Named after the Louisville, KY hotel where this drink originated in 1917, the Seelbach is easy to make, rich, complex and delicious. There are also a lot of bitters going on here, about half a teaspoon each of Angostura and Peychaud's. They work well alongside the bourbon adding depth and in the case of the Angostura, warm spices. Peychaud's isn't to be outdone though and here it helps lift the whole affair up, combining with the champagne and Cointreau to bring hints of bitterness and fruit.
Like a lot of champagne drinks this one works especially well with brunch, the early evening or, well, pretty much anytime. It's got plenty of character but maintains a pleasant lightness. It's bitter, but not so much so that it gets in the way. If you're feeling in the mood for a drink with champagne, but also have bourbon in mind, this one will do the trick nicely.
Seelbach Cocktail - The Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, KY
1 oz Bourbon, Old Forester specified
1/2 oz Triple Sec, Cointreau if you have it
7 dashes Angostura
7 dashes Peychaud's
5 oz Champagne
Garnish - Orange Twist
Directions are to build in a champagne flute. I usually stir the first four ingredients with ice. Strain, then add the champagne.
*I've gotten used to this recipe from Ted Haigh's excellent Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails. Brands and quantities specified above are from that book. He credits Gary and Mardee Regan with getting the hotel's restaurant director to share the recipe. In Regan's Joy of Mixology the quantities differ slightly. The amount of bourbon and champagne are reduced to 3/4 oz and 4 oz respectively.