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With so much to celebrate in the coming days I thought I would focus this week’s topic on some great drinks for Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Bubbles, sparkling, effervescence, fizz—the mere names for that sensation of tiny dots of carbonation that tickle our noses and our palates bring visions of celebration and cheer and holiday festivities. A great glass of bubbly is always a perfect “little something” for any party or holiday celebration!
This year lets spruce up the traditional celebratory champagne this year with my recipe for the Douglas Fir Sparkletini. This is absolutely my favorite holiday cocktail. The light essence of Douglas fir infusing the gin evokes a sleigh ride in the woods, and the pouf of Champagne adds a festive effervescence. If you don’t have Douglas Fir available to you, you can purchase a Douglas fir tea to infuse the gin instead.
And if you’re a bourbon drinker try my recipe for a Dubious Manhattan – with the extra special little garnish of gold gilded cherries!
Just because someone doesn’t drink does not mean they have to have boring choices. I have a lot of friends who don’t drink, and their biggest complaint is always that there is nothing “special” for them. Sure there’s sparkling mineral water with a splash of cranberry—but they want something hand-crafted, too—like a great cocktail. I have also included my recipe for Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle to make ALL partygoers feel extra festive – kids will love it to!
Douglas Fir Sparkletini
This is absolutely my favorite holiday cocktail. The light essence of Douglas fir infusing the gin evokes a sleigh ride in the woods, and the pouf of Champagne adds a festive effervescence.
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces Douglas Fir–Infused Gin (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce white cranberry juice
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice + 3/4 oz simple syrup
OR 1 1/2 oz Dish D’Lish Lemon & Lime Sour Cocktailor
Splash of brut Champagne or dry sparkling wine
For garnishing: Tiny sprig of Douglas fir, Fresh or frozen cranberry
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in the infused gin, cranberry and lemon juices, and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of Champagne. Garnish with a fir sprig and float a cranberry in the drink.
Douglas Fir–Infused Gin
Makes enough for about 16 drinks
1 (5- to 6-inch) sprig fresh-picked Douglas fir branch, rinsed
1 bottle (750 ml) gin
Put the fir branch into the gin bottle, cap, and let sit 24 hours. (Do not let it infuse for more than 24 hours.) Remove the branch and discard. The infused gin can be stored at room temperature for up to one year.
Tips: If fresh Douglas fir is not available in your area, then you can substitute a Douglas-fir tea bag. If using the tea, add the contents of the tea bag to the gin, let infuse, and then strain the gin through a very fine strainer. The infused gin also makes a good martini.
Douglas Fir tea is available at Dish D’Lish Ballard Café.
© 2009 by Kathy Casey, Recipe from Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books
The spicy aroma of French Dubonnet Rouge ever so slightly modifies the traditional manhattan. My Gilded cherries add a bit of bling bling!
Makes 1 drink
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce Dubonnet Rouge
1/2 ounce sweet red vermouth
Dash of peach bitters
For garnishing: Gilded Cherry on a pick or a maraschino cherry
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Measure in the bourbon, Dubonnet, and vermouth. Add the bitters. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. Spear the cherry on a pick and garnish
2 cups maraschino cherries – DRAINED WELL and then super dried on paper towels
1 container of Gold Luster Dust (3 g) [available at cake decorating stores or on-line]
Make the cherries in a container that you are going to store the cherries. It is important that the cherries be very well drained. Place the cherries in the container and add the luster dust. Stir gently to coat cherries in gold. Do not over stir – over stirring makes the gold “stirred in” and not coating. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.
© 2009 Kathy Casey Food Studios® – Liquid Kitchen ™- Adapted from a recipe from Sips & Apps, Chronicle Books
Rosemary Pom Holiday Sparkle
Fresh rosemary’s herbal essence and tangerine the sweetness of the sparkling cider.
Makes 1 drink
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 of a large tangerine or Satusma or tangerine (1/2 if very small)
1 1/2 ounces pomegranate juice
3 ounces sparkling apple cider
Garnish: Fresh rosemary sprig
Bend the rosemary sprig and drop into a cocktail shaker. Squeeze in the tangerine and drop in. Fill the shaker with ice. Measure in the pomegranate juice. Cap and shake vigorously. Pour into a tall glass. Top with the cider. Stir. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
© 2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®