Christmas is over. Presents are opened. Leftovers have been eaten. And now all that you're left with is a tree that's just begging to be made into this Pine Needle Punch. So give it what it's been asking for, and make this martini-like libation that's brimming with holiday cheer (and just a little gin, dry vermouth and Champagne). It'll feel like Christmas has come again!
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
Pine needles, for garnish
In a large punch bowl, combine the gin, vermouth, syrup, and lemon juice, then add ice or frozen cranberries. Top with the Champagne. The guests can serve themselves and garnish their drinks with a few pine needles.
Christmas Tree Syrup
A handful of pine needles
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Pluck the freshest, greenest needles from your Christmas tree, wash, then chop them. (Note: make sure your pine tree isn't toxic!)
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and warm over medium heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and add the pine needles. Let sit for a few hours to allow the pine needles to infuse the syrup. Strain into a container and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 2 weeks).