When hosting a party, it’s always nice to have a pitcher or two of specialty cocktails on hand to pour as guests arrive. Wonderfully festive and easy to make, the following Apple Champagne Cocktail recipe, courtesy of Kathy Mangham of Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based catering company Gourmet Girls, is an excellent choice for winter entertaining. We think the drink pairs beautifully with a cheese board, but it could also be an excellent accompaniment to dessert. Here’s how to make it at home:

Apple Champagne Cocktails


2 cups unfiltered apple juice
1/2 cup Cognac
1/2 cup simple syrup (to make, combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water over low heat until sugar is dissolved)
6 cups Champagne
Thinly sliced apple slices soaked in lemon juice to  prevent browning (for garnish)


Combine all ingredients in a decanter or pitcher from which you’d like to serve. Garnish each glass with an apple slice.

Recipe courtesy of Kathy Mangham of Gourmet Girls Fine Catering in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gourmet Girls is featured in The Scout Guide Baton Rouge.