When I went out the garden to pick the mint needed for this recipe, I found this very welcome and sweet little guest, funny how simple joys can just make your day! My goal for the past month or two has been to cook with lemons everyday. I know you’re probably sick of hearing about how many lemons I have, but believe me, I’m more tired of trying to use/get rid of them! I took about 50 pounds to cooking class last night and plan to do the same tomorrow night when I begin my 3-week series at Les Gourmettes. Just the thought of all of them is wearing me out… the solution? Tonight, I’m going to fire up the Jacuzzi and make cocktails using up several lemons, that will get me geared up to keep going! This is a great cocktail if you have a little leftover champagne or as in my case, you have a split lying around unused. I’m using Absolute Citron, but any unflavored or citrus flavored vodka is fine. If you’re not lemon-rich, buy lemon sorbet at the grocery store and you’re all set.
Lemon-Mandarin Orange Champagne Cocktail
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
11-ounce can Mandarin oranges in light syrup
1/2 cup vodka
1/4 cup Champagne
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Sorbet: Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan to dissolve the sugar, remove simple syrup from the heat, and cool. Combine the simple syrup with the lemon zest and juice.
Cocktail: Place the Mandarin oranges with their syrup, vodka, champagne, and lemon sorbet in a blender and puree. Divide among champagne glasses, garnish with mint and enjoy.