why it works
- Using a shaker quickly cools and mixes the ingredients.
- The pomegranate brings a subtle sweetness and the lemon adds a fresh acidity, which complements the complex flavors of Lillet Rouge.
Inspired by the classic French 75, this cocktail is sparkling, pleasantly sweet, slightly spicy and pleasantly tart. Designed for the fall and winter months, it is made with pomegranate simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, sparkling wine and Lillet Rouge.
Lillet is a brand of flavored French aperitif wines made from Bordeaux grapes and fortified with citrus liqueurs. While delicious on their own, these appetizers are wonderful when topped up with something fizzy, like club soda, or mixed into a mixed drink. Lillet Rouge is ruby red, clear and bright – a blend of oaky Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that is dry and rich in tannins, with detectable hints of orange, berries, spice and vanilla. It’s the perfect companion to tangy pomegranate and tangy citrus.
Whereas it is possible To make fresh pomegranate juice to make the syrup in this recipe is messy (the juice stains a lot) and a bit laborious, and pure pomegranate juice can be found in most supermarkets all year round. Pomegranate Simple Syrup only needs a slight heat on the stovetop to dissolve the sugar. To complete this syrupy sweetness, fresh lemon juice is key. After testing a range of citrus options, from tangerine to grapefruit and tangelo minneola, the good old lemon was the clear winner. Because Lillet Rouge is slightly sweet and has hints of orange, the lemon juice brings brightness to the cocktail, complementing the other components without competing with them.
After mixing the Lillet Rouge, lemon juice and pomegranate simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice, pour it into a tall flute or coupe (I love a coupe!) and top it off with sparkling champagne or sparkling wine. There’s no occasion this drink isn’t perfect for, whether you’re hosting dinner guests, hosting a holiday party, or simply enjoying a cocktail after work.