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rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

Magic Hour


  • 1 ½ oz Lillet Rose or Lillet Blanc

  • ½ oz grapefruit juice

  • teaspoon simple syrup

  • teaspoon Yellow Chartreuse

  • 2-3 oz Brut Champagne or other dry sparkling wine

  • grapefruit peel for garnish


Combine all ingredients, in a shaker, except the Champagne.  Fill with ice, shake for 6-8 seconds, and strain into a champagne flute. Top with the Champagne.  Express the oils of the grapefruit peel and garnish. 

If you make a Magic Hour or La Vie en Rose, let me see!  Please tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.


The Magic Hour is a light, lower proof Champagne cocktail.  I created it a few years ago for Clover Club’s menu when Lillet Rosé was first released, which similar to Lillet Blanc but with more of the ripe fruit and berry flavors you’d expect from a rosé wine.  Though, if you don’t have Lillet Rosé, the blanc works great in this recipe as well. 


When I was working on the drink, after a few esoteric misfires, my GM Christine Williams (now my partner) suggested I take the path of least resistance and try using sparkling wine and grapefruit juice.  Needless to say, she was right. The Magic Hour has been on the of the most popular cocktails I've ever put on Clover’s menu.  The name is a reference to a photography term for the hour or so after dawn or before dusk, when the low lying sun makes everything glow and look particularly beautiful, or magical.


This is an excellent drink to serve at parties. You can use the same methods outlined on the French 75 page.  And if you want to make it a little stiffer, go ahead and toss in half an ounce of gin (I may actually prefer it that way).

La Vie en Rose

This is a simple riff I did on the Magic Hour for the Baccarat Hotel’s bar menu in NYC, which Julie Reiner and I consulted on together.  This version adds half an ounce of gin (I took my own advice there), replaces the Yellow Chartreuse with Campari and uses rose Champagne.  It’s few shades pinker and the Campari adds a pleasant bitterness on the finish.  I’m not sure if I love this or the original more.  


  • 1 ½ oz Lillet Rose

  • ½ oz gin

  • ½ oz grapefruit juice

  • ¼  oz simple syrup

  • ¾ teaspoon Campari

  • 3-4 oz Rose Champagne or other dry rose sparkling wine

  • grapefruit peel for garnish


Prepare as above.

La Vie en Rose
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