Orange Sparklers and a Giveaway

So, I’m just going to say it – I love Freixenet – I have loved them since this past summer when I tried it in cocktails and then, later, when I made my own cocktails with it.  So it’s no surprise to anyone that when Freixenet emailed me asking if I wanted to give you, my lovely-wonderful-enthusiastic-awesome readers, a little Freixenet Friday (FF) holiday pack I gave them a resounding yes.  When I suggested that I pair the little FF holiday pack with my self created cocktails – they were for it!  So here goes.

A couple Sundays ago one of my dearest friends came over to help trim the tree and in general get into the holiday spirit.  Since neither of us is a nog girl, but you can’t trim a tree without a little booze (right?), we grabbed a bottle of Freixenet that was chilling in the fridge and raided the liquor cabinet for additions.  There was Grand Marnier sitting there – tempting us to drink it like nothing else.  It seemed holiday-esque so we added it to out cava.  It was perfect!  The fruity, citrus flavor of the Grand Marnier only enhanced the flavors of the cava.  To top the drink off I added a little swirl of orange zest (I really need a zester so I can get pretty curls).

We drank the entire bottle in this fashion – while trimming the tree and watching my new kitten get up to many crazy antics, including racing from room to room as though being chased by a murderer.  Much giggling was had and fun shared, here’s to hoping simple Freixenet holiday cocktails and trimming the tree with good friends becomes a tradition!

Now the fun bit!  Freixenet wants to give one of you a holiday gift pack which includes some very pretty fluted glasses (I’m tempted to enter, I could totes use some sparkling wine glasses) and a social survival guide full of useful tips – like what to bring as a hostess gift, or how to get that spilled wine stain out of your pretty party dress.  Seriously, this book is full of handy tips, I have one – it sits on the kitchen shelf by my Emily Post!

So – here’s the deal, because I know you want to win this pretty pack!  Go over to Friexenet’s website and tell me which of their cocktails or recipes you want to try this holiday season. That’s it -  no facebook, no twitter, just one comment telling me what cocktail you want to try.  I think the Poinsettia sounds especially delicious ;)

Pomflower Cocktail

Let’s talk hot, shall we?  I know that if you live south of the New England you are not really phased by the really hot temps.  But I am.  I’m kind of a pansy when it comes to all forms of extreme temperatures – below 20 degrees give me a book, a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa and tell me when it’s warm again.  When it’s stiflingly hot though – there isn’t a lot I can do aside from try not to move too much.  I know that there are actual ways to combat being hot (drink lots of water, take a cool shower, stand in front of the AC unit until your skin goes numb, etc) but these are only temporary solutions.  They seem to not really solve the problem.

The best way to “beat the heat” that I have learned this summer came on a whim of inspiration the same night I made that delicious focaccia bread.  The visiting friend hadn’t brought much with her when she came down since we had planned an epic day of cooking.  What she did bring though was crucial to our choices that evening – a bottle of prosecco.  Now I have a confession – I prefer cava or prosecco over actual champagne every time, I don’t know a lot about wine but I find a nice cava (Freixenet anyone?) far superior to most sparkling wines.

As we chilled the prosecco (she had brought Lunetta) I started to peruse my cabinets and fridge wondering about cocktails and mimosas.  I eventually settled on this cocktail.  I have heard a lot about elder flower liquor recently around the interwebs and on an impulse bought a nip of it to taste, also I thought the bottle was really pretty.  I tried it alone, not really sippable, but with prosecco and some POMWonderful it was divine.  The complexities of the elder flower liquor really shone with the sparkles of prosecco.  And the way the bubbles burst on your tongue makes these cocktails a lovely hot summer evening drink for me.  I found them indulgent and refreshing, a combination I plan to hold onto for a while longer.

Pomflower Sparkling Cocktail
Note: I made that word up.

1/2 oz Elder flower liquor (such as St. Germain)
1 oz pomegranate juice (such as POMWonderful)
2 oz chilled Prosecco or Cava (I love this with Freixenet but your favorite will probably work too)

Add the elder flower liquor and pomegranate juice to the bottom of a champagne flute and swirl them for a minute to mix.  Top the glass with the chilled sparkling wine.  Serve these with a crostini, or just some tasty bread, while sitting on a porch at sunset.  Marvel at the pinkness of the cocktail and share.

Note: POMWonderful gave me the pomegranate juice to use, but all the opinions here are my own and I would buy the POM juice again to make this cocktail alone.