Citrus Champagne Spritzers

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Cheers to citrus season!  Growing up, my mom would order a half dozen boxes of oranges from the marching band fundraiser, which meant orangeade all winter long.  I miss those big boxes and that orangeade so today I made something a little reminiscent of my childhood + alcohol 🙂  This citrus champagne spritzer has fresh squeeze oranges and lemons, but don’t fool yourself, it is still winter.

This bubbly and fresh drink turned my cheeks pink! It was the perfect pal for present wrapping today.  Do I sound like the loneliest person on the planet?! Wrapping presents with a drink that I’m calling pal? Don’t answer that. But hey, if your holidays are hectic and you need a mocktail, try this recipe sans champagne and cointreau.  Replace the alcohol with sparkling lemonade or use the sparkling orange and lemon soda as the base, but whatever you do, ENJOY IT!

Citrus Champagne Spritzer Ingredients:

  • Prosecco (1 bottle makes six+) refrigerated
  • Cointreau refrigerated
  • 3 TBSP orange juice
  • lemon or orange sparkling beverage refrigerated
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 sprigs of thyme rinsed and dried

Some notes:

  • I use a one ounce shot glass to measure the ingredients, but if you don’t, one ounce equals two tablespoons.
  • You can leave out the cointreau if you want.  The flavor is wildly different, but just as amazing.
  • You could use Korbel Brut or a riesling instead of Prosecco.
  • This is a perfect big batch cocktail because there is no ice!*

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 The how:

  • In a sauce pot, stir together a half cup of sugar and a cup of water.  Turn onto medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, add four or five sprigs of clean thyme and place a lid or plate on top of the pot. Let steep for ten minutes. After ten minutes passes, remove the thyme sprigs and strain simple syrup if necessary (all my thyme leaves were intact so I didn’t have to strain).
  • In a tumbler, mix 1 ounce thyme simple syrup, 2 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and half ounce cointreau. Stir well.  Add prosecco (I didn’t measure, just pour accordingly)
  • Top with a splash of sparkling lemon or sparkling orange soda.
  • Garnish with a thyme sprig or two and serve.
  • *If you are making these citrus champagne spritzers for a crowd, stir up a big batch all at once.  In a large pitcher combine 3/4 + 2 tablespoons simple syrup, 1 + 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup lemon juice and a 1/3 cup cointreau. Stir well, add the champagne and top with one can of sparkling orange or lemon.

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These sparkling citrus champagne spritzers are perfect for a holiday party *ahem champagne toast ahem* or in my case a preholiday wrapping party.  Mix up a whole batch or put on Mixed Nuts and drink one by yourself 😉

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