Pomegranates: From strange fruit, to super fruit, to cocktail superstar!
When I was a young Thirsty Camel, I was fascinated with pomegranates. I mean, is there anyone who isn’t? You have this fruit that’s kind of ugly on the outside with its leathery skin and strange shape, and then you cut it open to reveal these seeds inside that look like shiny little rubies all nestled together. The seeds are actually called arils, but I didn’t learn that until much later on. I thought the taste was amazing, although I will admit that the idea that you practically had to put on a beekeeper’s suit when you ate one did have its drawbacks for my mom. There is a technique that involves turning the pomegranate upside in water that is supposed to help you to release the arils without looking like you’ve been in a Martin Scorsese film, but where’s the fun in that? I think the other reason why I loved pomegranates so much is because they only made an appearance in our house at Christmas time, so they became permanently linked to the holiday for me. Pomegranates have since ascended to super fruit stardom, but I can honestly look them in the eye and say “I loved you even when everyone thought you were weird.”
Since my friends at Gorshin Trading Post in Haddonfield have kindly asked me back again to pour cocktails during candlelight shopping this Friday night, I am starting my planning today. The first drink on deck is a Pomegranate Elderflower cocktail that marries my favorite fruit with one of my favorite spirits, St. Germain, made from the tiny white blossoms of the elder tree. These trees only bloom in spring time for a few short weeks, during which the elderflower blossoms are handpicked and transported by bicycle back to the village to be made into St. Germain. It’s a delicate and meticulous process, which is why St. Germain is one of the pricier liqueurs, but the taste is worth it. A blend of pear, peach, and grapefruit is how it’s described on the website, but I always taste honey too. There is also fresh lime juice in this recipe, one of St. Germain’s favorite flavor partners, as well as simple syrup. St. Germain is already fairly sweet so feel free to adjust the amount of the simple syrup down if you need to. The resulting cocktail tastes amazing and looks beautiful, making it another great choice for the holiday season.
Pomegranate Elderflower Cocktail (from drinkandcocktailrecipes.com)
1 1/2 ounces Stateside vodka
1/2 ounce St. Germain
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup (1 cup sugar dissolved completely in 1 cup of boiling water)
Add the vodka, St. Germain, pomegranate juice, lime juice and simple syrup to cocktail shaker. Add your ice (1 large cube and 2 small if you have them); cover and shake vigorously. Double strain into chilled glass. Garnish with lime or leave ungarnished if you prefer.