Mull over this… Pomegranate
‘Tis the season, for pomegranate. Concoct your own enticing brew with zest and health in mind this winter. Pomegranates are harvested in the Northern Hemisphere from September to January and companies are bottling the juices fresh, making it easier than ever for year-round use.
Originating in Persia, pomegranate can be found growing around ancient cities such as Pompeii and was brought to California by Spanish settlers around 1769. The name "pomegranate" derives from Latin pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded").
Known as the fruit that caused Persephone, the earth goddess in Greek legend, to be trapped in Hades for 4 months and thus bringing about the season of winter, pomegranate has lore throughout cultures and time as far back as the 3rd century BC. Traditionally, the fruits are broken on the ground at weddings and New Years in Greek culture.
Called a “superfruit” because of its nutritional content and antioxidant properties, pomegranate is being evaluated for uses in fighting various cancers, cardiovascular disease and the common cold. High in vitamins C, B5, potassium and low in fat, this tart and juicy fruit pairs well with food and drinks alike.
Pomegranate has been elevated from its previous inception as grenadine into a variety of uses for drinks of all kinds. The perfect companion to margaritas, mojitos, martinis, champagne cocktails… and mulled wine.
For a dramatic holiday libation:
Mulled Pomegranate Wine
2 bottles Merlot or Cabernet
1 cup POM Wonderful
1 cup Orange Liqueur
½ cup Water
2 Lemons sliced
4 Satsuma’s sliced
8 whole Cloves
3 Cinnamon sticks
Slice citrus into ½ inch rounds and stud with cloves (easier to strain them later). Add all ingredients to a croc pot or large saucepan. Bring up to a low simmer for 30 minutes and serve warm (punch bowl with ladle and handled glassware is always stunning). Experiment with spices, fruits and nuts to create your own holiday specialty.
Pomegranate Pizzazz Martini
2 oz Vodka of your choice
1 oz Pom Wonderful
¾ oz Simple Syrup
¼ oz Lemon Juice
Arils (seeds) and Mint sprig for garnish
Add all ingredients to a mixing tin. Add ice, shake and strain into a v-shape glass. Garnish with a few arils (available already peeled at Whole Foods) and/or a sprig of mint for festive color contrast.