There’s something about pomegranates. They are one of the very first human-cultivated fruits and they’ve played a symbolic role in various cultures and religions for centuries. Pomegranates are said to have decorated the pillars of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem; they also appear repeatedly in the Biblical Song of Solomon. In Buddhism, the pomegranate is considered one of three blessed fruits. In Hindu culture, the deity Ganesha is often depicted holding a pomegranate in one of his many hands. In Greek mythology, Hades tempts Persephone into marriage with… what else?… a pomegranate.
What better way to kick of the secular new year than with a Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail? This simple pairing of pure pomegranate juice, Cointreau (or orange liqueur), sweetened lime juice and champagne is lightly sweet, refreshing and festive. Garnish with juicy pomegranate seeds and you’ve got an elegant cocktail for toasting when that big sparkly ball drops. Making for a crowd? Premix several servings of the pomegranate juice, Cointreau and sweet lime juice in a pitcher, then chill– for 32 servings you would use 4 cups of pomegranate juice, 2 cups Cointreau and 1/3 cup + 1 tsp sweetened lime juice. When ready to serve, stir up the pre-mixed juice mixture, place pomegranate seeds in the champagne flutes, then pour in 3 1/2 tbsp of the chilled juice mixture per flute. Just before serving, top off the flutes with chilled champagne.
If you don’t wish to imbibe this holiday, I’ve provided a really yummy virgin mocktail modification below. If you are indulging, please play safe and get a designated driver. L’chaim!
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- Spoon the pomegranate seeds into the bottom of a Champagne flute. Add pomegranate juice, Cointreau and sweetened lime juice. Top off the flute with chilled Champagne or sparkling wine.
- Virgin Mocktail Modification: Substitute 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice for the Cointreau and non-alcoholic sparkling cider for the champagne/sparkling wine. This makes a really yummy non-alcoholic version!