Belizean 75

This drink is brought to you with so much looooove.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

I know Valentine’s Day is behind us, but this Belizean 75 holds a very special place in my heart for multiple reasons.

First, you all know that the French 75 is one of the hubs’ and my absolute favorite cocktails, so much so that it was one of the two signature drinks we served at our wedding. I mean, anything involving both bubbles AND gin is a winner in my book. I love them both to pieces.

Second, we first got to taste a “Belizean 75” on our honeymoon shortly thereafter which, although not quite what we expected, did have a few fond memories going for it. This drink is definitely one of them and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make my own version at home.

I ordered the Belizean 75 the day we got back to our resort after being evacuated due to the hurricane, and, let me tell you, after being stuck in a $100 a night eco-lodge that flooded and had no power OR water after the storm hit it was like tasting the nectar of the Gods. Forget the plentiful glasses of red wine and steaming seafood platters that were constants at our Francis Coppola-owned resort, I just wanted this incredibly cool and refreshing cocktail on repeat.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

The main difference between a Belizean 75 and a French 75 is that local rum is used in place of gin, and any variety of local citrus is used in place of the standard lemon juice. I’m not too sure what variety of citrus they used at the Turtle Inn, but I had some blood oranges laying around and boy, did they add just the right zing of color to this cocktail!

I love this cocktail because it is incredibly easy to make and uses very few ingredients, ones you’ll likely have on hand already without requiring an extra trip to the store. All you’re going to need is sparkling wine, rum and fresh-squeezed citrus juice! I would just recommend that whatever citrus juice you use isn’t too tart, since there is no added sweetener in this drink (bonus – less of a hangover the next day!)

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

The blood oranges I used were perfect and lent that lovely pinkish hue. Despite what it looks like in the photos, I did use the exact same amount of blood orange juice in each drink, the pulp of one of the blood oranges was just a lot darker than the other. But that’s nature for ya!

Now I know today isn’t a “special” Friday per se (although if you ask me, every Friday is pretty dang special) but that’s no excuse to forego making a Belizean 75 or two. Whether you’re getting together with girlfriends or just want an easy at-home Happy Hour drink for you and your honey, this cocktail will do the trick. And with another round of nasty weather headed our way, I’d say we need as many tropical drinks as we can get to make us forget all the rain. Am I right?

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

Stay safe and dry this weekend my friends! Xx

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Belizean 75
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This cocktail is a fun, tropical riff on the classic French 75, using local rum instead of gin and fresh blood orange juice instead of lemon. The ultimate refresher!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce fresh blood orange juice (or other fresh citrus juice)
  • 1 ounce rum
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Combine orange juice and rum in the bottom of a champagne flute. Slowly pour the sparkling wine over top. Garnish with a blood orange wheel, if desired.

Belizean 75 | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch

Because no one wants to stand around making individual cocktails for all of their guests when there’s merry-making to be had.

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

This Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch is THE perfect cocktail for Christmas, New Year’s or any other holiday or celebration, for that matter. I love it so, so much because it involves all of my favorite things: sparkling wine, bourbon, pomegranate and orange juices, plus a few secret touches like rosemary simple syrup, orgeat and Angostura bitters.

That’s right I’ve taken the ingredients from all of my favorite cocktails over the past year and mashed them all up together in one giant pitcher- or punch bowl-full of deliciousness:

I’ve stolen the pomegranate juice (and I suppose also the bourbon) from this Pear, Pomegranate and Bourbon Punch

I’ve stolen the rosemary simple syrup from this Rosemary, Fig and Date Tequila Smash

I’ve stolen the orgeat from these Grapefruit Coladas on the Rocks

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

And if you had no idea I absolutely love sparkling wine, then you obviously don’t know me. Case(s) in point:

“Our” French 75

This Citrus Vanilla Sparkler

The over-the-top Greyhound 75

My “fall-ish” Harvest Mimosa

My OG Harvey Wallbanger Mimosa

And this Holiday Sparkling Sangria.

