We’re still a few weeks away from spring, and we could all use a little something to warm our spirits. For a ruby red glow this winter, turn to pomegranate to infuse life into the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. Meet the Pomegranate Old Fashioned.
In season from September to March, ruby red pomegranates were originally brought to California by Spanish settlers in the late 18th century. The pomegranate is a berry, not a fruit. Its size approximates that of a grapefruit and features a thick, reddish skin. The actual edible part of the berry is the jewel-like seeds nestled in its thick, bitter pulp.
It’s easy to remove the seeds of a pomegranate by opening the berry with a sharp knife and then whacking the rind with the back of a spoon or by immersing the berry under water. Once the seeds are removed, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also find the seeds already removed from the rind in local specialty organic or gourmet stores.
The dark fruitiness of pomegranate lends itself to the complex tones of the Old Fashioned. This historic cocktail was invented in the late 19th century and consists of whiskey muddled with bitters, sugar and citrus.
The Pomegranate Old Fashioned blends the rich berry with sweet Bourbon, brown sugar and aromatic bitters along with bright, seasonal citrus and warming winter spices of cinnamon and nutmeg.
- 1 slice orange
- 10-15 pomegranate seeds
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 4 dashes orange bitters
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 ounces Bourbon
- Cinnamon stick
- Freshly ground nutmeg (about 1/16 teaspoon)
- 1-2 large or 3-4 small cubes of ice
- Splash of club soda (optional)
- Place orange slice, pomegranate seeds, dark brown sugar and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass.
- With the back of a spoon or a muddler, muddle until all ingredients are blended. Add Bourbon and ice. Stir briskly to chill.
- Add a splash of club soda, if desired. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and freshly ground nutmeg. Serve immediately.
Thirsty for more Lexi Bites? Check out my Black Manhattan and Smoky Mezcal Negroni cocktails.
A version of this story appeared in the Winter 2016 edition of Edible Omaha.