It was November 1989, I had recently graduated from journalism school and because I was too chicken to move to New York to become a writer, I stayed put in Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and made my folks really proud by landing a job that had absolutely nothing to do with my expensive four year liberal arts degree – I became a Leasing Consultant for an apartment community. Let’s just ponder the sheer stupidity of that little decision, shall we? I hated it. But, it had its perks (a discounted two-bedroom flat with a “pond” view, for one) that I happily shared with my sister. Since both of us were plebs on the payroll without the Friday after Thanksgiving off, over the river and through the woods wasn’t an option. Not even Momma’s giblet gravy could justify a 9-hour round day trip for the most indulgent meal of the year, no matter how much we were craving it. We decided to prepare our own feast – well, because you have to have turkey on Thanksgiving, right? So, we bought a big bird, all of the fixin’s and a couple of bottles of champagne for mimosas to celebrate in style.
Thanksgiving morning, we put on some Billie Holiday, poured the bubbly, toasted our pioneering spirits and dished out who would do what. “I’ll take care of the turkey and stuffing,” I chirped. My sister checked off the mashed potatoes and green beans. We were bummed that we wouldn’t be eating with the whole fam, but secretly excited about cooking an elaborate dinner together. “Woohoo! Cheers! Let’s have another mimosa!” we cried, noting that it was only ten o’clock in the morning, but what the heck! It was Thanksgiving – surely, it was 5 o’clock somewhere! We laughed and giggled, cranked the music to some rockin’ tunes and then, well, things started to get, um, a little messy. The ratio of orange juice to champagne plummeted with each ensuing refill. “Guess we’d better get that turkey in the oven (hiccup!),” I said unenthusiastically. “Do you want me to ssstart on the sssstuffing (stagger)?” she slurred. I looked at my sister (all three of her) and blurted out, “I gotta lie down for a minute!” At that point, we both realized that we were too snockered to be around sharp objects or an open flame. Long story short, a “few minutes” turned into a full-blown power nap and neither one of us awoke until early evening. Cooking the turkey, at that point, was out of the question. So, instead of the once-a-year All-American feast, we kept our family tradition of stating what we were grateful for on this day over take-out Chinese. With a wicked headache in the making, my gratitude was leaning towards ibuprofen’s healing properties. Chalk one up for another 20-something life lesson learned.
Suffice it to say, moderation is your friend when it comes to bubbly. That said, this little cocktail, the mimosa’s kissing cousin, is the perfect festive sip to raise your glasses and start your holiday season off right. I already mentioned the bit about moderation, didn’t I? Just checking.
Amaze your friends and family with this great party trick! When you drop a few pomegranate seeds in your bubbling drink, they’ll sink to the bottom and rise to the top – then a few will continue to sink and rise over and over, like tiny ruby submarines.
Entertaining: Signature Cocktails- Pear and Pomegranate Bellinis
- 1 cup pear nectar
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- one bottle Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine
- fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- In a small pitcher, combine the pear nectar and pomegranate juice. Pour about ¼ cup of the juice blend into each champagne flute. Evenly divide the champagne between the glasses, topping each off. Drop some pomegranate seeds in for garnish, if desired.
Planning: You can mix the pear nectar and pomegranate juice and chill until ready to fill with the champagne.
Product Purity: I use Looza pear nectar (pear juice concentrate) and Pom Wonderful 100 percent pomegranate juice. Since you’re mixing this cocktail, Prosecco is a great, affordable choice for the bubbly.
Presentation: I love, love, love the fresh pomegranate seed garnish. It’s fun to watch them swim around and they give a nice little burst of crunch and sweetness to the drink. I serve these on a silver tray with fresh pears and fig crostini. Cheers!