In need of a stress-free holiday drink that everyone will love? This Christmas Citrus Cocktail is super easy, very refreshing, and beautifully festive!
This post has been sponsored by Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Wines. All opinions and content are mine. Please enjoy wine responsibly.
Christmastime is the busiest time of the year for most people – and more so, if you’re much like me! I absolutely love everything about Christmas – the decorations, the food and drink, the company, the cold weather, the gift-giving; all of the fun and merriment that you can imagine, is what I love about Christmas – all of it!
But, there’s just one thing that I’m not that fond of. It’s the fact that whenever we have company over, I never get to truly enjoy their presence. You see, Dear Reader, I’m often the one who prepares everything ahead of time to make sure the evening is a success. I quite enjoy setting up the table for a sit down dinner, or placing a big spread on our side table.
I do feel in most cases that I don’t get to really enjoy the company of our guests, because I’m either refilling drinks, removing hot appetizers from the oven, or topping up a snack or dip bowl. All of those stresses are behind me now though, thanks to my Christmas Citrus Cocktail.
For this particular holiday drink, I used Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines. Particulary, the Chardonnay. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Classic wines are fruit-forward, smooth and balanced, making them ideal for everyday enjoyment. I know Christmas time is special, but an everyday wine like the Chardonnay is a perfect choice for this cocktail.
If you’ve never tried Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines before, you can look for them in the California section of your local liquor store. These wines feature bright fruit flavours and smooth finishes made to complement food, which was why they were the perfect pairing with the fresh-cut citrus, the fresh cranberries, and of course, those juicy pomegranate seeds!
You can find many more recipes at Woodbridgewines.com. In addition to recipes, there’s serving tips, and a great wine pairing app which will provide wine recommendations to suit a particular meal. It’s a great app for those of us who do not consider ourselves to be wine connoisseurs.
My Christmas Citrus Cocktail is not only super delicious, but so easy to prepare. And, one of the boasting features of this drink is that you can do most of the work ahead of time. The three photos that follow will show you how I set everything up in advance. I set up my serving station, prepped all of the drinking glasses with the decorative picks and sprigs of rosemary.
I filled the pitcher with the sliced oranges, lemons, and limes. I added the fresh cranberries and the pomegranate seeds. And, then I set up my serving tray with different cookies. When guests arrive, it’s then very easy to fill the pitcher with a bottle of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines, top it off with the lemon-lime soda, grab some ice from the freezer.
You will note, Dear Reader, that for the purpose of this recipe post, I used fake ice. Hmmmm… what is fake ice? Well, it’s basically acrylic cubed shapes that are safe to place into beverages for the purpose of taking photos. I knew if I had used real ice cubes, they would have melted too much before I could take these set-up photos. Also, even though the wine and the soda was cold, it wasn’t so cold that it would form condensation on the glasses.
Using the fake ice cubes allowed for a clearer photograph. You will most likely use real ice, however. But, if you want to prevent the ice from watering down the Christmas Citrus Cocktail, you could omit the ice completely, or you can use those re-freezable ice cubes, or the metal ice cubes used mostly in hard liquor drinks.
When your guests arrive, the drinks are ready. The cookies are piled high onto a festive serving platter. You can pre-arrange the paper napkins. And, like you can see in some of the photographs, leave a few bottles of wine on the table as well. Some of your guests might prefer to drink the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Wines as they are rather than in a cocktail.
I also think it’s a good idea to leave an open bottle of the Chardonnay close to the cocktail pitcher as well. Since the cocktail uses equal parts wine and soda, leaving the open bottle will invite a guest to adjust to their personal tastes by adding a splash more wine if the cocktail is not as strong as they would like it to be. It’s all about flexibility, ease, and comfortable entertaining!
Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful. It has taken me years to realize that when we have company over, they are here to visit with us, to laugh with us, and to enjoy themselves as well. It’s not about watching the host break into a sweat while running around frantically preparing too much food that will not be eaten anyway. It’s about relaxing, reminiscing, and creating new memories to cherish all year round.
I do hope you find inspiration in my simple Christmas Citrus Cocktail recipe and that you learn from my past mistakes. Take it easy, set up a side table; make sure it’s well-stocked, and forget about it. And, if you do insist on putting out a few finger foods rather than a cookie platter, why not try some of the recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen?
Some get together’s demand dips though. We love dips so much that it’s almost hard to image a party, a quiet evening at home, or a game’s night without a good dip or two. If you’re looking for dips, try my Baked Goat Cheese Dip in Marinara Sauce, or my Hot Four Cheese Roasted Red Pepper Dip. There you go, lots of ideas to make you evening with wine and friends even more special!
In some of the photos, you’ll see a few of the cookies that I have made for an upcoming project of mine. Starting on December 1st, and continuing until December 24th, Lord Byron’s Kitchen will be posting a brand new cookie recipe every single day. Yes, even on the weekends! I’m calling it Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! You don’t want to miss it, so check back on the first of the month, or subscribe now so that you’ll receive an email notification when the posts are published.
Lastly, please remember, Dear Reader, that even though Christmas is a time to let our hair down, a time to relax and bend the rules a little, it’s also a time for reflection and for sharing time with the people we love. Whatever your traditions, and however you celebrate the holidays, please enjoy wine responsibly. From my family, and from Lord Byron’s Kitchen, we wish you a safe and happy holiday!
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Christmas Citrus Cocktail
- 750 mL Chardonnay, chilled (Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi)
- 750 mL lemon lime soda, chilled
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 2 whole oranges, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (ends discarded)
- 2 whole lemons, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (ends discarded)
- 4 whole limes, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (ends discarded)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 6-8 whole mint leaves
- rosemary sprigs, for garnish - optional
- Spear 5-6 whole, fresh cranberries onto a cocktail skewer. Set aside. (Optional)
- Place the fruit into a large pitcher in this order - orange slices, lemon slices, lime slices, 1 cup of the cranberries, and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds. Top with 2 cups of ice.
- Pour the wine into the pitcher, followed by the soda. Stir together, but just a few stirs - the more you stir, the more carbonation you will lose from the soda.
- Add 1 teaspoon of pomegranate seeds to each glass. Insert a cranberry cocktail skewer. Add a sprig of rosemary for garnish if using. You may also add a slice of lime for garnish.
- When ready to serve, pour the cold Christmas Citrus Cocktail into the glasses and serve immediately.
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