You will need pomegranate molasses. Don’t worry. Easily found at any Middle Eastern market or perhaps in the ethnic section of a giant American supermarket. Yes, the flavor and color are distinctive, but you’ll have many uses for it: cocktails, salad dressings, marinades. It’s a lovely ingredient.
Here, it adds a distinctive sweetness and that deep color to a wonderful cocktail. I just reviewed Julie Reiner’s The Craft of the Cocktail Party. In her elevated cocktail tome, she has this cocktail, which came from a “guest” bartender who dropped by her cocktail spot, the Flatiron Lounge, in Manhattan. If you can’t get to Manhattan, or to her two spots in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, then you want this serious book and its dozens of cocktails arranged by season.
For Julie, a craft cocktail is one made with the proper technique and superior ingredients. You don’t need 15 ingredients plus a tank of liquid nitrogen for her delights. No, the usual handful of ingredients, with a twist like the pomegranate molasses, are blended in the “just right” proportions to give you this brilliant and biting cocktail.
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 8 mint leaves plus one more for garnish
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces Junipero gin [or similar high-proof, juniper-forward gin]
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ¾ teaspoon pomegranate molasses.
In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the mint leaves in the simple syrup. Add the gin, lime juice, and pomegranate molasses and shake with ice until chilled. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the mint leaf.
Source: The Craft Cocktail Party by Julie Reiner [Grand Central Life and Style, 2015]