Claret Cup

Recently I was talking to my husband and mentioned that I thought it was silly for food bloggers to post about smoothies. I mean, you really don’t need a recipe for a smoothie, and besides – it’s just a drink.

And then he reminded me that I post cocktails on my blog. Touché! But, in my defense – they’re cocktails. They’re important. We don’t drink smoothies when it’s five o’clock somewhere.

So this recipe is for a cocktail called a Claret Cup I’m using from this Gourmet compendium cookbook.

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I googled the name claret cup because I had a feeling it was a very old-fashioned drink, and indeed it is. It was fashionable in England in the 1800’s, in fact.

Furthermore, according to this fabulous website, called The Art of Drink, there is a “striking resemblance” to Pimm’s Cup.

The drink eventually made it to the U.S., then died down in popularity. Maybe this will start a trend?

The recipe in the Best of Gourmet cookbook calls for 2 bottles of wine. Specifically, claret. Since I was only making the drink for two, I opted for 2 cups of wine, and adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Claret Cup

2 cups red wine, preferably from the Bordeaux region of France
2 ounces orange liqueur
2 ounces crème de cassis
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweetened lime juice, purchased
Club soda

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In a small pitcher, pour in the red wine. Then add the orange liqueur and crème de cassis.

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Then stir in the lemon juice and sweetened lime juice. Stir and taste. You could always add some superfine sugar if you think it’s not sweet enough, or a little more liqueur.

Pour some into and glass and top with club soda. I used about 2/3 wine mixture and 1/3 bubbly water.

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Serve with a slice of lemon.

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Alternatively, chill the wine mixture and the bubbly water first, and then serve cold, or forget the bubbly water and just serve this over ice. It would be very refreshing this way.

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This claret cup is very different in flavor from a Pimm’s cup, but there are some sweet and fruity similarities. Using this recipe exactly, I thought it came out really well – more like a sangria – because it’s essentially sweetened wine.

You could really play with the liqueurs and make it more raspberry using Chambord, for example.

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