Drink of the week: Ruffino's on the River's 'Winter'

by Kari Walker

Fill your glass with some sparkle before the clock strikes midnight

Christmas has wrapped itself up into a crumpled pile of paper and bows waiting on the curb, and attention has turned to New Year's Eve - it's the last celebration of the year, known for glitz and glamour and a bubbly toast.

If you're looking for a twist on that traditional glass of Champagne, try this cocktail from Ruffino's on the River simply called, Winter. It's a blend of freshly muddled cranberries and mint topped with Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy. When it comes to Italian, Ruffino's on the River's chef Peter Sclafani is the expert. Sclafani's dishes are Italian-Creole cuisine, and recipes from his collection can be found in his recently released debut cookbook Seasons of Louisiana.

The seasons Sclafani highlights in his book are categorized by distinct culinary influences of Louisiana - crab season, crawfish season, hunting season and of course, holiday season. Winter makes for the perfect cocktail pairing with any of Sclafani's holiday inspired dishes. Copies of Seasons of Louisiana are available for purchase online through and Amazon and at both the Baton Rouge and Lafayette Ruffino's restaurant locations.

Photo courtesy Ruffino's on the River

Winter at Ruffino's on the River
Courtesy of chef Peter Sclafani

A handful of fresh cranberries and mint
1 oz. of orange vodka
.5 oz. of Pama (pomegranate liquor)
Splash of cranberry juice
Avissi Prosecco

Muddle cranberries and mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker then fill with ice, vodka, Pama and cranberry juice. Strain into champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and garnish with an orange twist.