This Galentine's Day, celebrate with a pitcher cocktail that's easy to make, sophisticated, and crowd-pleasing. It's a little sweet, a little fruity, a little bubbly, and a little bitter, which pretty much sums up my thoughts on what this day is all about. It's not too boozy, either, so it'll fit in whether you're in for a girls' night or up for a lazy brunch.
By now you need no introduction to Galentine's Day, a holiday created by Leslie Knope on Parks & Recreation. The whole idea is to get together with the ladies in your life — your best girlfriends, your favorite coworkers, or even your mom — to share a decadent brunch and to celebrate each other.
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I'll be setting up a DIY frittata and waffle bar dialed in with the most over-the-top toppings and ingredients. Now, I'm not saying you need to make some of Homer Simpson's patented out-of-this-world moon waffles (remember those?), but that is definitely on the right track. #treatyoself.
I love the bright and rosy color of this cocktail, which is partly from the hibiscus tea base, but also from the Aperol. If Aperol is new to you, don't be tempted to leave it out of the mix. The iconic, brightly colored Italian spirit has a silky texture and boasts flavors of rhubarb, burnt orange, and bitter herbs. It truly complements the hibiscus tea and ginger. And if you have any leftover, you can always make Aperol Spritzes!
My personal take on a Galentine's Day party involves no makeup, no heels, mandatory sweatpants, and lots of dancing, set to a playlist with the likes of Madonna, Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, and Lady Gaga. Most importantly, I'll be prepping everything before my girls arrive. Remember: It's all about the quality time with your girlfriends, not about spending the whole time in the kitchen.
Bittersweet Hibiscus Galentine’s Day Pitcher Cocktail
Serves 8 to 12
- For the ginger syrup:
granulated cane sugar
fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl, pour the syrup through the strainer, and discard the solids.
Measure and transfer 6 ounces of the syrup into a large pitcher or punch bowl; save the remainder for another cocktail or another use. Add the tea, rum, lemon juice, and Aperol to the pitcher. Stir until incorporated and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve (up to 1 day).
When you're ready to serve the cocktail, add ice to the chilled cocktail mixture. Top with the sparkling wine and give the mixture a gentle stir. Taste and add more lemon juice or ginger syrup if desired. Serve in individual cocktail glasses over ice and garnish with fresh berries.
Brewing hibiscus tea: Brew the hibiscus tea according to the package directions. I steeped 4 bags of Mighty Leaf Wild Berry Hibiscus tea for 5 minutes in 36 ounces of hot water.
Make ahead: The ginger syrup can be made, strained, and chilled up to 1 week in advance. The pitcher without the sparkling wine can be made up to 1 day ahead and chilled. Stir again before adding ice and sparkling wine.