A cranberry and pomegranate-infused simple syrup is mixed with champagne (or seltzer) and a squeeze of lime for a sparkling drink that’s perfect for celebrating the holidays or ringing in the New Year.
The countdown to Christmas is down to the wire…are you ready??? I simply cannot believe how quickly December flew by this year. Heck, I can’t believe how quickly 2013 flew by! Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to celebrating Christmas this week and ringing in the New Year next week. And today I’m sharing a refreshing bellini that’s perfectly suited to both occasions!
First off, how festive and pretty is this drink, looking all red and bubbly and cheery?! But aside from its pretty color, this beverage is also delicious, with a flavor that’s simultaneously sweet and tart. Cranberries are the signature fruit of the holiday season, and pomegranates are all the rage these days. Add in a squeeze of lime, which enhances just about any fruity drink, and you have a cocktail that’s ideal for celebrating the holidays!
These bellinis would be perfect for a party. Individual drinks can be made as they are requested, or you can assemble a whole pitcher for guests to serve themselves. And while a true bellini is made with Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine), you can certainly substitute your favorite champagne in this recipe. Making a non-alcoholic version is easy as well, by using seltzer in place of the Prosecco.
Rather than the peach puree traditionally used in bellinis, this recipe relies on a fruit juice-based simple syrup. (If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you already know that I like to have fun with simple syrup!) Since I wanted my cranberry and pomegranate flavors to be as pure as possible, I bought 100% juice in both cases, rather than a cranberry juice cocktail with apple and white grape juice added in for sweetness. That’s right…the cranberry juice I bought had no added sugar and was tart with a capital T. However, by the time I added in the naturally sweeter pomegranate juice and incorporated plenty of sugar in turning the whole concoction into a simple syrup, the overly tart cranberry juice was but a distant memory. However, if the juice you buy is already sweetened — with sugar or the addition of other fruit juices — just be sure to reduce the amount of sugar used in the simple syrup (I would probably cut it in half) so that you don’t end up with an overly sweet drink.
So are you thirsty yet? I know that I’ll be enjoying a few of these bellinis over the holidays and again as I welcome in 2014. This drink is festive, it’s fun, it’s fruity…and I think it will be a hit whether you serve it for Christmas or use it to toast in the New Year with your honey. Enjoy, friends!
More recipes to ring in the New Year…