Pomegranate is one of those flavors we can’t ever get enough of. But pulling the tiny red seeds out of an actual pomegranate can be a pain in the ass (and leave your kitchen looking like a murder scene).
So we're all for ingredients that impart pomegranate flavor with zero effort. Case in point: pomegranate liqueur. (PAMA is the brand you should know.) Whereas some fruit liqueurs are so sweet you have to use them sparingly, PAMA is balanced by the pomegranate's own acidity, so you won't get that cloying, sticky sweetness.
Here are three winter cocktails using pomegranate liqueur, from a 15-second sparkler to a sophisticated shaken sour.
Easy: Sparkling Pomegranate
Bubbles: delicious. Bubbles perked up with a little bit of PAMA: even better. Bubbles, PAMA and gin? Now you've got a real cocktail, and one that takes about 15 seconds to put together. (Juniper-phobes can swap in vodka, but we much prefer the gin version.)
Instructions: Pour 1/2 ounce of PAMA and 1/2 ounce of gin into a wine glass or Champagne flute. Add 5 ounces of sparkling wine.
Intermediate: Jack Rose Redux
A classic Jack Rose uses applejack, citrus and grenadine—which is itself a reduced pomegranate syrup. So we're swapping in PAMA for the grenadine here, and we have to say, we might like this version even better.
Instructions: In a shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon (or, even better, applejack), 1 ounce of PAMA, 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 ounce of fresh lime and 1/4 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar dissolved in hot water). Dash in some Angostura bitters. Shake that all up and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with lime and/or lemon wheels.
Advanced: Crimson Sour
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Egg white in a cocktail creates a light, silken texture you just can't replicate any other way. It also mellows out strong flavors, like the rum-PAMA punch of this cocktail.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker without ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce PAMA, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Add one egg white. Shake all that up hard without ice—this is called a "dry shake"—and then add ice and shake again (the "wet shake”). Strain into a cocktail glass without ice.