Spicy Christmas Cocktail
Combine the water and sugar in a small sauce pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. It’ll get syrupy as it cools.
Put the raspberries into a blender or food processor along with the fresh orange juice and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer, placed over a peel, to remove the raspberry seeds. Discard the seeds. Pour the raspberry mixture into a large pitcher and stir in as much of the simple syrup as you’d like. If you like sweeter drinks, add more syrup, and if you don’t like sweet drinks, add only a splash. Stir in the vodka and Champagne.
Combine the black pepper and raw sugar in a shallow dish. Run the lemon wedge along the edge of the glasses to create a glue. Then dip the glass, upside-down into the shallow dish of sugar and pepper. Repeat until all of the glasses are coated. Pour the cocktail into the pepper sugar rimmed glasses and top with a sprig of thyme. Serve and drink right away. Enjoy!
Mocktail option :
You can replace the champagne with Sparkling Water, or Lemonade if you’d like it sweet.