Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour

If There’s An Easy Way to Juice a Pomegranate, I Don’t Know What It Is.

Pomegranate

This time last year, I made a little homemade grenadine during pomegranate season.  We had a party shortly after that in which we mixed up Pink Lady cocktails according to this recipe in Imbibe magazine. The drinks were a hit–and although we hadn’t been using grenadine around the house before that, we definitely put it into heavy rotation after the party.

Then we ran out.

By that time, pomegranates were out of season.  We tried buying grenadine at the liquor store, and we tried making our own using bottled pomegranate juice.  Neither were remotely as good as the homemade variety.

So!  Pomegranates are back in season, and if you are so inclined, you can whip some up.  Here’s how I did it:

Juicing pomegranate seeds

First, you have to juice the pomegranate seeds.  This is not easy.  Lacking any other fancy fruit-squeezing equipment, we used a basic citrus press.  It took me about an hour to juice five or six pomegranates in this fashion–enough for about 2 cups of juice.  This may sound like way too much time to spend on the making of homemade grenadine, but it was really rather pleasant–I poured myself a nice drink, listened to NPR–really, it wasn’t so bad.  But if anyone has a more efficient juice extraction method, I’m all ears.

Once you’ve got your juice, here’s how the recipe goes.  Most recipes don’t call for any water, but I’ve found that it helps to melt the sugar in a very small amount of water before adding the juice. Up to you.

Homemade Grenadine

2 cups freshly-squeezed pomegranate juice

2 cups sugar (less to taste)

1 oz vodka (as a preservative)

In a saucepan, bring half a cup of water to a boil, then add the sugar. (If you think you’d like your grenadine to be a little less sweet, hold back some sugar until after you’ve added the pomegranate juice.)  Stir until dissolved.  Add the pomegranate juice and stir well. Give it a taste and add more sugar (or more juice) if needed.  Once it’s right, add an ounce of vodka and pour into a heatproof bottle or jar (a mason jar works well).

A homemade syrup like this will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, and it will stay fresh even longer in the freezer.  The vodka helps kill bacteria and keeps it from freezing solid. It will be syrupy in the freezer, but it’s fairly easy to spoon some out to make a few drinks.  It “melts” quickly in the cocktail shaker.

Grenadine

There’s the finished product.  It’s a lovely rose color, and it plays well with gin and vodka in all kinds of cocktails, giving everything a lovely pinkish hue.  Imbibe has a number of cocktail recipes that involve grenadine; check them out here.

 

 

Posted by on November 9, 2011 at 10:28 am, in the category Drink This, Garden Rant Cocktail Hour.
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14 Responses to “If There’s An Easy Way to Juice a Pomegranate, I Don’t Know What It Is.”

  1. Homemade grenadine syrup. Amazing. I had no idea it was made from pomegranates. I love slow food (as opposed to fast food), so thanks for making the post.

  2. val says:

    Imbibe is fabulous.

  3. Laura Bell says:

    You could always take the seeds (I forget the real name for them) and cook them gently as you would to extract juice for jelly. Strain through cheesecloth.

  4. Dorothy says:

    We use the Metrokane Citrus Power Juicer that we bought a few years ago at Sur la Table. It’s the manual kind with a pull down lever and it works perfectly. Unfortunately, this year we have only two pomegranates from our tree!

  5. My brother uses a steam juicer to make grape juice from Concord grapes. I think it might be ideal for pomegranates also.

  6. jaclin says:

    I would think a food mill would have the same effect as the citrus juicer- just faster ’cause you can do more at a time. I use my food mill for everything when the garden comes in…

  7. UrsulaV says:

    I always just eat the seeds over cottage cheese for breakfast–never figured out how to juice them!

  8. Graham B says:

    Ok, you convinced me and I gave it a go :) I have to say Pomegranate with Vodka is very nice.

  9. KM says:

    My father freezes pomegranates so he can have them when they are out of season. Personally I feel like they are too much work.

  10. kristina says:

    I use the same electric juicer I use for veggie juice – then take the leftover pulp and put it through my Grandmothers cone sieve (Chinois?) to get every last drop. I do not strain or filter the juice. The best Cosmos ever!

  11. Fred says:

    Miss Manners once wrote that the only place you could juice a pomegranate was in the bathtub.

  12. Caia says:

    Apparently, you can place the seeds in a blender, pulse, and then strain through a fine cheesecloth overnight.

  13. Michele Owens says:

    I have been passing that beautiful jar for days now and thinking, “Yum.” I have to try this!

  14. vicki says:

    i grew up eating pomegranates from our trees and helping my mother make pomegranate jelly. She used, and i continue to use, the “vintage” cast aluminum Wearever juicer. Any other type of juicer either makes you work too hard (spend hours removing all the seeds from the horrible awful pith) or bruises that yellow pith too much, imparting the awful horribleness to the juice.

    All you have to do with the Wearever is cut the pomegranate in half or quarters, place in juicer and press…hard. Then, Pour the juice into a glass or stainless vessel.

    Williams Sonoma “brought back” this classic a couple of years ago…but i don’t see it on their website now. Type “Wearever juicer” into the search box on Ebay and lots of them come up. For a lot less than any fancy new gizmo.

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