The Seelbach

I’ve died and gone to heaven.

The Seelbach | CaliGirl Cooking

I’ve found the perfect cocktail combining two of my favorite spirits: sparkling wine and whiskey. Trust me. This is amazing. And I have Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. to thank for it. Well, technically I have the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, KY to thank for it. Although I first noticed this cocktail on the menu at Hawksworth, after a little bit of research I discovered that the recipe actually originated at the Seelbach Hilton wayyy back in 1917, before Prohibition! So this amazing cup of deliciousness has been around for quite some time. I’m only upset that it took me so long to discover it!

Who here is a fan of Old-Fashioned’s and/or Manhattan’s? (Raises hand.) Who here is a fan of bubbles? (Clearly I am – see exhibits A & B.)  Well then, you’ve come to the right blog and I am so glad we are friends. Let’s meet up for Happy Hour sometime. Or maybe just come over and I’ll whip up a couple of Seelbach’s?

The Seelbach | CaliGirl Cooking

I’m not kidding about how tasty this concoction is. There’s whiskey (of course, and we’re talking the good stuff, don’t go cheap here), there’s sparkling wine, there’s Cointreau, and to finish it all off there’s a dash of Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters. In a way, this could be dubbed a “glorified Mimosa.” After all, it has many of the same flavors, but with a touch of sophistication from the bitters, and Cointreau to add the orange flavor instead of OJ. (And, let’s be honest, anything that can be called a mimosa is suitable for drinking before noon, which is my kind of drink.)

But even though this could be a perfectly fitting brunch beverage, it is also classy enough to serve at a cocktail party or with a formal dinner(maybe with some of these?) The best kind of versatility! I suppose when a cocktail contains all of your favorite things you want an excuse to drink it at any time of the day, right?

The Seelbach | CaliGirl Cooking

A note about the ingredients: Do items with names like “Peychaud’s” and “Angostura” immediately scare you off of a cocktail recipe? Because they sure as heck used to scare me. I’d be like, “Who the heck keeps ingredients with names like this in their everyday liquor cabinet or bar setup?” I certainly wasn’t one of those people. But boy, am I glad that I’ve now seen the light.

Do me a favor and Google the nearest BevMo to where you live. I’m sure it’s not far. And, guess what? BevMo carries Peychaud’s, and Angostura, and almost any other crazy cocktail ingredient you can think of! Oh, and you can also order both Peychaud’s and Angostura on Amazon. So easy. I was definitely surprised at what I could find once I actually opened my eyes and looked.

So what say you, are you ready to add The Seelbach to your Valentine’s Day menu? I will no doubt be mixing up a few of these for the fiancé and I to enjoy over our long, relaxing weekend together.

Speaking of, what’s everyone doing this weekend? It’s a bit of a double whammy with Valentine’s Day and President’s Day all rolled into one.  Do you get to take Monday off? I have been working hard on various blog projects for the last couple of weekends so I am definitely taking advantage of the long weekend. I’m really looking forward to some quality time with my man! Did I mention it’s been over 70 degrees here for the past week and is predicted to be in the 80’s this weekend? I definitely see some beach and hiking time in the very near future. Sorry to rub it in my Midwest/East Coast folks…you can live vicariously through me on Instagram!

No matter where you are or what the weather (or what time of day, who you’re with, etc.), The Seelbach is definitely the way to go. I dare you to give it a try! And don’t forget to share it with me on Instagram or Facebook if you do!

The Seelbach | CaliGirl Cooking


The Seelbach
A classic sparkling wine and whiskey cocktail dating back to the pre-Prohibition era.
  • 1 ounce whiskey I prefer Maker's Mark
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • Dash Peychaud bitters
  • Dash Angostura bitters
  • 5 ounces sparkling wine
  • Orange twist to garnish
  • Morello cherry to garnish
  1. Combine all ingredients (in order) in a champagne flute. Garnish with orange twist and Morello cherry.


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