After being named bar manager of the Old Seelbach Bar in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1995, Adam Seger supposedly made a discovery: a long-lost recipe for the Seelbach Cocktail, an appealing blend of bourbon, orange liqueur, bitters and sparkling wine that dated back to the bar’s pre-Prohibition days. His story of finding the recipe quickly spread thanks to the media and cocktail writers. But in an article by The New York Times writer Robert Simonson in 2016, Seger finally fessed up: None of it was true. Seger himself invented the drink in the mid-90s. Twenty years later, the cocktail can at least be considered a modern classic, and we’re frankly a little too attached to it to care.
- Add bourbon, Cointreau and bitters to a mixing glass and fill with ice.
- Stir until chilled, and strain into a flute glass.
- Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a long lemon twist made with a channel knife.
After the original "cocktail" (alcohol, sugar, water, bitters), there was the Champagne Cocktail, which cocktail historian David Wondrich refers to as the "first evolved cocktail." Created sometime in the early to mid 1800s, the cocktail was particularly popular along the West Coast and with entertainers (eventually earning the nickname "chorus gir...