Celebrate the Holidays with a Champagne Cocktail
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My husband and I have missed going to one of our favorite restaurant bars. Drinking among other patrons, nibbling on appetizers while half hearing others' conversations. Alas, we've been drinking at home, among our wild kittens and cozy home decor. The bar serves one of our favorite drinks called Thyme-Off. It includes a house made orange-thyme-cello, pomegranate juice, champagne, and a sprig of thyme. I wanted to recreate the recipe at home and I think it came pretty close! I based the recipe off of Giada De Laurentiis' Limencello Recipe. It's essentially a boozy simple syrup steeped with citrus peels. It's delicious on its own served over ice, added to sparkling soda, or in a Champagne cocktail. The recipe takes a little over 4 days, so start it today and enjoy it during the holidays.
- 4 oranges
- 2 cups vodka (can also sub gin)
- 1 cup of sugar
- handful of fresh thyme
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the oranges in long strips (reserve the oranges for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the orange peels; discard the pith. Place the orange peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka (or gin) over the peels. Steep the orange peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.
Stir the sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Though from my experience, you can skip this step with still yummy results.
Strain the orange-thyme-cello through a meshed strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the orange-thyme-cello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
Thyme-Off Champagne Cocktail Recipe
- I part orange-thyme-cello
- 1 part pomegranate juice
- 2 parts Champagne or Prosseco
- sprig of thyme for garnish
Pour chilled orange-thyme-cello and pomegranate juice into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne and garnish with a sprig of thyme. Cheers!
There are so many variations you could make with these recipes. Substitute rosemary for the thyme and use grapefruit peels instead of orange. My husband and I recently tried another version with fresh raspberries and lemon for a raspberry-limencello. It was another sweet twist I look forward to enjoying this evening!
Let me know if you make this and what you think of it!