Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Guide Day 21 of 26: Perfect Pomegranate Cocktails from Jennifer Nelson

photo by Molly Kim

Guys, say hi to Jennifer Nelson.  She is my home slice + I love her.  Writer, friend, beauty and cocktail connoisseur, Jennifer's chiming in today with her inherited Christmas cocktail tradition, which I fully plan to steal post haste. Jennifer, whose tasty concoctions have been featured on The Cooking Channel, Gothamist and more, knows a thing or two about perfect cocktails that pack a punch. Up first, the Perfect Pomegranate Cosmopolitan.  Tomorrow I'll be sharing her Pomegranate Old Fashioned, which sounds really yummy, even though I don't drink whiskey (let's just say I had a rough night in college involving Jack Daniel's shots and a Nintendo Power Pad).

Thanks, Jennifer! xoxo

It's been years since my friend Molly gifted me my favorite Christmas tradition, one that I've since shared with family and countless friends. Christmas morning in her house in Portland, Ore., and mine here in Brooklyn starts the same way: with the pop of a Champagne cork and bowls brimming with juicy red pomegranate seeds. Presents wait, and so does breakfast. Nothing really happens at all, until the last drop of that delicious bubbly nectar is drained, leaving us with fruit-stained lips and a gentle and sweet "warm fuzzy" feeling. I look forward to it all year long.

In this part of the world, pomegranates are in season throughout the fall and winter months, but I mostly associate them with the Christmas holiday, and not just for my beloved Christmas morning tradition. I toss their bright, antioxidant-packed seeds in salads; I serve quick chutneys of them over grilled pork; I tie them up in bows and gift them to those I love. I also mix their juices and seeds into various holiday libations, such as the two below. The first is a riff on the classic Cosmopolitan, made a little more ruddy from fresh-crushed pomegranate seeds. I smash mine by hand before straining the juice from the hulls. While traditional Cosmos are garnished with a lime, I like to give a pomegranate version a handful of seeds, instead. A few buoyant raw cranberries are also a festive holiday garnish.

The Perfect Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

1.5 ounces Ketel One Citron Vodka
.5 ounces Cointreau
.5 ounces fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice (or POM)
.5 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice

Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously.
Serve in a chilled martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with a handful of pomegranate seeds.

Jennifer Nelson is the General Manager of Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn. Her cocktails have been featured on The Cooking Channel, Gothamist and in numerous industry publications. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferjnelson and Instagram @pugnaciousspirit. Thank you, Jennifer! Mwah xoxo

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