Holiday Power Cocktails

Pomegranate adds a healthy pop of flavor and antioxidants to festive cocktails
Pomegranate Hard Cider Sangria

POM Wonderful

The ancient pomegranate has become a “new” super food in recent years as it is chock-full of some of nature’s most effective antioxidants. Since pomegranates are in season from late fall through early winter, it’s the perfect time to include them in your roundup of holiday cocktails.

To juice a fresh pomegranate, cut it in half like you would a grapefruit, use a hand-press juicer, and strain the juice through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. The bottled juice is readily available year-round, too.

When selecting the fruit, look for those that are heavy for their size, which means they will be juicy, and have unbroken skin.

Find step-by-step tips on opening fresh pomegranates plus recipes for a pomegranate Brie appetizer, wild rice side dish and a mousse dessert here. Cheers!

Pomegranate Sangria

Makes 11 cups

8 ounces POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
8 ounces apple juice, chilled
4 ounces Calvados, chilled
36 ounces hard cider (3 12-ounce bottles)
1 red apple, thinly sliced
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1 small orange, thinly sliced
1 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils
rosemary sprigs, for garnish

In a pitcher add juices, Calvados and hard cider. Lightly stir to combine. Add sliced fruit and fresh arils. Keep chilled up to 2 days or serve immediately over ice with some of the fruit. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Perfect Pom Punch

POM Wonderful

Perfect Pom Punch

Makes 6 cups

½ cup agave syrup
4 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup top shelf bourbon
POM POMS Fresh Arils, for garnish
lemons, for garnish

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine agave syrup, pomegranate juice, lemon and lime juices, and cinnamon stick. Bring mixture up to a low simmer. Add bourbon and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve in mug and garnish with lemon wheels and fresh arils.

Variation: For a cold version, combine the juices, agave syrup and cinnamon stick in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool. Add bourbon and serve over ice with lemon slices for garnish.

Pom Mulled Wine

POM Wonderful

Pom Mulled Wine

Makes 6 (1-cup) servings

1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
2 cups apple juice
1 (750 mL) bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 lemon, zested in wide strips
15 whole cloves
10 green cardamom pods, crushed
5 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
5 star anise, plus extra for garnish
lemon or mandarin peel for garnish

In a pot, over medium-high heat combine pomegranate juice, apple juice, wine and lemon juice. Add the spices, the lemon peel and stir.

Heat just to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Let wine and spices steep for 30 minutes over very low heat.

Garnish each glass with a lemon or mandarin peel, a cinnamon stick and a star anise.

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.