Have I convinced you yet? If I haven’t, let me just tell you that this festive Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch is the perfect balance of all of these favorite things. It’s got some good tang from the pomegranate juice (I always go for the purest form I can find, with no additives) that’s complimented wonderfully by the rosemary simple syrup and orgeat. Then you get some kick from the bourbon and bitters, which mellows out beautifully with the addition of a whole bottle of sparkling wine and some fresh orange juice. Seriously, it is so good.

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

When throwing together this Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch, I highly recommend doing so no more than a half hour or so prior to serving. It’s best served over a good amount of ice, and you don’t want the drink to get diluted. Plus, you can’t let the bubbles go flat!

Oh, and have you noticed that this beverage is quite the showstopper as far as looks? Thin slices of fresh orange and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils take the “wow” factor from a 5 all the way up to a 10. I like to tuck the orange slices into the sides of the ice and punch-filled pitcher to really make sure their visible, and then I slice a few extra to use as garnish once drinks are poured into individual glasses. I also reserve a few pomegranate arils to sprinkle over the top of each individual glass because, well, it’s soooo photogenic.

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, what do you think? Does this Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch sound like a winner in your book? It sure is in mine! The hubs and I are up in the Bay Area spending the holiday with both sets of our parents, and you can bet this will be in my back pocket when I’m put on cocktail duty throughout the weekend. I hope you all have the very merriest of Christmases and get to spend loads of time with all of your loved ones! XO

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | 22 Valentine's Day Cocktails and Mocktails on CaliGirlCooking.com
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Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch
Prep Time
10 mins
 

A fun, festive punch, with sparkling wine, bourbon, pomegranate juice and so many other seasonal flavors. 

Course: Drinks
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 8 ounces fresh orange juice (juice of about 2 oranges)
  • 6 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces orgeat
  • 2 ounces rosemary simple syrup (see notes for recipe)
  • 1/2 ounce angostura bitters
  • 1 750 mL bottle of dry sparkling wine
  • 8 ounces pomegranate arils (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 orange, sliced (plus more slices for garnish, if desired)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or punch bowl filled three quarters of the way full with ice. Stir with a long handled spoon to combine. Pour into individual glasses and garnish with additional pomegranate arils and orange slices if desired. 

Recipe Notes

To make the Rosemary Simple Syrup: Combine one cup granulated sugar, one cup water and one large sprig of fresh rosemary in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool before using a funnel to pour syrup into a glass bottle with a stopper for storage. Refrigerate up to one week.

Sparkling Pomegranate Party Punch | CaliGirlCooking.com

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler

How many reasons do we need to celebrate?

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

This post is brought to you in partnership with Drizly. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Not too many, in my book, especially at this time of year! That’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with my friends at Drizly once again to bring you this super-festive Citrus Vanilla Sparkler. It’s perfect for Christmas, New Year’s and any other time you have a little something to celebrate.

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of sparkling wine in any way, shape or form. Most of the time, I’m a straight-up bubbles kind of gal, occasionally adding a splash of OJ if it’s before noon (just to be able to call it “breakfast.”) But every once in a while (oh hello, holidays) I want to spice things up a bit and make something that’s truly show stopping. This Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is just that!

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

The combination of fresh orange and lemon juice, easy-to-make vanilla simple syrup, gin and sparkling wine is the perfect complement to any celebration. It’s festive and tastes incredibly complex, yet is so simple to make, with just a few ingredients.

Speaking of ingredients, what if I told you you could have all of the ingredients you need to make this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler delivered right to your door in no time at all? Thanks to Drizly, this is a complete reality. All you’ve got to do is head to their website, order all of the ingredients (yes, even the oranges and lemons!) and they’ll deliver them straight to you. Mixing up some fab cocktails on any given night has never been so easy.

