The 2-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Cocktail I’m Making All February Long

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I’ve never been that into Valentine’s. I’ve been lucky enough to have lots of people I love in my life, but I think middle school really ruined it for me. 

A group at school (was it yearbook staff?) would sell carnations as a fundraiser, and kids could buy them to send to other kids during first period on Valentine’s Day. White flowers meant something I can’t remember, pink meant friendship, and red meant wink wink, more than friends. Us all being in middle school, there weren’t many red carnations going around, but when one did show up, everyone in the room would woo. So embarrassing.

I got a red carnation or two, and it sent me into a tailspin. I guess some girls would be flattered, but I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. When a boy showed up at my front door with a stuffed bear and a balloon in 7th grade, I nearly passed out from anxiety. I sweat just thinking about it.

Now that I’m married, my husband and I refuse to battle the rest of the city’s couples for a Valentine’s dinner reservation, so we make ourselves a nice meal at home and eat candy. This obviously involves a celebratory drink, and I’ve come up with the perfect cocktail this year. It’s so easy and so affordable that I’ll be making it all month long for brunch with friends, happy hour, and more.

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph


Two Magical Ingredients

A quick trip to Trader Joe’s and about $10 to $15 are all you need to make six to eight cocktails. They’re ready in the time it takes you to pour out two ingredients. Bonus points for a garnish, but it’s in no way required.

The first ingredient is a dry sparkling wine. I go for Prosecco here, and I especially like the Mionetto Prosecco that is typically available at my Trader Joe’s for $12.99. It’s dry, really bubbly, and great for a cocktail like this. Regardless of the brand, look for a dry sparkling white wine (brut). Trader Joe’s brand prosecco is pretty good, and it’s just $9 a bottle.

The second 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 plain delicious, but I like it even better mixed with sparkling wine. The citrus and sweetness of the soda accentuate those notes in the wine, and the dryness of the wine balances out the soda. It’s a match made in heaven.

The result is a pleasantly pink, just fruity enough, just dry enough, just bubbly enough 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 couldn’t be simpler. To make six generous cocktails or eight smaller ones, set out the appropriate number of flutes, wine glasses, or tumblers. Fill each glass 1/3 full with the chilled blood orange soda. Top with chilled prosecco or other dry sparkling wine. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish the glasses with an orange peel twist. 

Serve immediately and cheers to your loved ones.

Simply Recipes / Laurel Randolph


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