The poinsettia is an elegant cranberry-flavored Champagne cocktail that is perfect for holiday parties. There are a number of recipes that take on this name, though this is one of the easiest you'll find. The simplicity is part of the poinsettia's beauty and the flavor has universal appeal.
This poinsettia requires just 3 common ingredients and it mixes up quickly. You'll need a premium orange liqueur, cranberry juice, and a bottle of Champagne. Choose a wine that's on the sweet side; demi-sec is an excellent option, but there's no reason to break the bank.
- 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 3 ounces Champagne
- Garnish: rosemary sprigs, fresh cranberries
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the orange liqueur and cranberry juice into a chilled Champagne flute.
Top with the Champagne.
Garnish with a few fresh cranberries and a small rosemary sprig.
Serve and enjoy.
- Since there's no ice involved, it's best to chill the ingredients before mixing this drink. Place the bottles in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before preparing.
- Champagne cocktails do not require the absolute best wine, which is particularly true when it's paired with a heavy flavor such as cranberry, so feel free to be a little frugal. There are many great budget-friendly Champagnes available that are perfect for cocktails.
- Sparkling wines like cava and prosecco are fantastic substitutes for Champagne, and they're often more reasonably priced.
- When it comes to the orange liqueur, however, it is best to buy a high-quality bottle. Recommended brands are Cointreau, Combier, and the brandy-based Grand Marnier (which will give the drink a darker profile).
Quick Party Service
Just like any other Champagne cocktail, the poinsettia is best when the wine is added just before serving. There are 2 ways you can make party service a breeze:
- Line up the flutes, then pour and mix the orange liqueur and cranberry juice before the party gets started. When it's time to serve, top each glass with Champagne and hand guests a fresh, sparkling drink.
- Mix the liqueur and juice in a serving pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator so it stays cold. As each guest arrives for their cocktail, pour the cranberry mixture and then top it off with sparkling wine.
- Play down the cranberry a little if you like: Instead of equal parts, pour 2 ounces of cranberry juice and 4 ounces of Champagne.
- Make a virgin poinsettia without the alcohol: Fill a flute halfway with cranberry juice, top it with nonalcoholic sparkling grape juice, and twist an orange zest over the drink before dropping it into the glass.
- For a pomegranate poinsettia, add pomegranate liqueur and a little orange juice. Another option is to simply substitute the cranberry juice with pomegranate juice or liqueur.
What's the Difference Between Cranberry Juice and Cranberry Cocktail?
Cranberry juice is actually a blend of different types of fruit juice, often including apple and grape, which helps to add sweetness and mellow out the tartness. Cranberry cocktail, on the other hand, is made only of cranberries; sugar, and sometimes corn syrup, is added for sweetness.