This pomegranate rosemary cocktail combines fresh pomegranate juice with gin and a rosemary simple syrup for a festive, easy-to-sip beverage.
I've never really understood pomegranates. They're a fruit, but when you cut them open, you find a bunch of seeds inside. There's no edible flesh like a melon or an apple. What do you do with a bunch of seeds?
Well, for starters, those red jewels you see when you open a pomegranate are not the seeds. Even though everyone refers to them as seeds, they're actually tiny pouches of pulp. The pouches are called arils, and the seeds are inside of them, surrounded by the pulp. The arils, seeds and all, are entirely edible.
Another thing I didn't know about pomegranates is how the heck you cut one open. The handful of times I've tried were a complete mess, and my counter looked like a murder scene. That juice sure stains. I finally learned the easiest way to cut open a pomegranate to access all those arils and it was much easier than my past attempts.
You want to start by slicing off the top just enough to expose the arils. You should immediately notice that the arils are divided into segments. Run your knife down through the skin of the pomegranate on the ridge where the segments are divided. This will loosen each of the segments, and then you can use your hands to pull them apart.
The arils are easier to access this way, significantly more accessible than cutting the pomegranate in half. Still, you can also put the pomegranate sections in a bowl of water and separate them while submerged. It's certainly a bit of work, especially considering that the average pomegranate contains 600 arils.
Once you have the arils free, the question remains as to what to do with them. You can add them to your oatmeal or yogurt at breakfast, toss them into a salad, or use them as a garnish to soups or vegetable dishes. They're a colorful addition to foods this time of year, especially desserts.
Of course, pomegranate juice is one of the best parts and what you'll need to make this pomegranate rosemary cocktail. You can get the juice from the arils by running them through the blender and straining out the seeds. Or, you could buy a bottle of juice and skip dealing with the whole fruit. Pom is a popular brand.
You can find pomegranate juice in the produce department of most grocery stores, and you can even find containers of the arils as well. But pomegranates are in season this time of year, and it's worth playing around with the whole fresh fruit.
The key ingredients in this cocktail include:
- pomegranate juice
- rosemary sprigs
- Cointreau or Triple Sec
I wanted to use pomegranate juice to make a cocktail for the holiday season. The vibrant red juice is already quite festive on its own, but I thought it would be all the better paired with the piney juniper notes of gin. Barr Hill Gin, made here in Vermont, is my go-to gin for making cocktails.
Although pomegranates are described as being sweet-tart, I found the juice to be more tart than sweet. That's why I added a little simple syrup to the mix for just a touch of sweetness. The addition of Triple Sec adds another note of freshness, but you could leave this out if you don't have any handy.
There's not much to explain about how to make this pomegranate rosemary cocktail. You combine the pomegranate juice with gin, triple sec, and rosemary simple syrup. Shake the ingredients together in a shaker with ice and strain them into your glass.
However, to make the simple syrup, you combine equal parts sugar and water in a small pan. Add a couple of rosemary sprigs and use a wooden spoon to bruise them up then let them steep in the syrup for at least 15 minutes as it cools. You can store this simple syrup in the fridge for up to a few weeks for all of your other holiday cocktail needs.
💭 Top Tip
If you have them, those pomegranate arils make a fun addition to this pomegranate rosemary cocktail, so you might as well throw in a few. Keep in mind that they won't float and work as a garnish. Instead, I topped the cocktail with a sprig of rosemary and let the arils serve as fun end of drink bonus.