I’m not sure why we thought to buy six bottles of Champagne for New Year’s Eve…maybe there was some sort of six-pack discount at the local Vons, or perhaps my wife thought each guest at our year-end soiree needed their own bottle. Regardless, the two spare bottles hogging precious fridge space need to go. Not being a big wine/bubbly drinker, I decided to whip up a quick and easy home cocktail, which for me means a quick dive into my favorite cocktail book, “Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails” by David Kaplan.
Under the “sparkling cocktails section,” a tequila-based drink called Seda de Naranja (orange silk), caught my eye. The ingredients are similar to a basic margarita. Although the thought of blending dry sparkling wine, tequila, Grand Marnier, and orange bitters didn’t add up in my head as a particularly great flavor combination, I popped the cork, mixed it up, and took a sip. What came out in the glass was simply stunning.
Phil Ward’s 2007 Seda De Naranja
- 3/4 ounce El Tesoro Reposado Tequila (any 100 percent blue agave tequila will work fine)
- 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier (I used Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao)
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Stir ingredients over ice, strain into a coupe glass, then top with dry sparkling wine. No garnish (I like to garnish).
What’s great about this drink: The blend of citrus, grape, and agave is a perfect arrangement of three unlikely bedfellows. Despite being 100 percent booze, the Seda de Naranja is surprisingly easy to drink. Spritzy citrus-pepper notes effervesce out of the glass, making this a solid aperitif to pair with a mix of spice-forward foods. On the sip, tequila blankets much of the sparkling wine character, sort of converting the overall flavor into an agave-forward soft drink.
There are more than 30 sparking cocktail recipes in “Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails” (among 500+ total recipes) – so pick it up at your favorite bookstore.