued.

It's just the kind of day that cries out for a champagne cocktail.

If I had Angostura Bitters.  (I wonder if you go to a liquor store or a place like Eddie's to buy them?)

If I had a bottle of champagne.

I do have sugar cubes. They are one of those things that I shouldn't spend the money on but do. I wonder how they make them. Or rather, I don't now because I just Googled them and here's what I found in Wikipedia: ...

Suppliers of sugarcubes make them by mixing sugar crystals with sugar syrup. Jakub Kryštof Rad invented sugarcubes in 1841 in the Austrian Empire (what is now the Czech Republic).

Still, this doesn't say how they get in those neat little cubes. Do they put them in molds? Or cut them with very sharp blades?

Anyway, here's Nelson Carey's e-mail:

It was great to read about Champagne Cocktails on your blog.  The drink has been a staple at Grand Cru since the beginning.  We make ours by marinating sugar cubes in a mixture of Angostura & orange bitters.  When ready to make the drink, drop two cubes into a champagne flute & fill with Champagne.  No fruit garnish as the oil in the citrus will quell the bubbles in the cocktail.  It is the ONLY cocktail I know of that changes flavor (in a good way) as you drink it.

(It changes flavor as the sugar dissolves and the bitters add their herbal notes.) 

(Photo of Mary Beth Marsden and her drink of choice, a champagne cocktail at the Ambassador. Monica Lopossay/Sun photographer)


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