Celebrate with a Festive and Bubbly Sugar Plum Cocktail

‘Tis the season for sugar plum fairies, parties, twinkling lights, and everything that is oh-so-merry and bright.

And it’s impossible to think about hosting a cocktail party at this time of year without a touch of elegance.

Vertical oblique shot of two champagne flutes with purple rims, filled with a brown beverage, on a dark brown wood surface with slate coasters and gray balloons, a white square dish of cubes and a black square dish of purple sanding sugar.

I mean, at what other time do I have a built-in excuse to bust out the heels and sparkling dresses?

I am not generally one for doing extra fancy things, but the holiday season is the one time when I am seriously thrilled to do so.

You might think it’s difficult to host an elegant party. But really, it’s all about the presentation, with less emphasis on creating extra-spendy dishes and cocktails to serve to your guests.

Vertical oblique shot of two champagne flutes filled with a brown beverage with purple rims, with a black square dish of purple sanding sugar and a white square dish of white cubes beside a bottle of champagne on a dark brown wood surface, with a lighter brown background.

Take dressing up a cocktail, for example, to elevate the experience for your guests.

You can have something simple, like a vodka soda in a plastic cup. Throw it in a pretty double old-fashioned glass with a twist of lemon peel, and you’ll feel like you are sipping on something special!

That’s exactly why I love this particular drink so much. My festive and bubbly sugar plum cocktail is made with only four ingredients, but when you pop them in a glass together, you get something truly tasty, and elegant.

Two cocktails in champagne flutes with purple rims, with more of the sugar in a black shallow dish to the right, and a small white dish of white cubes beside a maroon vase filled with evergreen branches against a brown background.

Let’s face it – everything seems a little more celebratory when there’s champagne involved, right?

You might associate champagne with New Year’s Eve, but I like to bring it out any chance I get when there is a reason to celebrate.

This can be a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, or a random Tuesday, in my book.

Since the holidays are a time when everyone seems to be in the mood to celebrate, having this bubbly recipe on hand is ideal.

Vertical image of two cocktails on slate coasters with dishes of white cubes and purple sanding sugar with balloons and greenery in the background.

Do you remember the dance of the sugar plum fairy from The Nutcracker? I grew up watching that ballet every winter with my grandmother, and I still listen to the soundtrack each year while I bake up a storm in the kitchen.

Well, that whole sugar plum fairy happiness thing is officially bottled up and served in this oh-so-tasty cocktail to bring a little extra lift to your next party.

The ingredients are quite simple, featuring espresso, champagne, plum brandy, and a sugar cube. When you combine these, you end up with a nice and bright cocktail that tastes like just the right amount of fancy.

Oblique overhead shot of two tall, narrow stemware glasses filled with a brown alcoholic beverage and topped with a purple rim, on slate coasters with scattered holiday baubles, two dishes of white cubes and purple sanding sugar, and several silver balloons, on a dark brown wood table.

Even though it’s dark and cold outside, the boost of energy you get from this coffee cocktail will keep the party going strong, far past when the sun goes down below the horizon.

I like to fancy this drink up with purple sanding sugar around the rim of the champagne flutes, but if you don’t have that handy, you can also use gold sanding sugar, a twist of lemon peel, or a festive toothpick.

Vertical image of two cocktails on square slate coasters with scattered red and green metal jingle bells, two small dishes of white cubes and purple sanding sugar, three silver balloons, and a large maroon vase of evergreen branches, on a dark brown wood table with a lighter brown striped backdrop.

If you need a hosting idea, you can easily make this drink a do-it-yourself one. Here’s how:

  1. Mix enough brandy and espresso together to serve your guests.
  2. Type out the recipe so everyone knows each cocktail needs 1 ounce of the brandy and espresso mixture, a sugar cube, and 4 ounces of champagne.
  3. Frame the recipe so it doesn’t get wet, and set up your serving station.

Voila! You have an easy cocktail everyone can make, freeing you up to mix and mingle.

Print
Sugar Plum Cocktails in two champagne flutes with dishes of sugar cubes and purple sanding sugar, silver balloons, and a large burgundy vase of evergreen branches in the background, against a brown backdrop.

Festive and Bubbly Sugar Plum Cocktail


  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

Get in the holiday spirit with a bubbly sugar plum cocktail, perfect for all of your festive upcoming celebrations!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 fl oz espresso, chilled
  • 8 fl oz champagne
  • 1 fl oz plum brandy
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • Purple sanding sugar

Instructions

  1. Wet the edges of two champagne flutes with water. Rim with purple sanding sugar and set aside.
  2. Pour the brandy and espresso into another glass or pitcher-style measuring cup, and stir to combine.
  3. Add a sugar cube to each champagne flute. Divide brandy mixture evenly between the two glasses.
  4. Divide champagne evenly between the two champagne flutes, making sure to pour slowly as the drink will fizz up when combined.
  5. Serve immediately.
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Beverages

Keywords: champagne cocktail, sugar plum, coffee cocktail, New Year's

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Chill Espresso and Measure Ingredients

Make 1 ounce of espresso and chill in the refrigerator until cold.

Oblique closely cropped overhead shot of a small square white ceramic dish of white cubes and a shallow square black dish of purple sanding sugar, a small glass mug of espresso, two champagne flutes, a bottle of champagne, and a snifter of plum brandy, all on a dark brown wood surface.

Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Step 2 – Rim Glasses

Wet the rims of two champagne flutes with water. Add sanding sugar to a small plate, and rim the edges of the champagne flutes with sugar.

Closeup overhead shot of fingers with red nail polish holding the stem of a champagne flute and dipping the rim into a square, shallow dish of purple sanding sugar, on a dark brown wood background.

Set aside the glasses.

Step 3 – Make Cocktails

Add the brandy and espresso to a pint glass and stir.

A pint glass is about 1/3 full of a brown liquid, with a square white dish of white cubes and a square black dish of purple sanding sugar, two pieces of tall and narrow glass stemware, and a bottle of champagne on its side, on a brown wood table with a lighter brown background.

Place one sugar cube in each rimmed champagne flute. Divide the brandy and espresso mixture evenly between the two flutes.

Closely cropped image of two champagne flutes with white sugar cubes at the bottom and purple rims, with more of both garnishes in small dishes in the background beside a pint glass containing a brown liquid and a bottle of champagne, on a dark brown wood table in front of a striped brown backdrop.

Top each with 4 ounces of champagne, making sure to pour slowly. The champagne will fizz up more than normal when combined, as it interacts with the sugar.

Serve immediately.

Throw the Best Holiday Cocktail Party

Want to throw a cocktail party that features this cocktail, plus a bunch of delicious snacks and irresistible appetizers?

Sugar Plum Cocktails in two champagne flutes with dishes of white cubes and purple sanding sugar, silver balloons, and a large burgundy vase of evergreen branches in the background, against a brown backdrop.

Are you hosting a holiday party this year? Tell us what you plan to serve in the comments below. And be sure to come back to rate this bubbly and festive champagne cocktail recipe when you try it!

Looking for more yummy holiday cocktail or adult beverage recipes? Try out some of these:

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. A version of this recipe originally published by Mike Quinn on July 3, 2015. Last updated: December 13, 2018 at 19:20 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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