Thanksgiving is one of those gatherings where the drinks are often overshadowed by the mental and physical requirements of the menu. For this week's 10- Minute Happy Hour we're taste testing two simple — so as not to add to the already extensive to-do list — seasonally apropos pomegranate cocktails, in search of something perfect for you to serve up or share this Thanksgiving.
My mother-in-law, a.k.a. Nonna, always has pomegranates this time of year, and has taught my boys to love the hidden gems nestled inside, which she calls "rubies." I adore pomegranates because a bowlful makes for a stunning centerpiece, the "rubies" are delectably sweet and look gorgeous garnishing lots of different dishes, and last but not least, their juice, divine on its own, makes fabulous fun cocktails perfect for kicking off the holiday season.
It's a labor of love freeing all those rubies from the grasp of the pomegranate. Instead let someone else do the dirty work juicing those fruits and let's enjoy it by the glass.
Here are two different, readily available, pomegranate mixers that make it easy for us to sip our pomegranate love sans the sticky red fingers.
For Cocktail Hour: PAMA ($24.99 for 750ml bottle) a pomegranate liqueur made with pomegranate juice, vodka and tequila is delicious when simply topped with cold bubbly wine. It's a perfect aperitif for tonight, and a festive sip for any upcoming holiday soiree including the Thanksgiving kick off.
In a champagne flute add the PAMA and top with the chilled Prosecco.
For Dessert: Looking for something sweet to end your week? Or perhaps like me you prefer to drink your desserts. It's as easy as adding vodka and ice to shake up a batch of Pomegranate Martinis* with the complete set including shaker, mixer and rim sugar all wrapped up in one nifty package from Cocktail Rx (that's right, Rx as in prescription). Simply add ice, and vodka and shake for fun sips that serve up to 8 (perfect for a family gathering). Head's up this sip is on the sweet side, especially if you add the festive sugar rim, making them my pick for a drinkable dessert, perfect after a big turkey dinner. This fun little cocktail set comes in other holiday flavors including Peppermint Martini and Cranberry Martini, each set is offered under $10, making them a perfect little host/ess gift as well.
*For the serious set of martini drinkers, it's agreed we only call the real deal a martini but in this case it's the actual product name, so I didn't want anyone out on a fruitless search for a product I renamed Pomegranate Cocktail. Forgive us our trespasses, and cheers!
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky.