August 17, 2009
As you may already know, teaching is my day job. Eighth grade English, to be precise. And in-service started this week. Hence this post involves cocktails.
I know; I’m very lucky to have a summer vacation at all. My job is truly fabulous because I love my students and I’m able to have a big chunk of time off to do all kinds of other things I may be interested in doing. But a big part of why my job works so well for me is that I was. not. made. to sit behind a desk and/or in meetings all day. And in-service is pretty much one big meeting.
Doubtless you’re familiar with grenadine—if you’re like me, from the Shirley Temples of your youth?—but it’s also used to add color and sweetness to “grownup” drinks. Originally, grenadine was made from pomegranates, hence the signature fuschia color, but as you can see, the bottled pre-made no longer has such wholesome origins:
Therefore I suggest to you the simple, even meditative act of making your own grenadine and storing it handily in the fridge where it will be waiting for you when you come home from a long day of meetings.
Even though the summer is technically “over” now that school has started, it’s still hot as blazes and so we’re going to keep the Summer Classics Series going through Labor Day–be on the lookout for a lovely Farmer’s Market Pasta & a killer fresh-fig dessert.
HOMEMADE GRENADINE (pomegranate syrup)
adapted from Alton Brown
4 cups pomegranate juice
juice from half a lemon
½ -1 cup sugar (adjust according to the amount of sugar in your brand of pomegranate juice)
Combine all of the ingredients in a deep saucepan over medium heat, stirring while it heats until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat down and allow the mixture to simmer until the syrup has reduced by at least half.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature before transferring to a jar in the fridge. This will yield between 1 ½ – 2 cups of homemade grenadine, which should keep in the fridge for up to six months.
There are a million cocktail recipes out there that involve grenadine, but here’s one classic & one that I just made up:
These things go down like a vacation in a glass. Ahhh…..
you will need:
orange juice (freshly squeezed is extra delicious!)
The method is simple: fill a glass with ice. Pour in some tequila, as much or as little as you’d like. Pour in orange juice nearly to the top of the glass, leaving just enough room to drizzle a few tablespoons of grenadine over the whole thing. Because it’s a syrup, it will ease down slowly to make a lovely pattern—like a sunrise—so don’t stir! Just drink.
Because I just threw this one together, feel free to adapt it in any way you see fit. Basically this is like a cosmopolitan, just with pomegranate flavor instead of cranberry. And it was delicious. Cheers!
you will need:
orange liquor (I used Cointreau)
If you’d like a fancy lemon garnish, I recommend peeling a curlique with a paring knife before you juice the lemon; much easier.
For two drinks, fill a cocktail strainer with ice. Squeeze in the whole lemon, add a generous glug of orange liquor & two shots of vodka. Pour in between ½ – ¾ cup grenadine.
Shake it all up, strain, and pour. Garnish with lemon twists or orange slices, etc.