It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, sunny and quiet, just what Bear and I need after a hectic week.
We’re having a pottering sort of day, a day for naps and research for our books and for a leisurely brunch made special with Pomegranate Mojitos.
I love pomegranates. They always remind me of California, for that is where I first tasted them and became a fan for life.
I have two pomegranate trees planted and a third seedling coming along well, but didn’t think I’d get to taste any fruit until next year. Then my friend Shirley stopped by bearing pomegranates from her tree! I was thrilled. I kept them sitting in a blue bowl on my table for a whole week before using them, simply because they look so beautiful.
Yesterday I finally set aside time to process them. Pomegranates take a bit of time to get the ruby insides ready for eating, but they’re well worth the effort. While there are many methods for removing the seeds, known as arils, I find the easiest way is to simply cut off the top and bottom of the pomegranate and score along the natural humps of the fruit with a sharp knife, top to bottom. Then you can easily break it open into sections, and quickly fill your bowl with these tart little beauties.
I decided to turn them into grenadine syrup to use in various cocktails (Tequila Sunrise, Shirley Temple, etc). Grenadine is the French word for pomegranate, and is usually a shiveringly sweet syrup made with none-too-healthy corn syrup. Making it from fruit and sugar instead results in a more flavorsome syrup that doesn’t hurt your teeth with sweetness. You can make it even healthier by substituting real maple syrup for the sugar, but it does contribute a subtle maple flavor to the syrup.
Grenadine syrup is very simple to make. Barely cover pomegranate arils with water, bring to a boil, simmer for five minutes, then press through a strainer to get as much juice as possible. Measure the juice and add an equal amount of sugar, return to a boil, simmer for one minute, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Either cool and use right away or bottle it for future use.
I decided to use some in a special Pomegranate Mojito to make our Sunday Brunch extra special. Mojitos are my favorite cocktail. Always refreshing, always cooling, just the thing for a hot Sunday morning. A traditional Cuban mojito has five ingredients: lime juice, sugar, mint, white rum, and sparkling water over crushed ice. This is bliss in a glass, and the perfect base from which to experiment with different fruits. Blackberry, raspberry, they’re all delicious, and pomegranate is just as scrumptious.
What is your favorite cocktail on a hot day? xo
Grenadine Syrup Recipe
2 cups pomegranate arils (seeds)
water to cover
Place pomegranate arils in medium saucepan and add water until just covered.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes, crushing seeds gently with potato masher to extract juice.
Remove from heat and pour through fine mesh strainer into new saucepan, pressing seeds to extract all juice.
Measure juice and add same amount of sugar.
Return to heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for one minute.
Remove from heat, cool, and bottle in sterlized bottle. If using right away, store in fridge, if saving, put through hot water bath to seal bottles.
4 tsp Grenadine syrup
Juice of one lime
20 fresh mint leaves
1.5-2 cups crushed ice
4 Tbsp white rum
chilled soda water or sparkling mineral water
mint leaves or lime wedge to garnish
2 tsp of Grenadine syrup in each glass.
Divide lime juice and mint leaves equally between two glasses. Stir then muddle gently with muddler or mortar so leaves are bruised but not crushed.
Divide crushed ice and white rum between two glasses.
Top up with chilled soda water and garnish with mint leaves and/or lime wedge.