Mrs. Beeton’s champagne cup

This recipe for Champagne Cup was immensely fashionable in the Victorian era. It was originally published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861. Various “cup” drinks such as Pimm’s cup, Claret cup, and badminton cup, were the precursor to a huge variety of contemporary mixed drinks and cocktails. Originally “cups” were so-called because they were served in a large, communal, silver cup. Mrs. Beeton’s original recipe calls for the old-fashioned herb borage but suggests cucumber rind as a substitute.

The recipe below is as it appeared in 1861 – complete with its own unique wording.


  1. INGREDIENTS. — 1 quart bottle of champagne, 2 bottles of soda-water, 1 liqueur-glass of brandy or Curaçoa, 2 tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar, 1 lb. of pounded ice, a sprig of green borage.

Mode. — Put all the ingredients into a silver cup; stir them together, and serve the same as claret-cup No. 1831. Should the above proportion of sugar not be found sufficient to suit some tastes, increase the quantity. When borage is not easily obtainable, substitute for it a few slices of cucumber-rind.


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