Well, that went by in the blink of an eye. Christmas, I mean, of course. I remember when I started my gift shopping some two months ago. Christmas shopping wasn’t even a goal on that particular day, but I stopped into one of the little shops at Wildwood near my apartment in Bethesda. Red Orchard reminded me very much of the local shops I used to support back in Brooklyn. Everything is well curated, with an eclectic array of affordable and extravagant items, mostly in tune with my sense of style and taste. So, when I happened to pop in there in early November, I unintentionally began my Christmas shopping.
This is how I usually approach the holidays. I’m not always a planner, but you’ll never catch me at the mall on Christmas Eve. Gift giving is one area where I don’t get caught up in the mad rush. But all that is for naught now, right? I mean, the advice or describing my approach. Soon, we’ll be taking down all the trimmings from the holidays. Before we get there, though, we still have some official goodbyes to bid 2015. It was a year filled with so much for which to be thankful. I’ll share more about that on Thursday.
I’m popping in here today to share a recipe for this Passionfruit Citrus Sparkler to toast the New Year. I went with a non-alcoholic version so the kids could enjoy it. You can swap in champagne or prosecco for the seltzer, if you want to make a grown-up version. I’d hoped to share a recipe for spanakopita spring rolls, too, but got caught up in relaxing and unwinding the last few days. It’ll make an appearance at some point next year. Until then, I hope you all have a very Happy New Year. See you in 2016!
Passionfruit Citrus Sparkler
Yes, passionfruits are pricey, at least here in the northeast! They may not seem feasible for the everyday budget, but for special occasions, I think they’re well worth the splurge.
I like to add the seltzer to the glass first. If you add the juice first, you’ll likely get a cloudy fuzz on top from the gas released when the seltzer hits the juice. By doing it in reverse, you’ll end up with a nice, clear cocktail. I love the way the seeds pop in my mouth, which is why I garnish the drink with them. If it’s not your thing (my kids really dislike them!), then use orange peel instead.
1 cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
Pure maple syrup, to taste
Freshly opened bottle of very cold seltzer
Cut the passionfruit in half. Open the halves over a bowl to catch all of the juices.
Set a strainer over a glass. Pour in the juice to strain out the seeds (save them for later).
Pour the passionfruit juice into a bottle, one that you have a cap to close it with (an old, clean milk bottle is great for this). Add the lime and orange juices. Add the syrup, to taste. Give it a good shake to mix well. Chill at least four hours, but overnight is best. The mixture will stay fresh for up to 3 days, so you can make this well in advance.
To serve, fill a cocktail glass halfway with seltzer. Top off the glass with passionfruit juice. Garnish with passionfruit seeds, if desired, or an orange peel.