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Poinsettia Cocktail

December 12, 2012

[Photograph: Brian Oh]

Matthew Ficke of the Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. serves this fruity, effervescent drink during the holiday season and now, so can you.

Note: Stay away from 'cranberry juice cocktail' for this. Any brand of 100% unsweetened cranberry juice will work fine, says Ficke. The baked apple bitters are available online here and here.


serves makes about 10 servings, active time 10 minutes, total time 1 hour

  • For the Homemade Spiced Cranberry Syrup:
  • 2 cups unsweetened 100% cranberry juice such as Knudsen Just Cranberry
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • One 2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Zest of 1 orange, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • For the Punch:
  • 1 cup Cointreau
  • 1 cup Spiced Cranberry Syrup
  • 6 dashes Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters
  • 1 bottle dry sparkling wine
  • Garnish: lemon slices


  1. For the Spiced Cranberry Syrup: Heat the cranberry juice sugar, cardamom, star anise, cloves, allspice, ginger, and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer, discard solids, and reserve.

  2. To make the Punch: Combine the Cointreau, cranberry syrup, and bitters in large bowl. Stir to mix. Fill with ice or a large ice block, top with entire bottle sparkling wine, garnish with lemon slices and serve.

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