The Seelbach Cocktail

The Seelbach Cocktail

When devising a signature drink for the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Ky., Adam Seger drew inspiration from the cocktails made with cava and Spanish brandy that he had tasted at a Spanish restaurant. Wishing to create something that would resemble a pre-Prohibition drink, he replaced the brandy with Old Forester, a bourbon with a long heritage in Kentucky, and the cava with Korbel Brut, the sort of sparkling wine that would have been available to a Louisville bartender in the early years of the 20th century. The drink comes across as a mash-up of a manhattan and a Champagne cocktail: refreshing and just peculiar enough to keep you interested. Mr. Seger strongly recommends that all of the ingredients be very cold before being introduced to the glass.
  • Serves: 1 person



  1. Step 1

    In a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, combine the bourbon, triple sec and bitters. Stir until chilled, about 30 seconds.
  2. Step 2

    Strain the mixture into a Champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Rub a long curlicue orange twist around the rim of the cocktail and let it hang off the side of the flute.