This time of year, it's hard to avoid the extra calories. For instance, a single cup of eggnog contains 350 calories and almost 20 grams of fat! 11 of those are saturated! So it's a good idea to have a few lighter drink options for you and your guests. But forget the boring spritzers and go for something that still feels special and festive.
I learned this recipe at the performance of "The Nutcracker" on Sunday. We got to the theater a bit early to watch all the cute kids in their Christmas-best run around and be adorable before the show. It also gave us time to partake in some of the grown-up refreshments available. Like this one fizzy and festive little drink that made me feel light and happy as the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. I don't remember the name, so let's call it the Berry Orange Bliss. It was light and refreshing and perfect for this time of year.
Berry Orange Bliss
Pour a little smidge of fresh cranberry juice into the bottom of a champagne flute. (Not too much, you don't want to lose wine space! But enough to make the drink a nice pink color and give it a little kick. Adjust to your own taste. It also seemed as if this was a concentrated cranberry juice - not the sugary drinks that are commercially available, but you can experiment and find what you like best.)
Fill almost to the rim with sparkling white wine (or champagne if you're splurging/rich/snobby).
Then add a splash of Grand Marnier to the mix. It looked to be about half an ounce, but again, experiment and find what you like best. The bartender didn't even mix the concoction. The liqueur seemed to blend all on its own in a lovely golden swirl, toning down the bright pink of the juice.
This would be a delicious drink any time of day or night all year long, but it seems especially nice at Christmas - maybe even for holiday brunch. Cheers!