November marks the arrival of the holiday season — and also National Pomegranate Month.
I remember as a child spending hours pulling the ruby red jewels from the caves of their leathery rind — endless hours of concentration that yielded treats.
As an adult I don’t have the time or patience to extract those ruby arils of goodness, but I have mastered a trick to extract them.
Here’s a tip, adapted from TheCafeSucreFarine.com: Wash the rind, then roll the fruit on a hard surface to loosen the seeds. Cut around the middle and tear it open into halves. Hold each half over a bowl, seeds down, and whack the top of the skin with a wooden spoon, squeezing a little, and the seeds will release.
Among the hundreds of ways to enjoy the mythologically tasty fruit is in these pomtastic cocktails and mocktail recipes. Try a few over the holidays.
Created by Jessa Smout, founder and creator of Amrita Handcrafted Beverages of Jackson
1.5 ounces JH Stillworks Barrel Aged Great Grey Gin
1/4 ounce Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1.5 ounce The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Pomegranate, thawed
1/2 ounce blood orange juice
1/4 ounce Amrita Cranberry Cordial (or substitute with cranberry juice)
1 drop frankincense organic essential oil
1. Age the JH Stillworks Barrel Aged Great Grey Gin in a barrel for six days.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake until proper dilution and mixing is achieved.
3. Strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass.
4. Garnish with edible gold and smoked rosemary.
You can order the puree at PerfectPuree.com.
Hot Holiday Punch
Created by chief mixology officer, Fresh Victor Mixers (FreshVictor.com)
3 ounces Fresh Victor Cactus Pear and Pomegranate
1.5 ounces American whiskey
0.5 ounces St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
1. Warm ingredients on the stove top and store in a thermos dispenser.
2. Serve in a San Francisco-style Irish coffee glass (or another 6-ounce hot liquid glass).
3. Garnish with a wide lemon twist or floating allspice berries.
By Alex Valencia, La Contenta of New York City
2 ounces Novo Fogo Barrel Aged Cachaca
0.5 ounces pomegranate syrup
0.5 ounces lime juice
0.5 ounces Aquafaba (or egg white)
Nutmeg for garnish
Add ingredients to a shaker without ice. Shake vigorously for about 10-12 seconds. Add ice to strainer and shake again until very cold. Strain and serve in a chilled coupe. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
• Make the pomegranate syrup by stirring together equal parts 100% pomegranate juice and cane sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Let cool. ￼