Blood Orange Gin Sparklers Say “Happy New Year”!


I came across this recipe on Heidi Swanson’s website, 101, and thought you might really like it with New Year’s festivities coming up. This is a beauty, good on New Year’s Eve or the next day for New Year’s Day brunch. I hope you like it.

Blood Orange Gin Sparkler

2 cups / 480 ml water
1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g sugar
4 tablespoons (about 2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves
1 bay leaf (optional)
blood oranges
ice cubes
tonic water (or sparkling water)

Combine the water, sugar, rosemary, and bay in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.
In the meantime, juice and strain your oranges, you’ll need 3 tablespoons / 1.5 tablespoons of juice for each drink.
To make each drink combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup and ice. So, its 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz gin, 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice, and 1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each tall glass.
Stir to combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir again and you’re set.

Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

(This recipe calls for blood oranges, but Heidi says it’s great with navel oranges, too. You can keep the rosemary simple syrup in the refrigerator for a week or so if you want to make it ahead of time.)

Did you know that, besides being aromatic, rosemary is also an antioxidant with nutrients including C, A, E, and B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, and phytochemicals?

Oranges help to cleanse the body, boost the immune system, prevent heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, combat acidosis, and lower high blood pressure. Key nutrients include calcium, B, C, E vitamins, and phytochemicals.

A perfect companion to the Blood Orange Gin Sparklers would be some desserts from Claire Gosse’s wonderful desserts cookbook, Are You Sure That’s Vegan? (Desserts). How about Raspberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes, Caramel Pecan Cheesecake, or Super Easy Chocolate Mousse? Or how about brunch with these Gin Sparklers and something from Claire’s Are You Sure That’s Vegan? (Breakfasts). You could make Pecan Waffles or Asparagus Quiche or Chocolate Chip Muffins. All the recipes are clones of non-vegan classics and are loved by vegans and non-vegans alike. Click the links to see the beautiful photos and read the testimonials. Start the New Year with a taste treat!

Happy New Year! Make 2012 your best year yet!
Phyllis A. Balch, Prescription for Dietary Wellness

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