Adding pomegranate and some citrus notes to whisky makes for a festive cocktail for your next holiday celebration or cool-weathered weekend.
I created this French leaning cocktail recipe last week, before the tragic attacks occurred in Paris this past weekend. I debating talking about drinks during such a somber time, but as we've all been witnessing, Paris and so many around the world are coming together in solidarity. It took a horrible event to unite people. To retract and hide means they win, and judging from the worldwide support, we will not let them win. My thoughts are with all of those in Paris affected by this weekend's devastation. I raise a glass to you in hopes that we can move forward stronger and united together.
You never forget your first whisky. Unless it leads to 6 more the same night. Then maybe you forget, but that's not what happened to me. I was living in Paris and out to dinner with some friends on a blustery, much too cold night for this LA girl. I was enjoying a long, leisurely meal with some friends as you do in Paris, and also as you do when you don't want to face the elements outside. We didn't have a window view so we had no idea what was happening outside. After out meal, we walked out and all just stopped in awe, watching the first gorgeous white snowfall of the season blanket the old, cobblestone streets. Paris is beautiful on any day, but throw a gentle dusting of white snowflakes on thousand year old buildings, and it takes beauty to another level. I was with some ex-Pat friends, and we were all on the same page. Snow day!
We couldn't go home, even though it was already late and a weeknight. After oooing and ahhing at the snow falling, we were beyond cold so we ducked into a cozy cocktail bar. This wasn't a beer or wine night. One friend immediately ordered a whisky. Thinking whisky was a serious "drinker's" order, I was hesitant, but after one sip of hers poured neatly on the rocks, I was in. It warmed me inside and out and brought a light, subtle flavor that I've grown to love.
I've talked about how I met Doni from Girls' Guide to Paris here and how she came to write this wonderful book Paris Cocktails, exploring the exploding cocktail scene in the City of Light. As if that's not good fortune enough, Doni has been working with fabulous French artisanal liquor producers like Bastille Whisky on her book promotion, and that's how I came to sample this wonderful spirit for this recipe today.
Bastille is like a work of art. The bottle is gorgeous and you "almost" feel like you should just display it and not drink it, but you'd quickly realize that would be silly. Bastille is hand-crafted from wheat and barley grown in Northeast France, and the whisky is produced in Cognac. It is rich and lush on its own with a wonderfully long finish with notes of orange and spice. But I realize not everyone has had their first whisky experience so I thought I'd play off of some of the flavors to turn it into a comforting fall cocktail with pomegranate. It's almost a whisky sour, but I always try and avoid refined sugar in my food and drinks, so I included some lemon and Grand Marnier for sweetness and the pomegranate brings in some tart flavors.
If you're looking for more cocktail inspiration, check out Doni's Paris Cocktails book with over 100 recipes and see if she's coming to your town for a special tasting and party.
Pomegranate Whisky Cocktail
- 4 ounces Bastille whisky
- 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
- 1 ounce pomegranate juice
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Dash of bitters
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all ingredients. Shake until combined - about 20 seconds. Strain into glasses with several fresh ice cubes and top with fresh pomegranate if desired.
I received the whisky and book to review, but all opinions are always my own.