Sagamore Spirits

Whiskey and Champagne sounds like a deadly combination, but it can be delicious

Margaret Eby
November 06, 2018

When you think about combining rye whiskey and Champagne, you may have visions of a party gone terribly awry. My friend's brother legendarily "invented" a Champagne-whiskey drink he named The Double Negative and was thrilled about it until he threw up in three different places. But hear me out: The mellow sweetness of rye can be a lovely counterpoint to a crisp, dry sparkling wine, and something about the two spirits together, topped off with a little citrus juice and simple syrup, makes a brunch cocktail into something perfectly autumnal. It would be ideal for a Thanksgiving brunch, or for any one of these weekend mornings between now and Christmas. 

The people behind Sagamore Spirit, a Maryland rye company, suggest coupling your rye mimosa with a cranberry-spiced simple syrup—you can buy it on their website—but you can also do the good old combination of hot water and sugar for a DIY version. To make their rye mimosa, which they call the Celebrated Sagamore, you combine one-and-a-half ounces of rye whiskey, half an ounce of lime juice, and three-quarters of an ounce of their cranberry spiced simple syrup. Top that with about three ounces of the sparkling wine of your choice, and voila, a rye mimosa that won't leave you feeling deep regret. 

If you wanted to recreate something similar at home, without the cranberry spice, you could infuse your simple syrup with whatever autumnal spice you happen to have on hand. Apple pie spice would be great here, as would ginger or cinnamon. So don't let anyone else tell you it can't be done. Whiskey and Champagne is here to stay.

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