Cocktail Hour: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

I wanted to make a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail to help celebrate Rosh Hashana using festive holiday flavors. I love, love this drink and the added fun of the pomegranate ice cubes. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy (and still delicious) to make as a mocktail for those who are abstaining from alcohol. Happy New Year, all!

Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail (adapted from Honestly Yum)

Ingredients
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1 – 1/2 oz pomegranate sparkling soda (or plain pomegranate juice)
– 1/2 oz lime juice
– 1/2 oz vanilla cardamom syrup
– dash of bitters
– pomegranate ice cubes* and sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Vanilla Cardamom Syrup
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 6 cardamom pods, cracked open and ground with mortar + pestle

Directions
1. To make vanilla cardamom syrup, add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and ground cardamom and let simmer two minutes before removing from heat. Cool to room temperature and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

2. Fill a glass with pomegranate ice cubes and add vodka, pomegranate sparkling soda, lime juice, vanilla cardamom syrup and dash of bitters. Stir and then garnish with fresh mint.

3. To make this a mocktail, leave out vodka and bitters and add either more pomegranate sparkling soda or sparkling water.

*fill ice cube trays with pomegranate seeds and then with water. freeze overnight.

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

Cocktail Hour: Carmelized Lemonade

A Feteful Life: Carmelized Lemonade

So, my intent was to actually make grilled lemonade. We’ve started to have some really beautiful weather in DC and I couldn’t wait to get the grilling going (neither could Suz — did you SEE that grilled flank steak yesterday? YUM). I’ve also really been loving Meyer lemons lately and decided to try those for the drink. I prepped everything and went up to turn on the grill … only to find that we had no propane — ack! No worries, I pulled out my trusty grill pan and decided to try it stovetop. And it worked. Except that instead of grilling them, the shallow pan filled up with the sugary lemon juice and caramelized them. I’m actually not a huge fan of sweet drinks and this was SWEET. I tried cutting it a variety of ways and liked best when I used half caramelized lemons and half regular lemons to make the drink. And even though I intended to make a mocktail, adding an ounce of vodka to my glass on one occasion also helped (in more ways than one). I think one time I’ll try regular lemons and see how it works out. Grilled or Carmelized. Sweet or Balanced. It was pretty delicious all ways.

Carmelized Lemonade (based off of Food Network’s Grilled Lemonade)

Ingredients
16 Meyer (or regular) lemons, halved
1 1/2 cups sugar (1/4 cup for dipping lemons)
1 3/4 cups water
pinch of salt

Directions

To make a pitcher, dip the cut sides of 8 halved lemons in sugar and grill on pan until marked, about 5 minutes; let cool. Simmer 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt until dissolved; let cool. Squeeze the grilled and regular lemons through a strainer into a pitcher; stir in the sugar syrup, some ice and a few of the grilled lemons.

For another twist, try using rosemary simple syrup or to turn your lemonade into a delicious cocktail, add 1-2 ounces of vodka to each serving glass.

A Feteful Life: Carmelized Lemonade

A Feteful Life: Carmelized Lemonade

A Feteful Life: Carmelized Lemonade

Cocktail Hour: Pomegranate Mocktail

A Feteful Life: Pomegranate Mocktail

A few weeks ago, I finally figured out how to easily remove the seeds from a pomegranate (for our Winter Brunch salad) and my whole family’s been totally obsessed since then. We’ve been putting them in every salad, the kids’ yogurt for breakfast, and all by themselves as a bright little snack. I’ve been on the hunt for new pomegranate recipes and found this great-sounding mocktail. It turned out such a pretty ombre drink and tastes delish. Another pomegranate success.

Pomegranate Mocktail (slightly adapted from Self)

Ingredients 
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce pomegranate juice (I used a cranberry/pomegranate blend)
sparkling water
lime slice

Directions
In a shaker, muddle pomegranate seeds and lime juice. Add pomegranate juice and ice. Pour into a tall glass and fill remainder of glass with sparkling water. Garnish with lime. 

Cocktail Hour: Easy Detox Mocktail

A Feteful Life: Easy Detox Mocktail

I know lots of people hate New Year’s Eve, but I LOVE it. It’s usually the one night a year that my husband and I, and generally some combination of our siblings, go out big. Not necessarily to a big shmancy shindig, but we go out basically all night long. We know we’ll pay for it, but that’s kind of part of the fun. And even if your liver is in better shape than mine today, chances are, at the very least, that your general digestive system has been on holiday and could use a little break. Anticipating this would be the case, I tried out this easy detox mocktail recently. It’s super tart, and got a nice little kick to it. Get off on the right foot this year and mix one up.

Easy Detox Mocktail (from Holly Would if She Could)

Ingredients
12 ounces sparkling water
juice of 1 lemon (extra lemon for garnish)
1 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
1 teaspoon organic ginger juice
a few shakes cayenne pepper

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir. Garnish with extra lemon. Bottoms up.

Cocktail Hour: “Champagne” Punch Mocktail

A Feteful Life: "Champagne" Punch Mocktail

This year we’ll be ringing in the New Year at a friend’s house with the kids in tow. While it may not be the most exciting of NYE plans, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be festive… for everyone involved. My 5 year old is fascinated by New Year’s Eve this year and is determined to stay up (we’ll see if that actually happens) and toast 2014 with the adults. On top of that, he is constantly asking for “fizzy” water (club soda) to be added to his apple and orange juice so I think this mocktail will be the perfect (and less sugary) way for him to ring in the new year.

“Champagne” Punch Mocktail (from A Feteful Life)

Ingredients
1 liter club soda, chilled
1 (64oz) bottle white grape juice, chilled
24 raspberries for garnish

Directions
In a punch bowl combine the club side and grape juice. When serving place a raspberry in each cup and then ladle the punch into the glass. Serves 24.

 

Cocktail Hour: La Paloma

A Feteful Life: La Paloma

This week’s tasty beverage is actually a mocktail. My daughter and I both drink a lot of what is known in our house as “fizzy water.” We go through several cases a week, but sometimes I like to mix a little something else in and we both LOVED this timely mocktail. I have fond memories of eating grapefruit for breakfast all winter long as a little girl. And while I can never seem to replicate my mother’s stellar grapefruit pre-scoring and cutting skills, I was excited to be able to share a special seasonal drink with my daughter that reminded me of my childhood. And it’s incredibly easy to make.

La Paloma {from WHOLE9LIFE}

Ingredients
juice of 1/2 ruby grapefruit
1/2 of a lime, juiced
sparkling water

Directions
squeeze juices into a glass
top with ice & sparkling water