1 lump Sugar (Demerara Cube)
2 dash Orange Bitters (Angostura Orange)
Champagne (Gruet Brut)
Dash bitters over sugar in small cocktail glass. Stir Dubonnet with ice and strain into glass. Add champagne to fill, stir gently, and twist lemon peel over the top. Serve with cut straws.
The Alfonso had a pretty garnet color from the Dubonnet and a tingly lemon nose from the twist and champagne bubbles. The Dubonnet and orange bitters are a classic pairing seen in many older drinks such as the Zaza Cocktail and work well due to the synergy of orange peel flavors in each. Indeed, over time, as more of the sugar cube dissolved into the drink, it became increasingly curaçao-like in flavor. Andrea rather enjoyed the drink and wished that Seelbachs tasted like this. When pushed, she did declare that it was better than a Seelbach, but perhaps not better than the ones that bartender Andy McNees makes here in Boston.