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Sparkly Loire cocktail

This cocktail from the Loire Valley’s historic Anjou region combines sparkling white wine with lemon juice, cane sugar syrup and Cointreau or another orange-flavored liqueur.

If you’d like to be totally authentic, use Crémant de Loire, a sparkling white from the region, and Cointreau, which is also produced locally. But you can achieve the same delightful effect with any dry sparkling white and a similar liqueur, for example Triple Sec.

As for the cane sugar syrup, it is available commerically in France and elsewhere. If you can’t find it, you can make it yourself, as described in the note beneath the recipe.

Be sure the bubbly is well chilled before making the cocktail, which should be prepared just before serving. The quantities below will serve 8 people if you’re having one glass each — but as this drink goes down easy, it might be wise to plan for two glasses per person.

1 chilled bottle sparkling dry white wine
1/3 cup (10 cl) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup (10 cl) cane sugar syrup
1/3 cup (10 cl) Cointreau

Pour the sparkling wine into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients. Stir. Transfer to a pitcher.

Serve in champagne glasses, garnished if you like with thin lemon slices and/or mint leaves. Serves 4-8.

Note: To make your own cane sugar syrup, use one cup each of water and cane sugar (preferably a raw cane sugar such as demerara or cassonnade). Bring to a boil and simmer until the syrup coats a spoon. Allow to cool. Transfer to a clean bottle and cork it. This syrup will keep for several weeks.


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