We’ve all seen that part of a movie or TV show where there’s a super fancy party going on and you know it’s a super fancy party because they have a champagne tower for their guests—a literal tower of champagne—with what looks like the cast of Downton Abbey pouring the champagne into the top glass. The funny thing about the champagne tower feat is that is has such a mysterious and fancy air about it, but you can do it for any party that you have—no British butler required! We recently had a Halloween party for our A Color Story app here in Nashville, and since I had some “champagne tower experience” for a past baby shower, we thought I’d make one for the party and show you guys how to make one as well!
The first step to creating a champagne tower is to figure out how many tiers tall you want your tower to be. You have 1 glass on the top (1×1=1) and then 4 on the next tier below it (2×2=4) and then 9 on the next tier (3×3=9) and then 16 on the tier below that (4×4=16) and then 25 on the tier below that (5×5=25) and you just keep adding tiers that are one number bigger multiplied by itself until you get to the final number of glasses you need or the tier height that you were envisioning.
Once you know how many tiers you want and therefore have done the math on how many glasses you need, you’ll most likely want to rent real glasses in that amount or you can also buy these to use if you don’t want to rent real ones. Just make sure that you get the “coupe” style of champagne glasses, the shorter wider glasses, rather than the “flutes” which are tall skinny glasses and can’t be stacked. I have actually made a successful tower out of both rented glass and plastic glasses, but I did find that the rented glasses we had were actually 3-4 various heights that were slightly different. Now that’s not a big deal at all if using them on tables for a dinner party, but we had to carefully sift through the glasses to try and find ones that were similar heights for each tier and that was super annoying. It seems like maybe that rental company had glasses from a few different brands mixed together, so maybe ask when you rent real glasses if all the coupes are exactly the same from the same brand and you won’t have that problem. With the plastic glasses, you just need to be very careful attaching the cup part of the glass to the stem and make sure that you are attaching them as level as possible. Otherwise you’ll have a similar problem where all the glasses are crooked and you won’t have a very sturdy tower.
To make your tower, start by arranging your bottom tier on a sturdy table (not one that’s wiggly or in a spot that would be bumped easily!) in a square with each glass touching all the glasses that surround it. Then, start your next layer by placing the base of your second tier glasses directly in the center of where 4 of your bottom glasses come together. You should be able to look down at the base of your second tier glass and see a diamond shape (created by the 4 bottom tier cup edges) centered in the base. Build your smaller layer on top of the larger layer below, trying to see that diamond shape in the base of each glass and trying to get the second tier to also be as close to each other as possible, sides touching if you can.
Once you are done with your second layer, keep building up and up until you have just one glass on top!
As far as the champagne goes, you can do one of two things: You can either leave all the glasses empty and pour the champagne into the top glass so that it eventually overflows and spills all the way down the tower, filling the glasses as it goes down, or you can build the tower with the glasses mostly full already and the top one empty so that you’ll still get to fill the top glass and see it overflow all the way down the tiers, but it will all happen a lot faster. If you’ve ever seen a large tower being filled from the top that started out with empty glasses, it can take a pretty long time to fill them all so you may start to lose guests’ attention by the time you are pouring in the 3rd or 4th bottle. As far as how much champagne you’ll need to fill everything, just add up how many glasses you have multiplied by how many ounces the glasses hold and that will tell you how many ounces of champagne you’ll need (so just check the ounces on the bottles that you’re wanting to get to make sure you have enough).
Now that you have your tower and enough champagne, pick the moment you want to debut your tower skills (maybe after a short welcome speech or a toast in honor of the party occasion) and fill that tower from the top! You may need a chair to stand on while pouring if you’re a shortie like me, or just ask your 6’3″ friend to do the honors …
It’s always a party highlight when a champagne tower is present, so if you’re looking for extra fun at your next event, this may be the perfect thing! xo. Laura