Citrus Champagne Cocktail

Each year in the month of May, my husband and I travel south to Florence, Oregon for a long weekend to visit with my Mom. She and her husband make their bi-annual migration from Arizona to their summer home on the Siuslaw River just outside Florence. It’s an absolutely gorgeous, peaceful place. I guess I can call it my “grown up” childhood home.  There is something so special about spending time with my family on this particular weekend. Mother’s Day, my birthday and my husband’s birthday are all lumped together the second week of May. My sister and her husband venture down from Pacific City, Oregon as well. For me, it is symbolic that Spring is officially here. We cook, we laugh, we love….there might even be some dancing around the living room…and of course…there is always a special cocktail or two.

This year was a milestone birthday for me….so I said, Let’s break out the bubbly…

This version of the classic Champagne Cocktail is one I created for a refreshing night cap after a nice dinner. We wanted something clean, light and fresh to follow our lovely dinner out. Plus, we didn’t want to feel weighed down with a heavy after dinner drink….that would have interfered with our dancing!!!

Citrus Champagne Cocktail

  • 1 Bottle Champagne, or Sparkling Wine (doesn’t have to be expensive..a nice middle of the road priced brand you like will work nicely here) – ICY COLD
  • 1/4 -1/3 Cup (est) – Lemon Vodka – I used Absolute Citron – ICY COLD – I pulled it from the freezer
  • 1 Fresh Grapefruit – COLD
  • 1 Fresh Orange – COLD
  • 1 Fresh Lemon – COLD
  • 1 Green Apple – COLD
  • Fresh Strawberries – COLD (OK..stop. We get it..)
  • Dash of Bitters
  • Sugar for Rim of Glasses

Pour the lemon vodka into a small glass or measuring cup and mix with a large squeeze of Grapefruit,  and orange juice.

Pull the glasses from the freezer and rim with orange, lime or grapefruit and dip in sugar. While they are still icy cold, pour a little of the vodka mixture into each glass. Top off with the champagne. Add one dash of bitters to each glass,  and garnish with a slice of green apple, orange zest, a fresh strawberry (cut into a fan shape) and serve.

The vodka creates a warmth in this drink. You don’t really know it’s there….just a little extra “something”. The tartness of the grapefruit and the bitters in contrast to the sweet strawberry and apple. The crunchy sweet sugar on the rim is a perfect contrast to the citrus bite.  This is a lovely way to celebrate the end of a nice evening.

For all of you who have special occasions coming up…give this a try. It’s light, crisp, festive and will keep the party going.

To Make It Virgin: Substitute by pouring a Non- Alcoholic Sparkling Cider (one that is dry) and Eliminate the Lemon Vodka.

To Make It Special: The garnish on this drink is beautiful and also a delicious little treat…

I hope to add more memories to the ones I already have spending time with my Mom at her peaceful home on the Siuslaw… I cherish the family times we all share there and can’t wait to go back.

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