vodka

Sunday Cocktails - Grenadine & Ginger Martini

The other night I found a recipe that I wanted to try that called for grenadine. Like many folks, I have an old sticky bottle of fluorescent red grenadine on my condiment shelf. As I pulled out this forgotten relic, I realized that using what is basically just red dye and high fructose corn syrup is not "crafty". 

Originally, grenadine was made from pomegranates. Its name is derived from the French word "grenade" meaning pomegranate. The grenadine most us are familiar with - not using any names, but you know who you are - has contains no pomegranate. Corn syrup is easier to make and never goes bad. There are some brands that still include fruit as an ingredient. So if you chose the commercial route, go with these.

Making grenadine at home, however, is so simple, you may wonder why you've never done it before. Here's the recipe:

House Made Grenadine

2 cups POM Pomegranate Juice

2 cups Sugar

In a large pot, bring pomegranate juice to a boil.

Reduce heat and slowly stir in sugar.

Simmer on low-med heat for approx. 10 minutes.

How simple is that? In less time than it takes a pizza to be delivered, you just made you're very own grenadine. Store in air tight containers for up to two weeks in the fridge.

I chose POM because its 100% pomegranate juice that contains no sugar. (promise I wasn't paid to say that)  Pomegranate juice has become so popular in recent years, you should have no problem finding it.

Occasionally you'll see grenadine added to give the drink color . Below is a Ginger Martini I made where I add a few splashes of grenadine to give the drink a gorgeous pink hue and a touch of sweetness. You can always try it without.

Sunday Cocktails: Aperol v. Campari

While out having dinner one night, Hubby and I got into a debate over which was better, Aperol or Campari. My personal preference was Campari with its spicy flavor and strong orange undertones. Hubby preferred Aperol because it's sweeter and lighter than Campari but still has that citrus taste.

Both Aperol and Campari are italian aperitifs. While we disagree as to which was better, hubby and I did agree that when not used properly the two can ruin a drink. 

An apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet.
— Wikipedia

When used in a small quantity they add just the right amount of bitter that can complete a drink. In a large portion they become the star of the cocktail.

My quest this Sunday was to find two drinks, that feature either Aperol or Campari, that we both can enjoy.

 
Teresa from the Joy of Mixology

Teresa from the Joy of Mixology

Teresa

  • 2 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • .75 oz Creme de Casis

From Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology,  the Teresa showcases Campari's spice while balances it with the sweetness of Creme de Casis. I was surprised I enjoyed this cocktail since I'm not a big fan of Creme de Casis. The Campari is so intense it keeps the liqueur from taking over.

 
Aperol Collins

Aperol Collins

Aperol Collins

  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  •    1 oz Aperol
  •  .5 oz Lemon Juice

Aperol and soda is a classic way to enjoy this aperitif. I decided to stick with the simplicity but up the alcohol content with vodka. I originally planned to add some simple syrup but felt that the Aperol added enough sweetness.

Surprisingly I liked the Aperol drink more and Hubby chose the Campari Cocktail. I guess this shows that you should never completely right a spirit off, there's always a cocktail out there that might change your mind.