So let’s talk a little bit about my inspiration for this cocktail. It’s no secret that Christmas is right around the corner, but I’ve felt a bit over-saturated with cranberry, peppermint and pomegranate recipes in the past few weeks. I wanted to come up with a festive sparkling wine cocktail that would be perfectly fitting for the Christmas holiday, but would be something you’d want to make for New Year’s and beyond as well.

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

To me, citrus and vanilla were the perfect answers. If you’re familiar with sparkling wine cocktails, you may have gathered that this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is based off of the OG French 75, with a little extra twist. I’ve LOVED French 75’s for as long as I can remember (they were a specialty cocktail at our wedding, after all) and I’ll take any excuse to make a new version of the classic. Let me tell you, after making this Citrus Vanilla Sparkler, I may never be going back!

The only (semi-) complicated part about this recipe is the vanilla simple syrup, and by “complicated,” I mean you’re going to have to watch some sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds boil on the stove for about 15 minutes. Orrrr, you could make it even easier and simply add some vanilla extract to a pre-made simple syrup. Sounds manageable, right?

After you have your vanilla simple syrup in hand, all you have to do is combine the orange and lemon juices, gin and syrup in a cocktail shaker with some ice, give them a good shake, add them to a glass and top with sparkling wine. Deliciousness is yours in five minutes or less.

Now, I don’t know about you but I’m ready to get this weekend started. We’ve got Christmas parties up the wazoo, my mom’s in town visiting, and we’ll be getting organized for our trip up north next week! I think a Citrus Vanilla Sparkler is just what this night needs to get us going in the right direction. Happy Friday friends!

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Citrus Vanilla Sparkler
Prep Time
5 mins
 

This spin on the classic French 75 combines fresh lemon AND orange juices, gin and vanilla simple syrup, all topped with sparkling wine. 

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce gin (I used Hendrick's)
  • 3/4 ounce vanilla simple syrup (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 3 ounces dry sparkling wine (I used Nicola Feuillatte Champagne)
Instructions
  1. Combine gin, simple syrup, lemon and orange juices in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.

  2. Strain into champagne flutes or coupes (minimizing the amount of ice that gets through) and top with sparkling wine. 

Recipe Notes

To make the vanilla simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan with the seeds of a vanilla bean scraped into it. Stir and bring to a boil, then let simmer until reduced and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can add some vanilla extract to pre-made simple syrup.

Citrus Vanilla Sparkler | CaliGirlCooking.com

Harvest Mimosa

Because isn’t it absolutely necessary to have a mimosa for every season?

Harvest Mimosa | CaliGirlCooking.com

I certainly think so, and if you’re not in the same boat, well, maybe you should stop right here. This Harvest Mimosa is life-changing and the only way you’ll want to “mimosa” every weekend from here until New Year’s Day. And yes, I did just turn the word “mimosa” into a verb because it’s most definitely a thing.

Here’s the deal: I consider myself a mimosa expert (I’ve had lots of practice) and take great pride in attaining the perfect sparkling wine to orange juice ratio (see below.) However, when the fall and winter months roll around, I find myself craving something just a little more festive and out of the ordinary. There’s so much to celebrate at this time of year, one just cannot settle for a regular ol’ mimosa!

Harvest Mimosa | CaliGirlCooking.com

Last year around this time, I shared my OG “spooky” sparkling wine cocktail, the Lychee Lightening, so it’s about time I hit you with another great seasonal bubbly drink that can not only ALSO be enjoyed for Halloween, but Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and every occasion (special or not) in between.

We are, in fact, in a celebratory mode this weekend. We’re headed to the hubs’ parent’s house for a family barbecue, where I’ll get to meet a lot of the extended family that couldn’t make it to our wedding. It’s an open house of sorts, a time to casually get to know and catch up with those we haven’t gotten to yet. The wedding was such a whirlwind and went by so quickly, if any of you are getting married soon I HIGHLY recommend planning some “extracurricular” activities shortly after the big day (even if it’s not the same weekend) to really have the opportunity to spend time with everyone. Definitely do not count on getting to do so at the big event, because it’s over in an instant and you are “on” from sunrise ‘til the stroke of midnight. Trust me.

