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Cocktail Recipes

Quarantine Cooking: Corona Sour Cocktail Recipe

May 6, 2020
Corona sour pomegranate cocktail the bubbly girl

Unpacking my leftovers from Thanksgiving 2019, I found a surprise in my bag: a bottle of pomegranate molasses. It wasn’t mine, but since no one else had claimed it after the mass cooking session, our hostess Jill decided I needed it.

I put the stowaway on the high kitchen shelf along with the rose water and orange blossom water, and pretty much forgot about it unless I needed something behind it.

But in the spirit of using what I have in the house, I decided I’d figure out what to do with that bottle of pomegranate molasses. The thick, dark red syrup has a deep flavor similar to molasses along with the tang of pomegranate.

This year, I’m planting a pomegranate in my garden. If you have room, the pomegranate is one of the prettiest bushes you can imagine. The flowers are bright coral-red trumpets with a burst of yellow on a field of oval deep green leaves.

The flowers that bear fruit are bisexual. But it’s the multitude of arils inside the bright leathery skin that inspired all those myths linking it to fertility. There’s some kernel of truth in the legend. The pomegranate is loaded with antioxidants and has health benefits for the cardiovascular system, along with calming inflammation, fighting cancer and enhancing testosterone in both men and women.

The pomegranate‘s little corona or crown on top where the blossom formed gives it a royal air. That surely inspired artist Salvador Dali.

My first version of the Corona Sour included blood orange juice since I was trying to use those up, but any fresh orange or tangerine juice will do. I was also making them with my house bourbon, Four Roses Yellow Label, but for Cinco de Mayo, it seemed right to crack open this mezcal I brought back from Oaxaca.

Pomegranate molasses 400 conejos  mezcal , lime

Corona Sour Cocktail Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail
1.5 ounces mezcal or bourbon
1/2 ounce pomegranate molasses
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 3/4 ounce)
1/2 ounce orange juice
Splash Creole Bitters
Wedge of lime, 3 pomegranate arils
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until your hand starts to get uncomfortably cold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and 3 pomegranate arils.

Recipe by Maria Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl
All rights reserved©

Pop Culture

Drink Em if Ya Got Em: Penicillin and Other Smoky Cocktails

March 19, 2010
Penicillin, with blended and single malt Scotch, lemon and honey is good medicine.

Penicillin, with blended and single malt Scotch, lemon and honey is good medicine.

“I don’t like smoky Scotch.”

That was me, about 10 minutes after I found my way into the new San Diego speakeasy Noble Experiment and was escorted to my spot at the bar. For a moment, I was one of those annoying patrons who arrives at the bar thinking they know exactly what the do and don’t like.

But even though I wasn’t a Scotch drinker, something drew me to the cocktail called Penicillin, a combination of ginger-honey syrup, lemon and both blended and single malt Scotch. Fortunately, Anthony had dealt with people of my ilk before. He promised that if I didn’t like the Penicillin – one of the cocktails star-tender Sam Ross of Milk & Honey in NYC created for Noble Experiment – he’d make me something else.

It was like taking a refreshing and slightly sweet sip of autumn, on a cool day. It reminded me of burning leaves or sitting in front of a wood-burning fire. Besides adding another dimension of flavor to sweet, sour, salty and bitter, a smoky cocktail instantly creates atmosphere. It stirs up recollections of summer barbecues, smoky rooms, beach bonfires.

Now I’m to reconsidering my thoughts on single-malt Scotch and other smoky spirits. So the next week on a visit to Cantina in San Francisco, I didn’t pause before ordering the Old Gringo, an evocatively named mix of Del Maguey Mezcal, Pimm’s, vermouth and a float of cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. Duggan McConnel shares his curiously creative Old Gringo recipe on the Del Maguey web site.

The Old Gringo at Cantina employs a curious blend of mezcal, Pimm's and sparkling wine.

The Old Gringo at Cantina employs a curious blend of mezcal, Pimm's and sparkling wine.

If these smoky cocktails make your mouth water, there are plenty of places to try one. Jonny Raglin of Dosa Fillmore in San Francisco is shaking things up with his Smoked Cup (Benesin organic Mezcal and smoked sea salt) while Julian Cox of Rivera in LA does a trippy cocktail called with Del Maguey mezcal, citrus and chapulin aka cricket salt. Watch Cox make the Donaji and get the recipe in a great LA cocktail piece on the LA Times web site. Sounds odd, but then again, I just might like it.

2 ounces blended Scotch
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce honey ginger syrup
1/4 ounce single-malt Islay Scotch
candied ginger, for garnish

Add the blended Scotch, lemon juice and honey-ginger syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled. Serve in a rocks glass with one large cube of ice. Mist or drizzle on the Islay Scotch. Garnish with the ginger.
By Sam Ross of Milk & Honey and Little Branch in NYC