By J.M. Hirsch THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
All the best holiday cocktails start with drinks you make for your 11-year-old, right? Or is that just me?
The boy was craving what is known in our house as a “special drink.” Which basically means anything with sugar. Except we rarely have soda in the house, so special drinks usually are homemade concoctions combining some blend of seltzer water, juice and whatever else inspires me in the moment.
On this night, all I had in the refrigerator were apple cider and orange juice. So using my killer mixology skills, I dumped those together then added a splash of seltzer. He loved it.
And that is how I got the inspiration for this adult version. I still combine the cider and juice, but then simmered them down in a reduction. The resulting syrup is spooned into glasses, topped with a splash of amaretto liqueur, then finished with a healthy pour of sparkling wine. A sprig of rosemary adds a fresh touch.
THE SPARKLING ORCHARD GROVE
Start to finish: 25 minutes
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
4 ounces amaretto liqueur
750-millilitre bottle sparkling wine
8 sprigs fresh rosemary
In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the cider and orange juice. Simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To prepare each cocktail, pour 1/2 ounce of the cider-juice reduction into a sparkling wine flute. Add 1/2 ounce of amaretto liqueur to each glass, then top with sparkling wine. Lightly smack each rosemary sprig several times against the counter to release the oils, then add 1 sprig to each cocktail.