This champagne pomegranate cocktail is party perfect for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and every holiday party in between. The sweetness of pomegranate syrup balances with the bitterness of orange liqueur for a light refreshing champagne cocktail that will be sure to win over your guests. Make yours with champagne, cava, or even prosecco. Read on to learn more or scroll straight to the recipe. Happy Holidays!
This cocktail recipe was created to celebrate New Years Eve in 2015, with the original photos shot the very night that James proposed. Since then my photography and writing skills have improved, but the recipe for the cocktail lives on. I have updated the post, in hopes that you can now find it more easily.
When it comes to celebrating with cocktails, I’m not usually one to go for the hard liquor unless it’s a cadillac margarita with tacos or a mint julep on the first Saturday in May. What I do reach for is a bottle of champagne or cava, along with homemade simple syrups and flavored liqueurs. There is something I love about sparkling cocktails with tiny bubbles and fun colors, and this one is no exception.
It has a gorgeous ruby red color and pomegranate arils kept afloat by tiny champagne bubbles. This pomegranate cocktail definitely deserves a spot at the bar for your next holiday party. You can even mix the orange liqueur with the pomegranate syrup in advance to make a simple two step cocktail that people can make like a mimosa, with as little or as much champagne as they wish.
Homemade Pomegranate Syrup
The recipe starts with homemade pomegranate simple syrup, which I do at a ratio of one part sugar to four parts pomegranate juice. That is 1 TBSP of sugar for 1/4 cup of juice or 1/4 cup sugar for 1 cup of juice. Pomegranate juice kind of tastes a bit like sour cherries or even a cranberry apple blend. It’s not very sweet on it’s own, but a little bit of sugar goes a long way.
If you are going to be using it right away, you can prepare your pomegranate syrup with a cold process. This means putting the sugar and juice into a jar and shaking it until the sugar dissolves. It’s may save you from not having to clean a pan, but you’ll spend that time still shaking your jar. This is the way I would make it in the middle of a party if we ran out. Cold process simple syrups will last about 5 – 7 days in the fridge.
For longer storage prepare your simple syrup with a hot process. This is the way I do it for both this recipe and my Ginger Simple Syrup. Heat the juice and sugar over a medium flame while stirring constantly. Once the sugar dissolves remove it from the burner. Do not let it boil. The heat will help to kill any bacteria and extends the shelf life up to a month.
For maximum shelf life for simple syrups, use a glass jar and sanitize it by submerging both the bottle and lid in boiling water before pouring in the syrup. Don’t use syrup that has turned cloudy or hazy. For more about simple syrups check out this post from Food Republic.
Selecting an Orange Liqueur
Our second ingredient is an orange liqueur. While it has the same alcohol content as most liquors, a liqueur uses a liquor base and is usually sweetened and enhanced with extracts to add flavor. Instead of serving as the base of the drink, they are often treated as an accent.
Like any other liquor, liqueurs range in quality from well to top shelf. On the lower end, you will find cheap versions of triple sec or curacao. Mid range liqueurs are still called triple sec or curacao, but they cost a bit more and tend to have higher quality ingredients. On the high end you’ll find the premium liqueurs like Cointreau and Grand Marnier.
What is the difference between champagne, cava, and prosecco?
This sparkling cocktail works with prosecco, cava, champagne, or any other kind of sparkling wine you can find. Like any good cocktail, it’s only as good as the ingredients you put in it. The bubbles in this cocktail are the biggest ingredient, which means it’s the most important and you should choose one you’d enjoy drinking straight.
While champagne is the word people search for most, it’s not actually what I would reach for when making champagne cocktails. In my opinion, champagne and high end sparkling wines can be a bit too fancy and expensive for cocktails, except for special occasions.
For something a little more wallet friendly look for a bottle of cava or prosecco. Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine made by adding carbonated gas to still wine. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine that undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, which is known as the champagne method.
Whichever you sparkling wine choose, select a liqueur and your sparkling wine from the same range.
Setting Up A Cocktail Bar
While champagne cocktails are easy to serve for small gatherings, with a bit of preplanning they are great for large parties too. If you are sticking to the recipe as planned and making 5 ounce cocktails, you can make just over 12 servings with 2 bottles of champagne, one 375ml bottle of orange liqueur, and 12 ounces of pomegranate syrup.
You can premix your mixers – combining the pomegranate syrup and orange liqueur – in advance. In order to keep the bubbles in your drink, don’t premix the champagne.
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Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail Recipe & Pomegranate Syrup Recipe
Perfect for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any holiday party. This champagne pomegranate cocktail balances the sweetness of pomegranate syrup with the bitterness of orange liqueur for a refreshing festive cocktail. Only three ingredients and sure to win over your guests.
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- 1 ounces pomegranate syrup
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- 4 ounces champagne or sparkling wine
- pomegranate pearls and orange zest for garnish, optional
- Chill all ingredients before mixing.
- In a 5 ounce champagne goblet or flute measure the pomegranate syrup and orange liqueur.
- Add a few pomegranate pearls and a strip of orange peel.
- Top with champagne to fill the glass.
To make pomegranate syrup combine 1 cup of pomegranate juice with 1/4 cup sugar. Heat over a medium flame until the sugar is dissolved. Makes 1 cup or pomegranate simple syrup.