A Galentines Day Sparkly Cocktail and Sweet Charcuterie Tray

Am I speaking your language yet? Think: sparkly cocktails, sweet and salty treats, and your best gals to enjoy them with you.

I was a girly girl growing up. My room was pink, I had baby dolls and doll houses, and pink everything. I went through a phase of only wearing socks with ruffles on the ankles (hello, 90s), and literally refused to wear anything but twirly dresses, leggings, and biker shorts until the age of 8 or 9. As I got older, I outgrew the dolls and ruffly socks (seriously! They don’t make them in adult sizes. Bummer.). I found that in college and afterwards, because I was often the youngest one in the room, and in many cases the only female, people took me more seriously when I was dressed in a less overtly feminine way. That’s a frustrating part of our society, and I hope that one day a professional woman in her early 20s starting her career will be able to wear whatever she wants and not have other professionals assume she’s a receptionist. (True story, by the way. Used to happen to me All. The. Time.)

I never lost my love of traditionally “girly” things, so Galentine’s seems like the perfect excuse to make all things pink and sparkly.

Back when I owned a cookie company, one of my best selling items was gold French macarons. They were sparkly, gold, and tasted like sugary heaven (if I do say so myself). Here’s the secret though: the glittery gold color comes from either pearl dust or edible spray paint–which is SO much fun to use. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to find a way to use these tools and techniques to give food and drinks just a little something more.

I usually find the edible spray paint works best on dry foods, and moist food (think: a cake with icing) or drinks work best with pearl dust. In the case of this cocktail, I used pearl dust, and a tiny bit goes a long, long way. It’s tasteless, so it won’t change your cocktail’s flavor if you add too much, but it might settle at the bottom of your glass.

I came up for the idea for this cocktail after I made a glittery berry rum cocktail for New Year’s Eve. It was a hit, and I thought, what better time to make a pink, glittery cocktail than a Galentine’s Day party?

The idea for the Galentine’s Day party also came to me on New Years Eve… a couple glittery cocktails in. So maybe, glitter in your food makes you a genius? I wish. I also wish I could say I’m the one who came up with Galentine’s Day, but I have to credit that to Leslie Knope. “It’s like Lillith Fair, minus the angst… plus fritattas.”

Traditionally (if you can even call a made up holiday traditional at all), Galentine’s Day is a day for women to get together and celebrate female friendship and one another. It’s supposed to be the day before Valentine’s Day, February 13th, but since this year’s February 13th is on a Thursday… do with that information what you will.

If you are planning on hosting your own Galentine’s get together, this cocktail and sweet charcuterie are the perfect centerpiece. Let’s start with the cocktail:

Before you pop the cork out of the bottle, make your rosemary simple syrup. Simple syrup is equal parts water and sugar, brought to a boil and then immediately cooled on the stove. As soon as you turn off the heat, add in 3-4 fresh rosemary sprigs. Make sure you don’t add them before you boil, or your syrup will end up tasting more like wilted grass than rosemary. I made that mistake once while making a basil simple syrup… and that will live on in my memory as one of the weirdest drinks I’ve ever made.

Let your rosemary simple syrup cool for a few minutes, and then pour into a glass jar or other container, keeping the rosemary sprigs in the syrup. You can make this ahead of time, and can keep this mixture in your fridge for a couple weeks and use it in other drinks if you like.

Start the drink making with a sparkling rose or other champagne or prosecco. I don’t like my drinks to be super sweet, so I used a drier sparkling rose. The rose is fun just to make it a little bit more pink.

For the grapefruit juice, fresh squeezed is ideal, but if you’re making these for a crowd or just don’t want to spend the time juicing grapefruit, you can buy 100% grapefruit juice bottled at your grocery store–just make sure it’s plain red or pink grapefruit juice with no added sugar.

Add 2 parts champagne and 1 part grapefruit juice to each glass. Adjust ratios to your taste, and add a couple teaspoons of rosemary simple syrup. The more grapefruit juice you add, the more rosemary simple syrup you’ll need to get the flavors balanced.

