Toasting with “Sparklers”

Looking for a fun cocktail to celebrate Independence Day this year?  I was lucky enough to find berries buy-one-get-one-free this week, and wanted to find fun ways to enjoy them.  This was one of the first things that popped into my head!

Ingredients:

  • Sparkling wine or Champagne (I prefer Asti because it is relatively sweet)
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries

And it’s just that easy!  Make sure that you wash the fruit before using it.  I try to wash only what I am going to use (you can always wash more as you go) because it helps the fruit last longer if you don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it!  Put a couple of raspberries and a few blueberries in the bottom of the glass, pour the sparkling wine (hence “sparklers”) or Champagne over the berries, and enjoy!

What do you think of the name?  I came up with it myself!

I just love this idea because it’s a super easy way to make a festive and delicious drink to celebrate the 4th of July!  Asti is pretty much my favorite thing to sip anyway, and I adore summer berries, so I am really enjoying this combination!

This is all you need!

These berries look AMAZING!

Looks so pretty already!

Delicious!

Do you have any fun drinks for the Fourth?  Please share in the comments section, I’d love to hear your ideas!

XOXO

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my post from last year for more 4th of July ideas!

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Mimosas Are Delicious

Personally, I happen to adore champagne.  Sometimes, though, champagne can use a little something extra.   Mimosas are certainly a favorite way to spruce up some champagne (and somehow make alcohol appropriate for breakfast!).  As it turns out, mimosas can be made with other juices besides orange.  After enjoying one yesterday evening, I thought I’d share some ideas!

Traditional Mimosa:

2 oz orange juice

Pour orange juice into a collins glass over two ice cubes. Fill with chilled champagne, stir very gently, and serve.

Pour grand marnier into a champagne flute. Fill almost to the top with champagne and top off with fresh orange juice.
Pour passion fruit juice into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled champagne, decorate with a strawberry, and serve.
Add all ingredients into a champagne flute and stir. Garnish with a slice of peach
3 ozchilled Champagne
1 oz triple sec
3 oz cranberry juice
Stir ingredients together in a champagne glass, and serve.
(I’ve made this one with just champagne and cranberry, and it’s pretty good!)
Pomegranate Mimosa:
This is the one I had last night that inspired this post…
2 oz pomegranate juice
Champagne
Pour pomegranate fruit juice into a champagne flute. Fill with chilled champagne and serve.
Mimosa Sampler:
One of my new favorite restaurants in town, Crepe Expectations, has a number of mimosas on the menu (this is where I had the pomegranate mimosa last night and where I took both photos in this post).  They also have a Mimosa Sampler, which consists of your choice of three mini mimosas.  This is AWESOME because it allows you to try a couple of new things, enjoy a few flavors, and they are adorable! If you are so inclined, you can visit their website to check out the menu.
I definitely enjoy them at the restaurant, but I was thinking they could also be a great idea for a cocktail party or any other party.  Make a few types of fruit juice available and provide champagne and glasses (and maybe some berries and other fruit for garnish), and people can mix and match to their heart’s desire!  I don’t know about you, but I think that would be really fun!
All in all, I think that mimosas are not only delicious, but a fun and classy way to enjoy a cocktail.  They’re super easy to make because all you really need is some champagne, some fruit juice, and a glass.  Although I included recipes here, you can easily mix and match however you like and mix the proportions to your personal taste.  I hope you enjoyed these ideas and please feel free to share any ideas you may have!

Raspberry, Champagne, and Chocolate

MMM yum!  Three of my favorite flavors!  I enjoy all three on their own, but a few months ago I was inspired by a friend’s delicious rosewater cupcakes with strawberry champagne buttercream frosting to create something that combined all three!

So my plan was to use the Sprinkles cupcake mix that I bought at Williams Sonoma because I had previously tried their cupcakes in Washington, D.C. and fell in love.  Let me tell you, I realized with the first bite that it was not worth the hassle or the price!  I made the cupcakes as the directions instructed, and they fluffed up great until they started to cool.  They flattened a little, but the real problem was that they spilled over the cup onto the pan, so the tops came off when I took them out of the pan!  (I eventually tried to reassemble them by using extra frosting as “filling/glue” but that wasn’t as successful as I would have hoped.)  The cupcakes tasted okay, but I honestly think I could have used a much cheaper store-bought brand and they would have turned out just as well!

For the frosting, I made a basic champagne buttercream frosting.  I found the recipe online, there are tons out there!  I substituted one of the tablespoons of champagne with a tablespoon of Chambord for raspberry flavor.  I looked a few places for raspberry extract, but couldn’t find any.  I figured Chambord would be an acceptable substitute!  I tasted it after making it that way and decided there wasn’t quite enough flavor.  I added a little more of the champagne and of the Chambord and it was pretty good.  I decided to add just a little more… that was where I went wrong!  Apparently it only takes about one teaspoon of liquid to make buttercream go from perfect to a runny mess.  Oops!  This is why I don’t have pictures of the end product… It didn’t turn out very pretty!

Anyway, the concept was a good one even if the execution on my part was subpar.  In all fairness, it was my first attempt at making my own frosting rather than the packaged stuff, and my first time making “gourmet” cupcakes in general.  Despite the cupcakes coming out less than pretty… they were delicious!  The combination of chocolate, raspberry, and champagne was perfect, and I really enjoyed them.  Maybe you can give them a try and make them a bit prettier than I did! 🙂

Do you have any favorite cupcake combinations that you would like to share?