It’s no secret that I love at-home cocktail hour. For me, there’s simply nothing greater than walking in the door after a long day at work, slipping off my shoes and mixing myself a classic tipple. Not wanting to sacrifice this tradition when we moved overseas last year, my hubby and I packed a small cocktail kit in our luggage. In a little pouch lived a fine mesh strainer, a hawthorn strainer, a small bar spoon, a citrus press, a small bottle of cocktail bitters and a jigger. ‘Cocktail hour’ remained an after-work tradition, whether we were in our Airbnb apartment in Spain, Portugal, Croatia or France. On the menu were the classics: Margaritas, Negronis, Americanos and Manhattans.
Returning home to the beautiful Australia summer, pomegranates were in abundance and I wanted to give one of my favourites – the Manhattan – a fruit-driven edge. The sweetness of the rye works beautifully with the tartness of the pomegranate juice, and it’s the perfect summery twist on what is traditionally a very strong, serious cocktail.
When choosing pomegranates at the store, be sure to select ones that are heavy (this means they’re lovely and juicy) and have firm, red skin.
You will need:
- 1 fl oz (30ml) rye whiskey
- 1.5 fl oz (45ml) fresh pomegranate juice (see method below)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Martini glass or champagne coupe to serve
Yields one cocktail.
In a mixing glass pour the pomegranate juice, rye and bitters. Taste for sweetness and add any sugar if required (if your pomegranates are very sweet, you may not need this).
Top with ice and stir for 30 seconds until mixture is cold. Taste for balance.
Strain with a hawthorn strainer into a chilled champagne coupe and serve immediately.
For the pomegranate juice:
- To juice a pomegranate, slice the fruit in into quarters and, using your fingers, peel back the cheeks to release the ruby seeds. Discard any pith.
- Place the seeds into a blender or food processor and pulse only a couple of times. Remember, you don’t want to completely crush the seeds, as their centre can make the juice bitter.
- Strain contents through a fine mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to gently release any more juice from the seeds.