Despite not being big drinkers, every year on Christmas Morning my family crack open the champers. Usually it’s straight up for the hardcore and Bucks Fizz for those attempting to keep a hold of their enunciation skills before lunchtime, but 2013 was the year that my mum handed over some holiday responsibility to me, so when I prepared breakfast on Christmas day I rustled up some cocktails with a subtle change.
The thing with this cocktail is that it doesn’t have to be much work. I squeezed the oranges so we had fresh juice, but you could go the way of the carton if you fancied, you could Shake The Pulp out of an Orangina juice. A bit of vermouth, a splash of lemon juice and one lone pomegranate later, and you’re well on your way to a fruity but sharp festive alternative.
The thing with jars right, they’re pretty. I’m not ashamed to say I love drinking out of them, even if they are made for jam and grannies and non-Pinteresters alike think I’m a dickhead. Call me a hipster if you like but I’m into it. Jars are also good if you don’t have a cocktail shaker to hand. I poured orange juice and Martini (that’s vermouth, but you could use a vodka or gin if you liked) into my Kilner with a bit of lemon juice. I dropped some ice in to make it good and cold, and then I whacked on the lid and shook it up good and proper. One minor note, though. As much as I love how they look, there is one caveat to using a jar as your glass. Unlike a traditional shaker and glass option, your drink isn’t poured over fresh ice when you serve it, instead it’s served with the ice you shake it up with. The movement means you get the ice going and warm it up, making it melt quicker. So as you get to the bottom of your jarred cocktail it can turn a bit watery. My solution is to drink up faster.
Ingredients (Makes 6-8 Cocktails)
5 Large Oranges
150ml Dry Vermouth (that’s about 25ml, 1 shot, per person)
1 Cup of Ice
1 Bottle of Champagne, Prosecco or Cava (in fact, any sparkling wine will do)
1. Juice the oranges into a measuring jug. I used a wooden reamer from Lakeland, but you could use a fancy machine or just squeeze them by hand, it won’t take you long. Strain the juice through a sieve if you want it smooth, otherwise leave it as it is!
2. Pour the juice a third of the way up your jar or glass. Next, add a shot of vermouth to each jar.
3. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to each cocktail. I did this by sight, it doesn’t have to be exact. Drop a couple of ice cubes into each jar and screw the lid on tight. Shake away for 10-15 seconds, until all the ingredients are well mixed and the liquid’s temperature has come down.
4. Top each jar to the brim with bubbles. Drop in 2 tbsp of pomegranate seeds. Squeeze a little juice in while you’re at it. Voila!
I find that the fruit and vermouth counteract the dryness of the champagne quite nicely, but the tanginess the drink leaves behind means you can’t help but take this cocktail seriously. Fizzy pop, this ain’t. Leave your Sex On the Beach at home, I might just drink it all year long.