We’re also celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday this weekend, which makes it even more of a worthy occasion for us to enjoy some Harvest Mimosas. My MIL loves her sparkling wine and is always asking me for my latest and greatest recipes. I’m positive that she’s going to LOVE this one, which means we better make a run to the store and stock up on the bubbly.

Harvest Mimosa | CaliGirlCooking.com

So enough about me and what I’m up to this weekend, let’s get down to the real business at hand: why YOU are going to love this Harvest Mimosa just as much as I do.

First things first, we’re making a fresh pear puree laced with vanilla and cinnamon. The thing I love about pears is that (when ripe) they’re soft and juicy enough to just puree in a blender and run through a sieve. No need for a fancy juicer (which I don’t even have.) I went for fresh pear puree, although a pear nectar/juice would work just fine. You’ll just want to add in a hint of cinnamon to get the real “harvest-y” flavor that’s key in this drink.

After we have our pear puree, we simply place a dollop in the bottom of a champagne flute and add apple cider and brandy (we’re celebrating, aren’t we?) Then, we slowly and carefully top everything with sparkling wine (the pear puree tends to make the sparkling wine extremely fizzy and you don’t want an overflow on your hands!) If you’re feeling really adventurous (and love cinnamon) I highly recommend rimming the flute with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. (It looks so pretty too!) Just use a little extra apple cider to get the cinnamon-sugar to stick on the rim.

That’s it! Super easy, huh? This Harvest Mimosa literally tastes like fall in a glass. It transports you to every apple-picking, pumpkin patch adventure you’ve ever been on, without even leaving your house. It’s cinnamon-y, fruity, and has just the right amount of kick to warm you from the inside out.

Harvest Mimosa | CaliGirlCooking.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’m even going to wait until 5 o’clock to make this one…

Happy Friday friends! I hope you have a great weekend!

Harvest Mimosa

10 hours

Total Time: 10 hours

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A delicious, fall take on the mimosa with cinnamon-vanilla pear puree, apple cider and brandy.

Ingredients

    For the pear puree (this will give you about 2 cups puree total):
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and cored
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    For the Harvest Mimosa:
  • 2 ounces pear puree
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 ounce apple cider
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine

Instructions

    To make the pear puree:
  1. Cut pears into chunks and place in blender with cinnamon and vanilla. Blend on high until a smooth puree forms.
    To make the Harvest Mimosa:
  1. Place 2 ounces of pear puree in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add brandy and apple cider, then slowly pour in the sparkling wine. Really take your time with adding the sparkling wine. If you pour too fast, it will bubble up and overflow!

Notes

Note: If you’d like to rim the glass with cinnamon-sugar, combine equal amounts ground cinnamon and sugar on a small plate (you’ll probably only need a couple of teaspoons of each.) Pour about 2 teaspoons of apple cider onto a separate small plate. Before mixing your drink, dip the rim of the flute in the apple cider, and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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Harvest Mimosa | CaliGirlCooking.com

Which way to the pumpkin patch?

Indian Summer II

I’m a woman of my word!

Indian Summer II | CaliGirlCooking.com

Remember last week when I shared my Indian Summer I cocktail? Well, as promised, now it’s time for the second version of this perfect end of summer drink.

But before I get to that, how was everyone’s week? Did your creep by as much as mine did? That seems to always be the case when we’re coming off of a three-day weekend. Why can’t we just always have four-day work weeks?

