A winter season fruit with a rich history, the pomegranate has a tough red skin which holds its secret treasure. Crack open a pomegranate and you will find labyrinths of papery membranes and juicy jewel-like red seeds called arils. Pomegranates have a rich sweet and tart, slightly floral flavor that takes drinks to a next level of refreshing.
The French Kiss is a lavender pomegranate gin cocktail made with a lavender infused pomegranate honey syrup, lemon juice, quality gin, and Bennett Exorcism Bitters. This cocktail is bursting with fascinating aromatics as the gin, bitters, and lavender meet and meld on the palate.
Honey and pomegranate add a warm wintry sweet and sour body to this romantic drink. Be sure to garnish this pomegranate gin cocktail with a lovely section of pomegranate fruit for a mouth watering visual effect.
Using Pomegranate Juice in Cocktails
You may want to use bottled pomegranate juice to make a pomegranate gin cocktail. If this is all you can find because they are out of season, or unavailable where you live, thats fine.
If you have access to fresh pomegranates, you can make your own juice from them that is out of this world. The fresh seeds are one of the most beautiful sights in the world of fruit. And each pomegranate yields a surprisingly large amount of juice to make many pomegranate juice cocktails.
How To Open a Pomegranate
There are lots of tips and tricks for opening this mysterious fruit. Here is the method for opening pomegranates that I have found to be most effective:
- Cut the crown off: Use a small paring knife to cut the crown or top off.
- Score: Score the skin from top to bottom, where the biggest membranes attach to the rind, about 5-6 times.
- Submerge: Put the pomegranate into a bowl of water to pull apart the membranes and release the seeds. This minimizes splattering.
- Wear an apron to protect your clothes when working with pomegranates.
- Use disposable gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained.
- The seeds will sink in water, while the papery membrane floats to the surface, making it easy to strain off.
How To Make Your Own Pomegranate Juice
If you want to make your own juice for pomegranate gin cocktails, you can cut a pomegranate in half and press the halves onto a citrus reamer or into a citrus juicer.
You can also collect pomegranate seeds and throw them into an electric juicer or into a blender, and then strain the juice. I find that these methods all make for a bitter juice because the rind and the seed at the heart of the aril has a slightly bitter taste.
The method I use to make my own pomegranate juice is messy but gentle, and creates the sweetest juice:
- Collect the seeds.
- Add to a large bowl to minimize splatter.
- Use a muddler to break the pomegranate seeds.
- Pass the juice through a wide sieve and cheesecloth.
- Squeeze the seeds in the cheesecloth to release the rest of the juice.
How To Make The Lavender Pomegranate Syrup
Making the syrup for this pomegranate gin cocktail is wonderfully simple. Combine food grade dried lavender with honey and pomegranate juice in a pan and slowly simmer to create a rich and complex fruity syrup.
The fragrant lavender adds an enchanting high note to the earthy flavors of honey and pomegranate. Add this syrup to sodas and hot or iced teas for a romantic non-alcoholic drink experience.
Best Gin For a Pomegranate Gin Cocktail
Gin is a spirit defined by the fact that it is distilled with botanicals. This makes gin one of the most diverse spirits with different flavor profiles based on the plants used to make it. Your choice of gin will make a big impact on your cocktail.
Nolet's Silver: A floral and fruity gin from the Netherlands, Nolet's has notes of rose, peach, and raspberry. These light, airy, modern flavors blend with traditional juniper for a timeless and elegant profile that matches perfectly with this floral pomegranate gin cocktail recipe.
The Botanist: A Scottish gin made with wild herbs, flowers, and berries, the Botanist is made with locally foraged botanicals on the Isle of Islay. Perfect if you're looking to give this pomegranate gin cocktail recipe even more depth of flavor.
Tanqueray: For those looking for a traditional London Dry style gin, Tanqueray is beautifully balanced while maintaining the juniper forward flavor gin is typically known for. Tanqueray 10 is more citrus-forward than the original. Both work wonderfully in the French Kiss.
Which Bitters Work Best in a Pomegranate Gin Cocktail?
When picking bitters for this cocktail, we turned to Exorcism Bitters for their aromatic and molasses flavor profile. Exorcism bitters always work wonderfully with dark red fruits, and with pomegranate they meld into its darker notes, infusing them with a peppery and incense-like perfume.
Honey and Exorcism bitters enhance the earthy undertones of this pomegranate gin sour recipe, while creating a contrast to the tart sweetness.
Pomegranate Gin Cocktail Ingredients
We suggest you use organic ingredients whenever possible. Here's what you'll need to make this Pomegranate Gin Cocktail recipe:
There are so many types of gin to choose from, with a diverse range of flavor profiles based on the botanicals used to distill this definitively herbal spirit. Choose a high quality gin based on what kind of flavor profile you want to enhance in your pomegranate gin cocktail.
For wintry wintergreen herbal notes, choose a London Dry Style gin like Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. For a floral leaning elegant bouquet, choose a delicate gin like Nolet's, The Botanist, or Hendrick's.
Lavender Pomegranate Syrup -
Deep and dark while being light and bright. This syrup is a beautiful balance of herbal, floral, and molasses flavors.
Pomegranate Juice is used in place of water to impart big fruit flavor. Using honey instead of sugar enhances the earthy and complex flavor profile of this pomegranate gin cocktail.
Combine the pomegranate juice, honey, and lavender and simply simmer for 30 minutes.
TIP! High quality food grade dried lavender is essential to create a delicate and harmonious syrup without being too perfumey.
Zesty and refreshing, lemon juice increases the aromatics of this pomegranate gin cocktail with the essential oils in its rind. Lemons don't just help to maintain the balance of a cocktail, they add aromas that enhance the experience of drinking.
To get a juice that's packed with oils and flavor, hand squeeze it fresh with a reamer or press.
Exorcism Bitters -
Aromatic, incensey, peppery. Leather and molasses. Smoke. Exorcism bitters have sexy flavors that conjure mystery and romance.
Adding depth and drama to this pomegranate gin cocktail, Exorcism Bitters impart exotic spices and peppery notes that contrast and enhance the dark fruit and florals.
Don't know how to measure bitters? Check out our blog on all things bitters here: What Are Bitters?
Make Lavender Pomegranate Syrup
Open pomegranate, and remove seeds.
Muddle pomegranate seeds to release juice. Strain through cheesecloth and sieve, squeezing seeds in the cheese cloth until all the juice is expressed.
Add pomegranate juice, honey, and dried lavender to a sauce pan.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, and strain through a cheesecloth and sieve.
Make Pomegranate Gin Cocktail
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake and strain over ice in a tumbler.
Garnish with dried lavender spikes and a cluster of pomegranate seeds. Add optional straw. Serve and enjoy!
Standard Drinks: 1.46