How many reasons do we need to celebrate?
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!
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.
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!
This spin on the classic French 75 combines fresh lemon AND orange juices, gin and vanilla simple syrup, all topped with sparkling wine.
- 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)
Combine gin, simple syrup, lemon and orange juices in a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
Strain into champagne flutes or coupes (minimizing the amount of ice that gets through) and top with sparkling wine.
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.