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Endangered Cocktail of the Month: SEELBACH

“I drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone.
When I have company I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”
-Lily Bollinger

She’s a woman after our own hearts.  Lovely on its own, Champagne can make an otherwise mundane cocktail into a gilded, glamorous affair much like this Jazz-Age classic, the Seelbach.  The drink was created at the Seelbach Hotel circa 1917, a haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s as he was writing The Great Gatsby.  Its history is a Lazarus tale if there ever was one: the recipe was lost during Prohibition, not drunk again until a hotel manager rediscovered and revived it in 1995.  Legend has it that Gatsby was modeled on a gangster Fitzgerald met at the Seelbach Bar, probably while knocking back many of these.

Fitzgerald himself was a party man, after all, notorious for drinking too much gin with his wife Zelda and jumping into the fountains at the Plaza Hotel, boiling party guests’ watches in tomato soup, and stripping down to dance naked at parties.

The Seelbach was probably right up his alley.  As LUPEC member emeritus Barbara West once said, “One Seelbach makes you feel like you’re at a lawn party at San Simeon (or West Egg).

A few Seelbachs make you feel like you’re in a nightclub balancing glassware on your boobs.”

Look out, Daisy, here we come.


1 ounce of bourbon
½ ounce of Cointreau
7 dashes of Angostura bitters
7 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
5 ounces of chilled Brut Champagne

Build first four ingredients in a
champagne flute then stir.
add champagne.  Stir again.
Garnish with an orange twist.

Cin Cin!