Champagne Charlie

Question As well as a cocktail, is Champagne Charlie:

a) The title of a song;
b) The nickname given to a famous and charming traveller?

Answer Both.

The song was a big hit for music-hall star, George Leybourne, in the middle of the 19th century. Through it he became rich especially as he won the sponsorship, in money and kind, of Moet & Chandon, the manufacturers of the champagne mentioned in the song. (Although it didn’t do him a lot of good as his lavish ‘pop-star’ lifestyle caught up with him and he died prematurely at 42!)

In 1851 Charles Heidsieck launched the champagne brand that bears his name. He travelled the world to promote it and was largely responsible for popularising champagne in America: it was there that he was given the nickname of Champagne Charlie. It’s thought that this cocktail was named in his honour.

Champagne Charlie
  • 1 shot of Apricot brandy
  • Champagne

Pour the apricot brandy into a chilled flute glass. Top up with chilled champagne. For a romantic touch, serve garnished with a pale pink rose petal.

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