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Bring on the Cheer: The Perfect Holiday Cocktail

Photo via anathea on Flickr.com

You’ve trimmed the tree, sharpened the cheese knife and queued Mariah Carey’s extra festive Merry Christmas album. Now all you need is a proper drink to welcome your guests.  Something strong but light and please, can there be bubbles? For this reason, God created the Champagne cocktail.

While it seems like heresy to try and improve upon a thing as perfect as a glass of Champagne, wine drinkers have been doing it for centuries: the first dropping of the bitters-soaked sugar cube in a glass of bubbly was recorded in 1862, followed shortly by the region’s own crème de cassis (Kir Royale). Take that, purists.

For your holiday party, we’ve taken the liberty of improving upon two great things: the French 75 and the pomegranate:

The Pom 75
Please note: ratios are per drink, but the pomegranate juice and the gin may be mixed in advance and chilled in the fridge to save time for more important matters, like putting toothpicks in the tiny meatballs.

1 oz citrus-driven gin (why not SF’s own No. 209?)
3/4 oz freshly made pomegranate juice. (Sure, you could use POM Wonderful, but come on)
Champagne or other quality sparkling wine
Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Make the juice: Remove the pomegranate's seeds and puree them in a blender. (Be sure to save some for the garnish and some for you to eat.) Strain the juice through a cheesecloth. You may add some water to stretch the juice and you may also add a little sugar if sweeter drinks are your thing.

Combine gin and pomegranate juice and stir with ice until chilled. Strain into a fluted glass and fill with sparkling wine. Toss in a couple of pomegranate seeds and let the festivities begin.