Thu | Sep 20, 2018

New Year's Eve sparkly

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Sparkling orchard grove cocktails, which spike sparkling wine with an apple cider-orange juice reduction, amaretto liqueur and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

New Year's Eve sparkly

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' -this basically means anything with sugar. Except we rarely have soda in the house, so special drinks usually are home-made 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

Servings: 8


1 cup apple cider

1/2 cup orange juice

4 oz amaretto liqueur

750-millilitre bottle sparkling wine

8 sprigs fresh rosemary


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Lightly smack each rosemary sprig several times against the counter to release the oils, then add 1 sprig to each cocktail.

AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is on Twitter and Instagram as @JM_Hirsch.