Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch

For Nick’s Thanksgiving I was tasked with food, and Nick with the booze. And not just any alcohol, but fun holiday-ish themed drinks. Buzzfeed came out with a timely article called “21 Big-Batch Cocktails to Get Your Family Drunk on Thanksgiving“, and Nick’s sister promptly forwarded it (one of the many reasons I’m a big fan of his family).

He was tasked to pick out two drinks, and I tried REALLY hard not to interject with my opinion. When it comes to food and drink, I definitely have an opinion, but I exercised some self-restraint and let him choose the drinks to bring. That being said, I had of course taken a looksy through the list a few times. Each time I kept coming back to the Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch and I just kept hoping that he would pick it. 
When it came time to make the big decision, he didn’t choose my champagne punch. Not wanting to be a poor sport, but also knowing that I’m picky about my alcohol (When it comes to alcohol, I basically live off of wine, vodka soda water with lime, an occasional Captain and coke, and a filthy dirty martini, but only if it has blue-cheese stuffed olives), I let him give me the recipe run down of his choices.
Now let me be very clear here. I am VERY aware that just because I don’t care for something, doesn’t mean that others don’t like it. I have zero expectations that people like only the same things that I do. So long story short – because good god I’m rambling – I definitely wasn’t on board for one of his recipes, and the other was really heavy on beer. I happen to really like beer, but it makes me SO FULL, so fast, so I can only drink one or two before I have to switch to something light.
It was the perfect opportunity to make my own little batch of the Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch. I had enough to share a couple glasses if others wanted, but I just sort of kept it in the corner so I didn’t steal Nick’s thunder. 
Only a few ingredients were required, and I’ll be damned if I couldn’t find cinnamon sticks and star anise to save my life. Enter Amazon Prime! One of the other loves of my life, Amazon Prime had exactly what I needed at a fraction of the price and was here in two days. So. Easy. 
You basically combine the star anise, a cinnamon stick and the blood orange juice, bring to a boil and let reduce for about an hour. Once completed, chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and BOOM! Use about 3 tablespoons of the spiced blood orange mix and fill the rest of the glass about 3/4 full with Champagne. Delish. And since I received a pound of cinnamon sticks, I’ll be bringing this to Christmas as well.
Also, I have to note that Nick’s drinks were a huge success!

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Spiced Blood Orange Champagne Punch (Recipe from SpoonForkBacon)
Serves 3-5
INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice or store bought 100% blood orange juice
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 (500ml) bottle brut champagne, chilled
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place the blood orange juice, sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise in a pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half – 30-40 minutes.
3. While the mixture is still hot, stir in the white wine until completely combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.
4. When ready to serve, place 3 tablespoons of the blood orange mixture into the glass and top with champagne!
NOTE: For extra spice, add another cinnamon stick in while you sip!
Cheers!
Heather

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