Southside Royale

champagne cocktails

Sip the best of both worlds when pairing this drink with fall mollusks. image: kenny janosick

Last we checked, November ends in “r” and that means it’s prime time for oysters. These briny bivalves are traditionally paired with either a gin drink or brut champagne. But why settle for just one?

This sipper’s origin may be steeped in mystery as murky as oyster-bed silt, but following the thread led us to Long Island’s shore at the Southside Sportsman Club circa the 1890s. It was here the original iteration, the Southside Fizz, was created. Not long after, the soda “fizz” was replaced with more sophisticated champagne bubbles and the “royal” version was born. On this tenuous claim, we’re prepared to take ownership of this as LI’s “official” oyster cocktail. But even forgetting the oysters (gasp!) the drink is a study in classic cocktail mixing and the champagne is the proverbial “cherry on top” of this timeless tipple.

2oz gin
3/4 oz simple syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
Mint sprig

Pour gin, simple syrup and lime juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a champagne flute and top with a few ounces of champagne. Garnish with mint sprig.