Seelbach Cocktail Recipe

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Seelbach Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Seelbach cocktail was created in 1917 at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. It was named after the hotel and was a popular drink during the Prohibition era. The Seelbach cocktail was rediscovered in the 1990s and has since become a classic cocktail.

  • The Seelbach Hotel was a luxurious and elegant establishment, attracting high society and celebrities.
  • The cocktail was lost for decades until a bartender at the hotel found the original recipe in the hotel's archives.
  • The Seelbach cocktail is now enjoyed by people who appreciate classic cocktails and the history behind them.

How Seelbach Tastes?

The Seelbach cocktail is a complex and well-balanced drink with a combination of sweet, bitter, and citrus flavors. It has a strong and boozy taste, with a hint of effervescence from the champagne.

Interesting facts about Seelbach

  • The Seelbach cocktail was featured in the movie 'The Great Gatsby', which helped to increase its popularity.
  • The original recipe called for a specific brand of bourbon, but it can be made with any high-quality bourbon.
  • The Seelbach Hotel is still in operation today and serves the Seelbach cocktail at its bar.


  • Bourbon: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Cointreau: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Peychaud's bitters: 7 dashes
  • Angostura bitters: 7 dashes
  • Champagne: 3 oz(90ml)
  • Orange twist: 1


Bourbon is the soul of this drink, providing a smooth, yet robust base with vanilla and oak undertones. Usually, 1 oz is just right - not too boozy, not too shy. Skip it, and you're missing out on a spirited soul. Swap with rye for a spicier kick!

Emma Rose


Half an ounce of Cointreau brings a sweet and citrusy balance - a perfect middle ground. More could overpower, less and you might not feel the zing. Leave it out? It's like a story without a twist. Triple sec is a common sub, but it's like kissing through a veil - similar, yet not quite the same.

Alex Green

Peychaud's Bitters

Seven dashes, which seem precise, but trust me, it's a magic number. It's a floral note in your taste symphony. Without it, you lack that pinkish hue and end up with an unfinished melody. Aromatic bitters could step in, but it's like swapping violins for cellos - a different kind of harmony.

Mary Mitkina

Angostura Bitters

Seven dashes here too - not to make a potion, but to add a complexity with its herbaceous blend. Skipping it leaves the drink feeling somewhat hollow, like a suit without a tie. A similar bitter can be used, but it's like changing the lead actor - the play goes on, but the performance changes.

Emma Rose


3 oz of bubbly charm tops the glass, lifting the spirit with effervescence. Too much and it's a gala in a glass, too little and it's just not a celebration. No champagne? Then it's not a Seelbach, it's just another cocktail. Prosecco can substitute, but think of it as a cheerful friend replacing the life of the party.

Alex Green

Orange Twist

A garnish that's more than just a pretty face; it adds a citrus scent that beckons you to take a sip. Forget it, and you've neglected the final brushstroke on your masterpiece. Lemon could stand in, but it's like ending a concerto with a piccolo note instead of a violin's sustained whisper.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Seelbach Drink

  1. In a mixing glass, combine the bourbon, Cointreau, Peychaud's Bitters, and Angostura Bitters.
  2. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
  3. Strain the mixture into a chilled champagne flute.
  4. Top with champagne.
  5. Garnish with an orange twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality bourbon for the best taste.
  • Make sure to chill the champagne flute before pouring the cocktail into it.
  • Stir the mixture until well-chilled to ensure the flavors are well-blended.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The rich flavors of cured meats and cheeses complement the oaky notes of bourbon in the Seelbach.
  • Oysters: The briny freshness of oysters pairs beautifully with the acidity and effervescence of the champagne.
  • Smoked Salmon: Its rich, fatty texture and smoky flavor work well with the cocktail's complex bitters.

Main Courses

  • Roast Pork: The Seelbach's robust flavor profile can stand up to hearty meat dishes like roast pork.
  • Duck Breast: The sweetness of the Cointreau and the depth of the bitters can provide a lovely counterpoint to a well-cooked duck.
  • Spicy Creole Dishes: The sweetness and the aromatic bitters in the drink can help to balance the heat from spicy dishes.


  • Dark Chocolate: Pair the cocktail with a piece of rich, dark chocolate for a decadent treat.
  • Lemon Tart: The citrus notes from the orange twist and Cointreau can enhance citrus-based desserts.

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What you could change in Seelbach

  • You can replace Cointreau with any other orange liqueur.
  • If you don't have Peychaud's Bitters, you can use Angostura Bitters instead.
  • Prosecco can be used as a substitute for Champagne.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Seelbach

  • Bourbon: 1 oz (try a smoked bourbon)
  • Cointreau: 0.5 oz
  • Peychaud's Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Angostura Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Sparkling Apple Cider: 3 oz
  • Apple Slice: 1

For a fall twist on the classic, swap the champagne for sparkling apple cider. It'll add a touch of autumn whimsy with a smoked bourbon to bring a fireside vibe, lifting the spirits with a playful fizz.

Spiced Seelbach

  • Spiced Bourbon: 1 oz
  • Cointreau: 0.5 oz
  • Peychaud's Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Angostura Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Champagne: 3 oz
  • Cinnamon Stick: 1

Invoke the warmth of spices by using a spiced bourbon. It gives the Seelbach a holiday twist, like decking the halls with liquid merriment. Crown it with a cinnamon stick, and it's Christmas in a glass.

Berry Seelbach

  • Bourbon: 1 oz
  • Raspberry Liqueur: 0.5 oz
  • Peychaud's Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Angostura Bitters: 7 dashes
  • Champagne: 3 oz
  • Fresh Raspberries: A few

Take a walk on the berry side by substituting the Cointreau with raspberry liqueur. This introduces a fruity blush to our dapper drink, turning every sip into a playful dance of summer berries and bubbly champagne.

In case you forgot basics how to make Seelbach

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Seelbach

Can I drink Seelbach if I am allergic to any fruit?

Be cautious if you have allergies. The Seelbach cocktail includes Cointreau, an orange liqueur, and a garnish of orange twist. If you are allergic to oranges or any citrus fruit, speak with your allergist before indulging in this cocktail.

What is the best time to enjoy a Seelbach cocktail?

As it's rich and boozy, the Seelbach is often enjoyed as an aperitif (pre-meal drink) or a celebratory cocktail. Its effervescence from the champagne makes it popular for festive occasions.

I'm a vegan. Can I drink Seelbach?

Yes, the Seelbach cocktail is suitable for a vegan diet. The recipe includes bourbon, Cointreau, bitters and champagne, none of which involve animal products or byproducts.

What does the 'oz' in the ingredients mean?

'Oz' is an abbreviation for 'ounces'. In this context, it's used to measure the volume of liquid ingredients in the cocktail.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Seelbach cocktail?

Non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails, also known as 'mocktails', are possible but the taste will not be the same. Instead of bourbon, you could use a non-alcoholic bourbon alternative, and replace Cointreau with an orange extract or syrup. Omit the bitters as they are alcoholic, and replace the champagne with a non-alcoholic sparkling wine or soda.

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