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“We go together like champagne and oysters” isn't something you hear too often, but it really is a perfect pairing! That's why, if you're serving raw oysters as an appetizer with a glass of bubbly, you should reserve a little champagne for this champagne mignonette and watch your tastebuds dance!
If you're serving champagne mignonette, you'll need the perfect oysters on the half shell recipe to go with it!
So, you're serving raw oysters as an appetizer for a fancy, celebratory, or important meal. Or, you live near the ocean and have access to fresh oysters and it's a regular old day for you (lucky duck!) And since you're serving oysters it means you'll need a sauce to go with them – that's where the classic combo of oysters and champagne mignonette comes in! Get ready to fine-dine the pants off your guests!
What is mignonette?
A mignonette is a dipping sauce, that is highly tied to eating raw oysters. It always consists of vinegar, shallots, and fresh cracked pepper. The flavors of the sauce balance and brighten the taste of the briny oysters.
Following this recipe you'll feel confident serving champagne mignonette alongside your raw oysters, as well as saying it! It's pronounced “min-yon-et”.
Ingredients to make champagne mignonette
The beauty of this champagne mignonette recipe is in its simplicity. And usually, if it's paired with raw oysters, it's not to subtract from or blanket the taste of the oysters, but to complement and even enhance it. Here's what you'll need to make champagne mignonette:
- Champagne: for this recipe, you'll need ¼ cup of champagne. That said, you can use any kind of sparkling wine to make champagne mignonette.
- Champagne vinegar: This is a mild type of vinegar made from Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. The champagne vinegar supports the champagne in this recipe as you'll only need 2 tablespoons.
- Shallots: For this champagne mignonette you'll need 2 teaspoons of shallots, finely minced. Although shallots are in the onion family, they have a less harsh taste than other types of onions. They will, however, still add a sharpness to this sauce.
- Fresh cracked pepper: you can have freshly cracked black pepper at home using peppercorns and a pepper mill. It's superior to ground pepper since the pepper mill will give you a coarser pepper overall and it will really add to the taste.
Additions and substitutions
There are some additions and substitutions you can make to this simple sauce, depending on what you have on hand or the flavor profile you're after. Here are some examples:
- Non-alcoholic: you can make champagne vinegar mignonette (and omit the champagne or sparkling wine) to achieve a similar result.
- Herbs: You can use some herbs in this sauce as well to add another layer of fresh, herby brightness. Popular options are parsley and cilantro.
- Salt: It's not unheard of to add salt to champagne mignonette, however, keep in mind that the oysters will be salty by nature. Consider trying the mignonette sauce on an oyster without salt before you add any more.
- Sugar: The champagne will add some sweetness to this sauce, however, you can add sugar to your taste. or liking.
- Citrus: Try adding a small splash of your favorite citrus. Lemon, lime, and orange all work very well.
What to serve with champagne mignonette
If you're considering serving champagne mignonette you're also serving raw oysters, which are typically served as an appetizer. Here's an example of a menu that would go nicely with a starter like oysters and champagne mignonette:
- Meat: Serving a nice steak with sauteed green beans and roasted fingerling potatoes would be a wonderful follow-up to your oyster appetizer.
- Fish: If you're on a seafood theme, smoked salmon pasta would be a delicious entre and equally as impressive!
- Shared plates or all appies: If you're going to do share plates or an all-appetizer menu, consider also serving chimichurri steak bites, bacon scallop lollipops, crispy parmesan brussels sprouts, and/or potato croquettes. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does mignonette last?
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, it will keep for a month.
How many oysters should I serve?
This champagne mignonette is good for 12 oysters, however, you should calculate 3-4 oysters per person and adjust the measurements of the sauce accordingly. You can double or triple the recipe if you're serving a larger group.
Can I use a different kind of vinegar?
Champagne vinegar has a gentle flavor, so if you are going to use a different type of vinegar, choose a mild one or add less. Sherry vinegar works very well. Or a nice red wine vinegar is tasty, too.
More seafood appetizers
- ¼ cup champagne
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons shallots (finely minced)
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Crushed ice (to keep oysters cool)
- 12 raw oysters (shucked)
- Lemon wedges and freshly grated horseradish (optional)
- freshly grated horseradish (optional)
- Combine the champagne, vinegar, shallots, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.¼ cup champagne, 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, 2 teaspoons shallots, Fresh cracked pepper
- Cover a rimmed plate with ice then arrange the shucked oysters on top.12 raw oysters, Lemon wedges and freshly grated horseradish, freshly grated horseradish, Crushed ice
- Serve with the champagne mignonette, lemon wedges, and horseradish. Enjoy, preferably with a glass of champagne!
Watch out for any small bits of shell that might have broken off, you definitely don’t want to eat these. Make sure you don’t use your good knives, it will break the tips off of them for sure!
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.