9 May 2013

Pomegranate & Thyme Cocktail

When I started thinking of the pomegranate and thyme combination I wanted to make a tart crimson sorbet with just a hint of herb. Try as I might I just haven't got the texture quite right. First it was too icy so I added some Cointreau and some syrup, then it wouldn't quite set but made an amazing slushie which got me thinking about cocktails. No messing about with the freezing temperatures of invert sugar - just shake and serve!

Fresh pomegranate juice is not only refreshing it's full of antioxidants and vitamins, with a tart clean sweetness that bottled pomegranate juice doesn't quite have. In this case if you can get fresh pomegranates definitely use them. Like all mixed drinks you can make this as strong or weak as you like by playing around with the quantities below. You can serve it 'Martini' style shaken and poured or you can top it up with soda water for a long drink. If you add more Cointreau it does tend to dominate though and you start to lose the subtle tang and freshness of the pomegranate. The one thing I really would recommend you do is the thyme sugar rim on the glass. Sipping the cold liquid through the lime/thyme/sugar really melds all the flavours.  

Ingredients per glass:

60 ml fresh pomegranate juice
15 ml thyme syrup**
30 ml vodka
15 ml Cointreau
squeeze fresh lime juice

soda water (optional) to taste

lime wedge
1/4 cup caster sugar
a sprig of fresh thyme (approx 1/2 teaspoon of leaves)

**Simple thyme syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
a good handful of fresh thyme

Make the thyme syrup by combining sugar, water and thyme in a saucepan over medium high heat until the sugar has completely melted. Once all sugar has melted allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, remove the sprigs of thyme.

Combine 1/4 cup caster sugar with the leaves of a sprig of thyme in a mortar and pestle, grinding until well combined,  turn out onto a clean surface in a small pile. Rub a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass and then dip the edge of the glass in the pile of thyme sugar to coat. You may need to dip it in the sugar twice to get a nice rim.

In a cocktail shaker combine pomegranate juice, syrup, vodka, Cointreau and a squeeze of lime with lots of ice and shake to combine. Pour into your prepared glass and top up with soda to taste. Pomtastic, Pomlicious, Pomsational!

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