2-ingredient cocktail I've been making throughout February.



I've never been to Valentine. I've been lucky enough to have a lot of likeable people in my life, but I think middle school really ruined it for me.

A group at school (was it the yearbook staff?) will sell carnations as a fundraiser, and kids can buy them to send to other kids during Valentine's Day first period. White flowers meant I can't remember, pink meant friendship, and red meant wink, more than friends. When we were all in middle school, there weren't many red carnations, but when one appeared, everyone The room will explode. It's a shame.

I got a red carnation or two, and it sent me into a tailspin. I suppose some girls would be flattered, but I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. When a boy showed up at my front door in seventh grade with a stuffed bear and a balloon, I almost passed out from anxiety. I'm sweating just thinking about it.

Now that I'm married, my husband and I refuse to fight the rest of the couples in town for Valentine's dinner reservations, so we cook good food and eat candy at home. This obviously involves a celebratory drink, and I've come up with the perfect cocktail this year. It's so easy and so cheap that I'll be making it all month with friends for brunch, happy hour, and more.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


Two magical ingredients

A quick trip to Trader Joe's and about $10 to $15 is all you need to make six to eight cocktails. They are ready when it takes you to add the two ingredients. Bonus points for the garnish, but it's not required.

The first ingredient is dry sparkling wine. I go for the Prosecco here, and I especially like the Mionetto Prosecco which is usually available at my Trader Joe's for $12.99. It's dry, really bubbly, and great for cocktails like this. Regardless of the brand, look for a dry sparkling white wine (Bert). Trader Joe's brand Prosecco is great, and it's only $9 a bottle.

The other ingredient is a longtime favorite TJ's item of mine — their Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda ($3.49). This stuff comes in a glass bottle and is delicious plain, but I like it even better mixed with sparkling wine. The sourness and sweetness of the soda accentuate these notes in the wine, and the dryness of the wine balances the soda. It's a match made in heaven.

The result is a pleasant pink, just enough fruit, just enough dry, just bubbly coffee cocktail. It's low ABV enough for a daytime occasion like brunch, but it's celebratory enough for nighttime.

How to Make My 2-Ingredient Trader Joe's Cocktail

It can't be easy. To make six fine cocktails or eight small ones, set out the appropriate number of flutes, wine glasses or tumblers. Fill each glass 1/3 full with chilled blood orange soda. Top with chilled prosecco or other dry sparkling wine. If you're feeling fancy, garnish the glass with an orange peel.

Serve immediately and delight your loved ones.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph



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