November is National Pomegranate Month, if you didn’t know, though we at Cheers love working with pomegranate-flavored spirits all year round. (Spoiler alert: Pama pomegranate liqueur is one of our top 20 beverage alcohol product launches of the past quarter century; the full list is out in a week or so.)
Real pomegranate juice is a great mixer, with its sweet/tart flavor and bright crimson color. And of course, grenadine is traditionally made from pomegranates. The French word for the fruit used to be pome granate, today they call it grenade—like the weapon.
There are plenty of pomegranate cocktails popping up on drink menus. On a recent trip to London I had a Pommegrate Bellini at Spring restaurant in Sommerset House, and a Pomegranate Paloma at the Savoy Hotel (one of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts “Classics Perfected” cocktails).
A bunch of pomegranate drink recipes have appeared in my inbox in recent weeks. For instance, the Hornitos Harvest from the folks at Beam calls for 2 parts Hornitos Black Barrel tequila, 1 part pomegranate juice, ½ part lemon juice, ½ part simple syrup. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice and garnish with a lime wedge.
In The Rough (shown at top) from Maestro Dobel Diamante combines 2 oz. of the tequila with 3 dashes sour cherry bitters and a barspoon of pomegranate molasses. Stir with ice until properly diluted, strain into coupe and garnish with 2 brandied cherries.
Josephine’s Masterpiece from the FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar (Minneapolis and Bloomington, MN) is made with 1 ¼ oz. Courvoisier; 1 oz. Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur; 1 oz. pomegranate juice; ½ oz. orange juice. It’s served warm with freshly grated nutmeg, and garnished with a mint leaf and cranberry.
And it doesn’t get much easier than the Pomegranate Blueberry Blast from the Sparkling Ice soda peoples, who actually reminded me this week that it was National Pomegranate Month. Pour 1 ½ oz. pomegranate vodka and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon over ice; add 4 oz. Pomegranate Blueberry Sparkling Ice and stir. Garnish with fresh or frozen blueberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Finally, Traveler Beer Co. has several beer cocktail recipes on its site several using its Jolly Traveler, an American craft wheat ale made with real orange, pomegranate and a hint of holiday spice. One to try is the Holly Jolly Cherry: Add 1 oz. cherry brandy, ½ oz. Scotch and 2 dashes Angostura bitters to a shaker halfway with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Top with 3-4 oz. Jolly Traveler and garnish with a cherry.