Congratulations Class of 2013!

Grad1

It is graduation season, which means it is time to celebrate!  So whether you are hosting a party, BBQ, or just saluting yourself on a job well done, here are some drinks to help you along the way.

To me, champagne and celebration go together like peanut butter and jelly, but for such a momentous occasion it should be kicked up a notch.  For inspiration, who better to turn to than the French?  They have been making white wine cocktails for centuries. The most infamous is the Kir, a blend of white wine and cassis, named after the mayor of Burgundy who made this cocktail popular after World War II  (Wikipedia.com).  It has several known variations, including the champagne based Royal Kir, and now I have added a new version to the repertoire.

Grad 2

Festive Kir

½ oz ginger infused grand marnier

½ oz cassis

Top with sparkling wine

Orange twist

Soak peeled, sliced, raw ginger in the grand marnier for at least 24 hours.  The longer you leave the ginger in the cognac the stronger the ginger flavor will be.  I recommend storing the mixture in a sealed container and not stuffing the ginger down the neck of the bottle.  Once the ginger infused grand marnier is ready, add it and the cassis into a shaker with ice.  After it is chilled, strain into a champagne flute and top with a sparkling wine.  I personally like a sparkling wine with crisp, citrus flavors to enhance the orange in the grand marnier like a sparkling pinot grigio or prosecco.  The orange twist will also bring out the flavors of the grand marnier and add a beautiful pop of color to this celebratory cocktail.

If your graduate is not of the legal drinking age yet, you can easily turn this cocktail into a non-alcoholic beverage.  Just replace the sparkling wine with sparkling cider and the cassis with black currant juice.  You can choose to add a touch of ginger beer, no more than ½ oz, if you would like the same spiced effect.  This mock-tail can be made directly in the glass if all the ingredients are already chilled.

Enjoy and congratulations to all the graduates of 2013!

By Krystle Turkington

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