*As originally published in the Weekly Dig on December 2, 2011 by PINK LADY
If we told you that we sometimes plan what we’re going to drink a month ahead of time, would you hold it against us? This week, we have New Year’s Eve Cocktails on the brain. We know, we know—it’s too soon! But if you’re thinking of making up a batch of your own, homemade liqueur, planning must begin at least a month out.
With DIY ingenuity and surprisingly little effort, you can wow friends and family this New Year’s Eve by serving them sparkling cocktails made with pomegranate liqueur. This recipe is courtesy of LUPEC pal A.J. Rathbun’s book, Luscious Liqueurs. Making your own liqueur is simple, but serving a cocktail that features your own, homemade stuff is bound to impress. Bottling it as a host gift for whomever is throwing the party on New Year’s Eve? That will land you on the A-list at parties for years to come.
Excerpted from Luscious Liqueurs, by A.J. Rathbun. (c) 2008, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups vodka
.5 cup Simple Syrup
Remove the seeds from the pomegranates using a spoon or any other process you think works best. Put the seeds in a bowl and, using a muddler or wooden spoon, crush them to release the juice.
Put the juice and seed bits, orange zest, cinnamon, and vodka in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and place the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Let sit for 2 weeks swirling occasionally.Add the simple syrup, stir, and reseal. Return to its spot. Let sit for 2 more weeks.
Carefully strain liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy pouring vessel. Strain again through 2 new layers of cheesecloth into another pitcher or bottle. Check that the liqueur is free of debris (the little seed particles can slip through). If it isn’t, repeat this step until it is. Pour the liqueur into one large bottle or several small bottles.
For a great New Year’s Cocktail, pour 1.5 ounces of Persephonia in a flute and top with chilled Champagne.