GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL

You know what’s awesome/not awesome at all? Technical problems. I had this post COMPLETELY. WRITTEN. And then I hit “Save Draft.” And then it told me I have an error. The specific error said “Are you sure you want to do this? Please try again later.” Um, okay. You’re asking me if I’m sure I want to save? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I do (stupid jerk). So I was like “Okay, well, it usually saves periodically throughout the process so let’s see what I have.” I HAD NOTHING. NADA. It didn’t save ever at all. UGHHHHHHH. So. Here we go. I’m going to try this again.

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The weather outside may (or may not) still be frightful, but the good thing about January? It marks the beginning of Awards Season! Woo hoo! Tonight is the Golden Globes award ceremony, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey—how can you not be psyched? I love any reason to celebrate, so I use the Globes as a perfect excuse to enjoy a good cocktail in front of the telly. If you want to break free of the typical plain glass of bubbly, then come along with me while I babble about Moët’s Golden Night cocktail.

The official cocktail of the Golden Globes is Moët’s Golden Night. It consists of champagne, pear brandy, and a cardamom simple syrup. Sounds delightful, no? However, who has pear brandy sitting around? We don’t, and we have some pretty rando stuff in our liquor cabinet. You probably do too, but is one of those items pear brandy? Yes? Well then you, my friend, are lucky and you may skip ahead to the recipe posted on People’s website! If you’re like us and you DON’T happen to have pear brandy (and you don’t want to break the bank just for this), then let’s try another route.

Version 1: Since the recipe calls for a cardamom-infused simple syrup, I’ll use that as my vehicle for the pear flavor as well. My original intent was to use Jumex Pear Nectar but you know what? It was not my day because I couldn’t find it ANYWHERE. Which was annoying b/c I’ve purchased it in the past, but neither Kroger nor Whole Foods nor Giant Eagle were feelin’ me on this one. Not even World Market. Pear nectar access denied! So I settled for canned pears in 100% juice. I use the juice from the can as my liquid in the simple syrup.

Version 2: While I may not have pear brandy, I do have pear flavored liqueur (see, I told you—random!). We can try this as an alternate. It won’t have the cardamom infusion, but that could be a nice comparison study as well. I happen to have Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Pear liqueur, but I’ve also seen Mathile’s pear liqueur at my local liquor store, and there’s also Absolut Pear vodka you could try. While you may not have this readily available in your liquor stash, I recommend considering pear liqueur if you’re a fan of the flavor. It’s really lovely with…well, lots of things. Gin? Yes. Whiskey? Why not. Rum? Yeah, sure. Vodka? Obviously. Just some club soda on the rocks? Knock yourself out!

Another note: if you look closely at the photo, you’ll notice the two drinks have slightly different appearances. One is clearer, while one is a little cloudier. That’s due to the two different recipes. The clearer drink on the left is Version 2, and the cloudier drink is Version 1. So with no further ado, let’s get to it!

: : : GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL ADAPTATION, V.1.0 : : :
Simple Syrup
1 can halved pears in 100% juice
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 ground cardamom
— OR —
20 cardamom pods, cracked

1. Strain the juice from the canned pears. I had about 1 c of liquid. If you’re in the ballpark, you’re golden (Get it? Golden? Not that funny? Okay, fine). Heat the liquid in a small or medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Add the sugar and cardamom, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Let the liquid come to a simmer, then lower heat to medium. Let simmer for 7 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Strain using a fine mesh strainer. If you’re using ground cardamom like I am (because that’s what’s in my pantry), the sieve won’t catch all of the spice but it will get the larger pieces. Reserve in an airtight container.

Cocktail
1 oz cardamom-pear simple syrup
1 oz brandy or cognac
4 oz sparkling wine (I opt for brut, b/c the other ingredients are already very sweet)
Splash of lemon juice

1. In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine simple syrup, brandy, and lemon juice. Shake until cold, about 20 shakes.

2. Strain liquid into champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of fresh pear, if you’re feeling extra fancy! Sip, and enjoy Tina & Amy’s opening dialogue!

: : : GOLDEN NIGHT COCKTAIL ADAPTATION, V.2.0 : : :
1 oz brandy or cognac
1 oz pear flavored liqueur
4 oz sparkling wine (again, I opt for brut due to sweetness of the above)

Follow the same steps as the first cocktail, but minus the lemon juice.

So my favorite of the two? It’s actually Version 1! The touch of cardamom is really nice and matches up with pear very well. It’s a bit sweeter, but that’s where the lemon juice comes in. It’s not a part of the original recipe, but I added it to help cut the sweetness and add a touch of brightness. Version 2 is good but much more subtle, so if that’s your thing then go for it! Otherwise, the flavors are much more prevalent in Version 1.

How about you? Are you a fan of awards season? Do you get out the bubbly/wine/gin & tonic/what-have-you and indulge in red carpet time? Whose dress are you excited to see (come on, we all know it’s about the ladies!) and who are you rooting to win?  I’m always a Jennifer Lawrence fan but then again, who isn’t nowadays?

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