A Martini for All Seasons: Pomegranate

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the Fourth of July, pomegranate martinis flaunt the essence of perfection. The gorgeous deep ruby-magenta liquid tastes divine and makes them my choice for any occasion. But beware; the luscious smooth drink also packs a powerful punch.

A Pomegranate Martini for Christmas Day.
Christmas Day Martini

Holiday Cocktails

Seems pomegranates burst on the scene about 5-10 years ago, but according to the Pomegranate Council, they’ve been around for 4,000 years.  The fruit bangs out walloping high levels of vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and fiber and is low in calories. The popular brand Pom supplies grocery stores with pomegranate juice in a variety of flavor combinations.

Party planners find the red hue ideal for themed drinks during Christmas holidays, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and even Veteran’s Day. At Thanksgiving simply add one jigger of cranberry juice. Sadly, these drinks don’t fulfill the needs for St. Patrick’s Day or Halloween, but so many other libations do. Anytime you need a reddish-purple drink accent, make pomegranate martinis the special of the day.

Pomegranate Martini for Memorial Day, Veteran's Day or the 4th of July Martini 
Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or the 4th of July Martini 

How to Make a Pomegranate Martini

My personal martini recipe contains vodka although you can substitute gin if that is your preference. Since I formerly lived in St. Augustine, I use St. Augustine Vodka from the hometown distillery. It’s made with Florida-grown sugarcane. The recipe is versatile depending on your tastes. One friend prefers orange juice in place of Grand Mariner. I’ve also filled in with fresh lemon juice although that tastes a bit sour..

To prepare: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then add two jiggers of vodka, one of Grand Mariner, one of Pomegranate liqueur, and two jiggers of plain pomegranate juice.  Shake, strain, and pour into a martini glass. 

Pomegranate Martini Ingredients: Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, St. Augustine Vodka, Grand Mariner and Pom Juice
My choice of ingredients: Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, St. Augustine Vodka, Grand Mariner, and Pom Juice

I prefer to float pomegranate seeds in the glass; however, an orange slice works well. Use a lemon or lime as garnish if that is all you have. For other cocktails made with pomegranate juice check out the recipes from Pom: Pom Cocktails.

A pomegrante cut open.  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
An open pomegranate  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

How to Cut and Seed Pomegranates

Pomegranates keep very well while in season, therefore, they add color to a fruit bowl and make lovely holiday decorations. Getting the seeds out is a bit tricky, but here’s the easiest way. Cut the fruit into a few sections. Submerge each section in a bowl of water and use your fingers to ease the seeds free. Strain when done.  Forget juicing – I think it is much easier to buy the precious liquid. 

A Short History of Pomegranates

Did you know: The name “pomegranate” derives from the Middle French “pomme garnete” – literally “seeded apple.” It is sometimes referred to as a Chinese apple. Many scholars believe that the forbidden – yet irresistible – fruit in which Eve indulged within the Garden of Eden was a pomegranate (and not an apple). Pomegranates have been used as symbols of prosperity, hope, and abundance in every part of the world.”