The subtle sweetness of pomegranate syrup and the citrus bite of orange make this three ingredient pomegranate orange sparkler a great option for New Year’s Eve and all winter long.
New Year’s Eve is tomorrow!! It’s hard to believe that 2015 is almost over. It has been a great year filled with many exciting things: new nieces, my blog launch, and of course many new recipes! It’s hard to let it go, but I know that 2016 has so much in store for us.
Looking at all we have planned for next year, I have officially dubbed it as the “Year of the Wedding.” We had 6 weddings already on the calendar for next year. Last Saturday, we decided to add one more when James proposed! With so much to celebrate, champagne and sparkling wine (lovingly called “bubbles” in our house) will be a common theme for us in 2016.
Tomorrow will be no exception and we will definitely be in celebration mode. On the menu: this three ingredient pomegranate orange sparkler. It’s a fairly simple concoction that your guests can mix themselves, which means you won’t be tied to the bar to keep your guests happy.
Our first ingredient is the pomegranate syrup. It can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. The recipe makes just over a cup, which is what you need for one bottle of bubbles. It’s easy to double or triple it, depending on how many bottles you expect to use and how sweet you like your cocktails. It’s like making a simple syrup, but we are using pomegranate juice in place of water. Measure 1 1/2 cups of pomegranate juice into a small saucepan. Place the pan over a burner on high and add 5 tablespoons of sugar (you can increase this if you like really sweet cocktails). Stir until it dissolves and the juice comes to a boil. Drop the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes or until it’s reduced by 1/4th. Allow it to cool to room temperature before pouring into an airtight container (I used a canning jar) and then place it in the fridge to cool completely.
Our second ingredient is an orange flavored liqueur. It’s fairly simple to make a with a good quality vodka, orange peels, and sugar. Combine them together, leave it sit in a cool place for 2 – 3 months to extract the flavor, and you have a homemade version.
However, I did not have the time to make it, so I sought out something that wasn’t cloyingly sweet and provided the essences of orange with a bit of spice. The cheap version of triple sec and curacao (both technically orange liqueurs) tend to make cocktails taste a bit artificial, which was not the goal here. I chose to go with Cointreau, a premium version from France. The 375 ml bottle will make 12 of these cocktails, or enough for 2 bottles of bubbles. Again, adjust accordingly for your party needs.
The last ingredient is the most important: the bubbles! For the photo shoot I chose to sample Piper Sonoma’s Blanc de Blanc and their Brut, just for comparison’s sake. The pomegranate orange sparkler worked well with both types of bubble, but as I usually prefer Blanc de Blancs to Bruts, I gravitated a bit more towards the Blanc de Blanc. I have also tried this cocktail using cava (bubbles from Spain) and Prosecco (slightly sweeter bubbles from Italy). Truth is, it works well with all of them. Since you aren’t drinking the bubbles straight there is no need to splurge on expensive champagne. If you ensure your other ingredients are high quality, you can get by with a mid-range bottle of bubbles ($15 – $25 range).
The assembly of this pomegranate orange sparkler is easy enough that your tipsy guests can make it themselves! Grab a 6 ounce champagne flute. Add 1 1/2 ounces of pomegranate syrup, 1 ounce of the orange liqueur, and top off the glass with about 4 ounces of champagne. Optionally, you can garnish it with orange peel or pomegranate pearls.
With my normal champagne glasses, this ratio fills them up to just below the brim. With my champagne glasses for entertaining, which are smaller, the whole amount won’t fit. Taste test and adjust the amounts accordingly. If you don’t want to measure, you can just eyeball it. It tastes great regardless of the final ratio.
How are you ringing in the new year?? What cocktails do you have planned for your New Year’s Eve party? Have you ever used bubbles for a base in a cocktail? Let me know in the contents below!
Don’t forget to share, yum, or pin this recipe for later!
Pomegranate Orange Sparkler
- 1 1/2 ounces pomegranate syrup
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- 4 ounces of champagne
- pomegranate pearls and orange zest for garnish
- Chill all ingredients before mixing.
- In a 6 ounce champagne flute measure the pomegranate syrup and orange liqueur.
- Add a few pomegranate pearls and a strip of two of orange peel.
- Top with champagne to fill the glass.
- Adjust ratios based on personal preference.