And now for the fun part! Add about 1/8 tsp of pearl dust (I used white pearl dust for this, but you could use pink, silver, or gold too) and stir. Again, you can add more pearl dust if you’d like–it won’t change the taste of your cocktail.

In the spirit of all things pink and sweet, I decided to give these glasses a sprinkle and sugar rim. To do this, cut a grapefruit in half and turn the rim of the glass in the fresh cut fruit so that it gets just enough juice to have the sprinkles stick. Pour your sprinkles onto a shallow plate or bowl, and gently dip the rim of the glass into the mixture. If you opt for sprinkles, go with something small and light so that they will stick to the edge of the glass without falling off. Sanding sugar is also a good option here.

Voila! You have a glittery Galentine’s rosemary grapefruit cocktail.

For the charcuterie (using this term pretty loosely here…) you’ll just need to gather favorite candies and sweet things. I like to stick to a few basic colors with trays like this–if you use too many colors randomly it can look and messy and a little disjointed. For this tray, I (obviously) used pinks, reds, and browns.

Again, charcuterie is a very loose term here… but “sweet charcuterie” sounds WAY cuter than “tray of berries and chocolate” don’t you think?

I love a regular charcuterie tray because they’re pretty, simple, and almost any guest can find something they like to eat. This is a similar concept, except with chocolate. Here’s what went into my tray:

  • Candied bacon
  • Oreos
  • Chocolate truffles
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Valentine’s M&Ms
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cherry gummy hearts
  • French macarons

All except the candied bacon are things you can buy and arrange quickly, which makes this a great party treat. The bacon is very simple too.

Candied Bacon Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 375ยบ F.
  • Spread parchment paper on a large cookie sheet with edges that come up on all sides to catch the grease.
  • Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of brown sugar across the tray, and spread evenly.
  • Arrange 1 lb of thick cut bacon on the sheet. Try not to let the bacon touch, as they’ll be harder to split up later.
  • Sprinkle another 2 tbsp brown sugar over the top of the bacon.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, but check every few minutes after 20 because all ovens are different.
  • When they look crisp, remove from the oven and let cool on tray.
  • Blot grease with paper towel and cut slices in half for easier munching.

Once you’ve got your bacon ready to go, arrange it with your other sweets and fruit on the tray. I like to start by putting larger items in the corners and middle, and filling in with mid-sized and smaller items to pull it all together. Using mirrored colors on a charcuterie (this goes for a regular one, too), will help your tray look cohesive. Example: Oreos in one corner, Dark chocolate in the opposite, and truffles in the other two corners. All dark brown, with reds in between and pink sprinkled in.

Even if you’re not a gal, I hope you enjoy these Galentine’s treats!

Glittery Grapefruit Rosemary Mimosas Ingredients

  • 1-2 Grapefruits per cocktail or bottled grapefruit juice, no sugar added
  • Sparkling rose, prosecco, or champagne
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs (3-4 sprigs plus one per cocktail)
  • Edible pearl dust
  • Sprinkles or sanding sugar (optional)

Glittery Grapefruit Rosemary Mimosas Instructions

  • Heat sugar and water in a small sauce pan over medium to high heat, stirring frequently. When mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat and let cool on stove. While cooling, add 3-4 sprigs of rosemary. When cool enough, transfer to glass jar with lid and place in the fridge. Leave the rosemary in the mixture in the fridge for a stronger flavor.
  • For a sprinkle/sugar rim, cut a grapefruit in half, turn glass rim in fresh grapefruit, and gently dip into a shallow bowl or plate of sprinkles or sanding sugar.
  • Pour each glass a little less than 2/3 of the way full with sparkling wine.
  • Juice the grapefruits and pour into remaining 1/3 of the glass.
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of rosemary simple syrup to each glass and stir.
  • Add 1/8 tsp of pearl dust to each glass and stir. Add more as desired.
  • Finish with a rosemary sprig garnish or grapefruit wedge.

Happy Galentine’s, y’all!

XO

Grace

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