Made this for our Christmas cocktail party this year & it was a hit! The house smelled amazing all morning when the syrup was simmering away. I skipped the brandy & used pink champagne...the color and flavor were perfect. We've been using the leftover syrup in hot apple cider...may have to make up another batch just for more cider!
Crimson Spice Champagne Cocktail
Notes: For a nonalcoholic alternative, substitute lemon-lime or club soda for the cognac and Champagne. If making syrup up to 1 week ahead, chill airtight.
Yield: Makes 16 servings
- 2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail
- 8 slices (quarter size and about 1/8 in. thick) peeled fresh ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks (about 3 in. long)
- 2 whole star anise
- 1/3 cup cognac or brandy
- 8 cups Champagne or other sparkling wine (about 2 2/3 bottles, 750 ml. each), chilled
- 32 to 48 fresh cranberries, rinsed, or frozen cranberries (optional)
- 1. In a 3 1/2- to 4-quart pan, combine cranberry juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. Let cool about 30 minutes, then pour through a fine strainer into a small pitcher. Chill syrup until cold, at least 1 1/2 hours.
- 2. For each serving, pour 2 tablespoons of the cranberry syrup and 1 teaspoon cognac into a Champagne flute (6 to 8 oz.). Add 1/2 cup (4 oz.) Champagne. Garnish with 2 or 3 cranberries if desired.
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