Some nights I stay up too late catching up on email, work and my shows. One of my shows is Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie on PBS. The other night I caught an episode entitled "Raising the Bar" where they featured Bartender extraordinaire Scott Beattie. As bartender of one of Sonoma County's finest restaurants, Cyrus, Beattie is constantly pushing the envelope for mixed drinks - he even visits local farms to pick his own herbs and produce. His drinks are amazing looking (I only wish I could say I've tasted one personally) and contain things like candied lemongrass, thai basil, simmered fruit purees and essential oils. They also have ridiculously whimsical (actually they're terribly punny, but I love them) like PomIranian, Olallie Go Lightly and Grapes of Roth. Since most of us won't be able to head out to Sonoma to have one for ourselves, I thought I'd hunt down one of his recipes. To check out the recipe for the PomIranian,
3/4 ounce straight vodka
3/4 ounce Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Enhanced Pomegranate Juice (see recipe below)
Cardamom sugar (see *Note)
Shake all ingredients except the cardamom sugar with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with cardamom sugar.
*Note: To make cardamom sugar, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup ground cardamom in a small mixing bowl. Transfer to a saucer and spread evenly so that the rim of an inverted martini glass will be evenly coated with the sugar when dipped into the saucer.
This is a great cocktail for parties, as the Enhanced Pomegranate Juice recipe makes 32 ounces and only 1 ounce is needed for each drink. If you halve or quarter the juice recipe, it's crucial that the measurement of the spices be precise so that the drink keeps its sweet/savory balance.
Enhanced Pomegranate Juice
32-ounce bottle of Knudsen's pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon crushed dried cardamom
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Combine the juice and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then turn off heat and let cool completely. Strain with a fine-mesh strainer.