Superstorm Vanilla Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

November  4, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Makes 1
Author Notes

I vaguely recall hearing once that French Onion soup came about when Napoleon's army was left with nothing but champagne and onions. Well, thanks to Sandy and a week-plus power outage (goodbye, contents of refrigerator!), we were left with little but packages of crackers and liquor, including champagne and bourbon. We were among the lucky ones; we still had a roof over our heads. So we are thankful, indeed. Anyway, in a classic champagne cocktail, a sugar cube is doused with bitters and the champagne is given a boost with cognac; here, we used vanilla as the underlying flavor and jacked it up with classic American bourbon. Once the power comes back on we'll upload a photo containing the homemade sugar cubes; in the emergency, we just used the regular sugar cubes with vanilla drops. By candlelight. With blankets.

Cheers! —wssmom

Test Kitchen Notes

The name of this cocktail is a mouthful: big name and big on flavor. Wssmom is a mixologist extraordinaire -- she turned simple into profound in just a few easy steps. I opted to use pre-made sugar cubes; I have demerara cubes that I dipped in vanilla paste to really boost the vanilla flavor. The vanilla sugar cube with the bourbon and prosecco was delicious and packed a punch. The cube not only gave it a whisper of sweetness but a subtle undertone of vanilla, too. Garnishing with a vanilla bean is the finishing touch to a lovely cocktail that I hope you try. It's well worth it. —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • Janet Johnston' s Vanilla Sugar Cubes
  • 4 vanilla beans
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Bourbon Champagne Cocktail
  • 1 vanilla bean cube
  • 1 shot good bourbon whiskey (such as Maker's Mark)
  • Chilled champagne or prosecco
  • Split vanilla bean, for garnish
  1. Janet Johnston' s Vanilla Sugar Cubes
  2. Cut the vanilla beans into 1/2-inch pieces and ground in a sprice mill until powdered.
  3. Mix together all ingredients. Scrape into a parchment-lined 8-inch pan to about a 1/2-inch depth. Use a knife to score into 1/2-inch cubes. Bake for 90 minutes at 275°F. Remove and let cool. Remove sugar and break into cubes.
  4. Alternatively, take an already-made sugar cube and put a couple wee drops of pure vanilla extract on it.
  1. Vanilla Bourbon Champagne Cocktail
  2. Drop a vanilla sugar cube into a chilled champagne flute. Add a shot of bourbon and fill the glass with champagne or prosecco. Garnish with a split vanilla bean. Cheers!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Barbara Gorder
    Barbara Gorder
  • mrslarkin
  • Bevi
  • gingerroot
  • hardlikearmour

12 Reviews

Barbara G. March 8, 2015
Made this last night with a vanilla simple syrup and added mint leaves. Lovely.
Dr.Insomnia January 9, 2013
Wow, who can afford to garnish with vanilla beans? You must have a cheaper supplier than I do...
mrslarkin November 13, 2012
I wish I saw this last week, when I could have used several. ;) Going on my Thanksgiving menu. Hope you are well, safe, and dry. Is power back?
wssmom November 14, 2012
Power has returned, my sanity hasn't LOL.
mrslarkin November 14, 2012
Well, then, I think a cocktail is in order. Cheers!
Bevi November 7, 2012
You are the cocktail queen. Will we get this as an honorary post Sandy drink soon?
wssmom November 8, 2012
gingerroot November 7, 2012
Oh gosh, I'll drink to that! Also happy to hear you are well, hope your power has been restored.
wssmom November 7, 2012
Bracing for Round II as we speak, but thanks!
hardlikearmour November 6, 2012
As always you come through with a perfect cocktail! Glad you are well, and hope you get power soon!
EmilyC November 5, 2012
This sounds so good -- totally up my alley! Hope your power has been restored...and if you're able, be sure to enter this into the current vanilla contest! : )
wssmom November 7, 2012
Thank you Emily, was able to boot up thanks to the new car battery/ac converter!