Holiday themed cocktails (really, any themed cocktail) is simply my idea of the icing on the holiday-cake and I’m thrilled to partner with HEB for another fun and easy cocktail. As always, I like recipes that will easily lend themselves to a mocktail so everyone can partake – those modifications are below the recipes.
Up first – a little Merry Maker I’m calling “Jingle Juice”. It’s a South Texas twist on a Poinsettia (champs and cran) or a Mimosa (oj and champs) with a secret ingredient that gives it that incredibly festive color! You’ll need a brut champagne (like Tott’s Brut – a December Primo Pick!), Cointreau – an orange flavored liqueur, and a surprising juice.
Voila! Prickly pear juice! You can purchase it pre-juiced (be sure you aren’t buying syrup – it’ll be too, too sweet!) or juice the prickly pears yourself. Prickly pears have an inherently fruity taste – if I was doing “tasting notes” I’d say it’s light, floral, and has a hit of bubble gum. The juice is pretty thick and a little goes a long way. It’s a perfect pairing to champagne. HEB has prickly pears in-store this time of year in the produce section.
- To a glass add a teaspoon of prickly pear juice and a tablespoon of Cointreau. Or just eyeball it: a little splash and a big splash.
- Top with chilled Tott’s Brut Champagne.
To make a mocktail version:
- To a glass add a splash of prickly pear juice and a drop of orange essential oil or orange extract.
- Top with well chilled sparkling white grape juice.
This girl doesn’t need a garnish in the glass (and prickly pear fruit isn’t a pretty garnish) but a sprig of greenery tied to the stem takes it up a notch, don’t you think? Let’s talk about these HEB Kitchen and Table Top crystal glasses – another December Primo Pick. Made in Germany (by the same people who make the Reidel glasses) they are a beautiful and affordable addition to your entertaining or everyday glassware stash. Although I’m usually a purist about champagne being in a champagne flute – the addition of the extras make this cocktail a perfect fit for a white wine glass. The high sides help keep the chill and bubbles just right.
While I was taste and combo brainstorming, I couldn’t resist this unexpected take on the champagne + orange flavor combo! Blue Curaco has a sweet orange flavor and is a great pairing with the Tott’s Brut. And in the Christmas spirit, we’ll call it:
A Blue Christmas
- To a glass, add a splash of Blue Curacao – start with a little and add more if you’d like. Too much is overwhelming!
- Top with chilled Tott’s Brut and garnish with an orange peel twist.
- To a glass add a splash of Blue Curacao syrup
- Top with chilled sparkling white grape juice.
Enjoy making merry with these two fun and unexpected cocktails – they’ll certainly be memorable!