Monday, December 23, 2013

Bourbon.Pomegranate.Cinnamon: Christmas in a Glass, a cocktail or punch

Christmas in a Glass can be made as a sour or as a punch
This cocktail is an hommage to Julian Cox's Sherry Manilow cocktail at Picca, but a simpler version that packs a lot of the same flavors can be created at home with just a bit of preparation. Cox's version expertly combines Oloroso sherry, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon syrup, lemon and brandy. I don't usually have sherry in the house, so I decided to base mine on bourbon, usually my favorite spirit besides tequila. Someone at work gave me a bunch of pomegranates from their tree, so I decided to juice some of them (blend seeds briefly, then strain), since pomegranate molasses on their own are sometimes bitter or overly sour. Now, cinnamon syrup? I had some cinnamon sticks from Nicole's Gourmet purchased for some forgotten recipe, so I made simple syrup and simmered some sticks in it for a while. It made extra, which keeps in the refrigerator and can be used in coffee, cocktails, mixed with pancake syrup, in mulled wine, etc.

So here's the recipe. I just made up these proportions based on what tasted right to me, so adjust to suit your taste:

Christmas in a Glass pomegranate bourbon sour

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 oz. bourbon
4 oz. unsweetened pomegranate juice, preferably fresh
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (it's probably just as good if you don't have these)
1 tablespoon cinnamon-infused simple syrup
dash of cranberry bitters
Stir together, shake with ice, strain and serve in a Manhattan or martini glass. Garnish with a touch of freshly-grated nutmeg. Makes 2.

And here's another version using cranberry juice that can be easily made into a punch to serve several people: 

Christmas in a Glass cranberry-bourbon-lime punch

1 cup bourbon 
3 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup cinnamon syrup
3 cups club soda
Serve over ice. Makes 6-8 glasses.

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