Friday, December 27, 2013

Sparkling Moscato Cocktails

With New Year's Eve quickly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few cocktails. I used to be a big drinker in college (who wasn't?) and I was a party maniac for a while but lately, I v. rarely drink. I don't know if it's because I'm lame or just not into it anymore. However, that's not to say I don't enjoy the occasional sweet libation.

My favorite wine, and possibly my favorite alcoholic drink, is Moscato D'Asti. It's a really sweet white dessert wine and sometimes it's effervescent. Because it's my favorite, I'm sharing three easy cocktail ideas based around this one type of wine. If you're making a party, it would be easy enough to just set out some chilled bottles of wine and the flavor additions as a drink station and people could mix their own drinks as needed. The perfect low-maintenance strategy for the low-key host(ess).
I wasn't 100% sure how to share the proportions of these drinks so I just did them relative to the size of one bottle of wine, but honestly, how sweet you make your cocktails is up to you.

First up is a pomegranate and lime cocktail. I shared a post about how to seed a pomegranate earlier this morning, if you haven't done it yourself before.
Ingredients:
750 ml sparkling moscato
1 cup pomegranate juice
handful of pomegranate seeds
juice of 1 lime
To extract juice from the pomegranate seeds, just put them in a cup and crush them up with a wooden spoon and then strain. Or, if you need a big batch, you can throw them in a food processor and just pulse a few times, just enough to break through the pulp around the seeds, and then push through a strainer. Once you have the pom juice, squeeze a bit of lime into the juice.
To assemble the cocktail, muddle the mint, pour in the moscato, pour in the pom juice, toss in some pomegranate seeds, and garnish with a lime slice. Tada.
This is a subtly sweet cocktail so it's for people who prefer not-so-sweet drinks. And it looks gorgeous and fancy and festive.
Next, I'm sharing an orange and basil sparkling wine cocktail.
750 ml bottle of sparkling moscato
bunch of basil
juice of 4 oranges
orange twist (as garnish)
I decided to garnish my cocktail with an orange zest twist. There are special tools to make these but I just use a vegetable peeler. I use the sharp tip to draw two parallel lines around the circumference of the orange, digging in enough to cut through just the peel but not actually into the flesh of the orange segments. Then, I just scoop out the peel, curl it around my finger, and voila. Easy as that.
To assemble this cocktail, muddle the mint, add in the orange juice, and then pour in some wine. Garnish with an orange slice and the orange zest twist.
This cocktail is sweet and aromatic. The smell of the orange and basil are so wonderful. It's kind of like an amped up mimosa.
The last cocktail I'm sharing is one that's flavored with ginger, cinnamon, and bartlett pear. You'll have to make a simple syrup, which I shared earlier this morning, which is hardly a difficult task. This is probably my favorite of the three cocktails I'm making today.
Ingredients:
750 ml bottle of sparkling moscato
pears poached in the syrup (as garnish)
All you have to do is combine the syrup and the wine and give it a quick stir (not too much stirring or you'll get rid of all the carbonation) and then garnish with the syrup poached pear.
This cocktail is subtle but bold at the same time, if that makes any sense; no, that doesn't make any sense. What I'm trying to say is that the drink is sweet and light and you can definitely tell that there's cinnamon, ginger, and pear mixed in but it's not overpowering.
Enjoy these libations (responsibly) and have a Happy New Year!
xoxo.

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