The Poinsettia drink is a champagne cocktail, which makes it ideal for holiday parties. It’s light on the alcohol, easy to drink (even for very occasional drinkers) and festive.
The dominant flavors here are orange and cranberry, from the Cointreau and cranberry juice. Of course you can also taste the champagne, but not as strongly as the liqueurs.
That said, you do still want to make sure you have a good, drinkable champagne for this cocktail. There’s no need to get the best – anything that tastes nice enough on its own will work in champagne cocktails.
In fact, champagne cocktails are a great way to use up leftover champagne. If you put the cork back in at the end of the night and put the bottle into the fridge, it should keep for 3-5 days. It may not keep its flavor perfectly, but that’s why it’s so good for cocktails.
If you’re actually buying champagne to make these, don’t overspend. If you have no idea what to get, good liquor stores usually put little cards out describing and recommending some of the better spirits. Read those to get some ideas.
And no, the recipe doesn’t tell you whether to get brut or dry or demi-sec. I suggest you buy whatever type you like. If you don’t know what you like, I think you can’t go wrong with a nice Prosecco in cocktails.
Prosecco is an Italian version of champagne that’s a little more fruity tasting than most champagne. It’s a little bit on the sweeter side (but not seriously sweet), and it’s also more affordable than champagne. That makes it a great budget choice when you’re serving drinks for a whole party.
Both the affordability and the taste are reasons why Prosecco is great for cocktails. While good champagne has a complex flavor that’s always worth savoring on its own, Prosecco is just yummy and fruity and wonderful.
This recipe also doesn’t specify an exact amount of champagne. You pour the the three ounces of cranberry into a champagne flute, along with the half-ounce of Cointreau.
The flute glass holds a maximum of six ounces, with most bartenders only using four. So you can use as little as a half-ounce of champagne, or you could fill it all the way to the rim, which would give you two and a half ounces.
It depends how much champagne flavor you like, really. An ounce to two ounces is probably typical.
And here’s a pro-tip for this drink: make sure the champagne and cranberry juice are both chilled in advance. Because you don’t shake this drink with ice to make it cold, it’s worth chilling these ingredients ahead of time. The cold temperature will give it a nicer flavor.
And no, the Cointreau doesn’t need to be chilled because it just makes up a small portion of the drink. You can chill it if you want, but it’s not necessary.
The Poinsettia makes a great after-dinner drink for family and friend visits during the winter holidays. It’s easy to make, and it always looks elegant.
But it’s also a wonderful brunch drink for any time of the year, with the three ounces of cranberry juice and the fact that it’s not a very strong drink. You can easily enjoy this drink mid-morning, just like a Mimosa.
This is also a good drink for midday parties or office get-togethers where you don’t want anyone getting smashed. It’s classy and delicious, but light enough that most anybody can enjoy more than one without embarrassing themselves.
And if you want to make it even weaker, you can also make a non-alcoholic version. Just replace the champagne with ginger ale and replace the Cointreau with a half-ounce to an ounce of orange juice.
This non-alcoholic “mocktail version” is always a nice option to offer at parties. If you have very many guests, chances are someone won’t be drinking for one reason or another.
Of course, another possibility is that you’d like to make this drink a little stronger. You can do that by simply adding an ounce of vodka. That won’t change the flavor profile significantly. It might dilute the flavor just a tiny bit, but this drink has plenty of flavor anyway.
The Poinsettia drink is a champagne cocktail, which makes it ideal for holiday parties. It's light on the alcohol, easy to drink and festive.
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- Put the Cointreau and cranberry juice in a chilled champagne flute.
- Stir them together.
- Top the rest of the way with champagne.