I tried implementing a four-day work week for myself this week but, alas, it just didn’t quite work out. I’m spending some time back at my old 9-5 over the next couple of weeks, helping train the person who took my place, and as you can imagine, it’s cut into my blog “work flow” quite a bit. I was just getting the hang of making my own schedule every day! Oh well, you can’t win them all. And even though it’s great to be back at the resort (solely for the purpose of reconnecting with all of my coworkers,) to be honest it’s been even more motivation for me to put my all into CaliGirl Cooking and never want to work for someone else again.  I’ve definitely gotten used to being my own boss!

Anyhow, the reason I was trying to implement a four-day work week this week is because the hubby and I are hitting the road down south this weekend for a little staycation in DTLA. Before we got married, it seemed like we were traveling almost every weekend. After the wedding, and after the injury, we put all of our travel plans on hold and I dare say this is the longest we’ve stayed in town since we started dating (a whole month and a half!!)

Well, I’m happy to report that my man is finally feeling well enough to take a little vacay and I couldn’t be more excited. You feel me when I say there’s nothing like a weekend road trip to get you excited and put a little pep in your step again? We think it is so important and traveling (whether to someplace old or new!) always puts us in a fantastic state of mind. We have lots of traveling coming up over the next few months so this will be the perfect warm-up for the crazy times ahead.

Indian Summer II | CaliGirlCooking.com

One thing Chris and I try to do a lot when we travel (especially when we’re driving somewhere) is bring along our own beverages. We usually like to indulge in wine, beer and cocktails a little bit more than usual when we’re vacationing somewhere, and bringing our own along saves us a TON of money. I’m sure you’re well aware of just how crazy some restaurant and bar markups are on their alcoholic beverages plus, this way we have a cocktail or glass of wine whenever the urge strikes and don’t have to worry about waiting on bar service or blowing all of our cash. We like to save that for the food 😉

Now that this Indian Summer II has been on repeat in our household, there’s a good chance we’ll pack our cooler full of all of the ingredients to make our own once we get down to LA. It’s not too complicated, and as long as you have a cooler on hand, your fixin’s will easily be able to make the trek. Once we get to the hotel, we’ll set up the little bar area, fill our cooler with ice, and help ourselves to a delicious cocktail.

As you may remember, our Indian Summer I cocktail consisted of mango-flavored vodka, Aperol and sparkling wine as the alcohol base, and date caramel and a lime slice as the “accoutrements.” For this Indian Summer II cocktail, our alcohol base consists of bourbon (my fave), Cointreau and sparkling wine, balanced out by a splash of grenadine and angostura bitters, plus a touch of fresh grapefruit juice.

Indian Summer II | CaliGirlCooking.com

At first glance, the Indian Summer II may seem like it would be a bit bitter or sour, but the Cointreau and the grenadine add just the right amount of sweetness. We tend to like our cocktails on the more bitter, less sweet side, but if you’re in the opposite camp, you could certainly up the grenadine and Cointreau to make the drink to your liking. It’s quite similar to this Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon, but stands out because of the grenadine and grapefruit.

Although we didn’t win the Convention of Cocktails with our Indian Summer II, it received rave reviews from all of the guests who tried it. It’s a surprising contrast of flavors with beautiful coloring, and is just as suitable for the fall weather as it is for the hot and sticky summer months. Oh, and I’d be remiss to not mention that it may sneak up on you if consumed too quickly or in too much quantity…it packs quite the powerful punch so proceed with caution.

Indian Summer II | CaliGirlCooking.com

Happy Friday friends, make your weekend a great one!

Indian Summer II

5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

A delicious concoction of bourbon, bitters, sparkling wine and fresh grapefruit juice that will take you sailing into fall.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • A few dashes of angostura bitters
  • ½ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 4 ounces sparkling wine
  • Grapefruit peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine bourbon and Cointreau in a rocks glass. Add grenadine, bitters and grapefruit juice and stir to combine.
  2. Add ice to glass (about ¾ full.)
  3. Top with sparkling wine, garnish with a grapefruit peel.
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This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Indian Summer II | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

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