Thursday, May 23, 2024
Food & DrinkHolidaysHomes & Gardens

Pomegranates are the must-have ingredient for the holidays

The jewel-like, ruby red little miracles known as pomegranate arils are packed with tart sweetness and antioxidants as well as looking festive in and of themselves.

British kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson once said — and I heartily concur:

“Not only is pomegranate so beautiful, it’s so right for the Holidays. It’s seasonal, and it’s so good for us. You can feel better about having dessert because you’ve got your antioxidants.”

Nigella Lawson

And you can feel better about having a few cocktails, too. I often add a dash of pomegranate juice to champagne or prosecco for a quick Poinsettia — a more vibrant alternative to a mimosa.

Plus, the Californian variety of pomegranates with their comely blush, as Nigella Lawson has noted, is aesthetically appealing and “look like they come out of some Dutch still life painting.” So you can even incorporate the whole fruit as an item for your holiday table setting.

In the meantime, try this delicious recipe below for a celebratory mocktail — or go hard with a nip or two of your preferred white spirit. Vodka works well.

Orange Ginger Shrub from POM Wonderful

Orange Ginger POM Shrub

Ingredients for the base:

1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar

3⁄4 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

1⁄2 cup POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils

1/3 cup agave

1⁄2 teaspoon orange zest

Ingredients for the cocktail:

2 oz POM Shrub Base

2 oz POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice 2 oz pulp-free orange juice

4 oz vodka (if desired)

8 oz ginger beer, chilled

4 oz club soda, chilled

1⁄4 cup POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils

2 orange zest twists for garnish

Ice to serve


1. Heat agave, red wine vinegar, and POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavors.

2. Add the POM POMS Fresh Pomegranate Arils and simmer until the syrup has turned to a deep red color, another 7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a heat-proof glass jar. Cool to room temperature then add the orange zest.

  1. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day before using. To use the base, strain the pomegranate arils out of the shrub. Fill two glasses with ice. Add 1 oz POM Shrub Base to each glass. Divide the POM Juice, orange juice and vodka (if using) to the glasses. Top with ginger beer and club soda. Garnish with POM POMS and an orange twist.

Handy hint: Store the shrub in the refrigerator and take out to make cocktails as desired or use the whole shrub base to make a batch cocktail that serves 12.

This refreshing cocktail goes perfectly with POM appetizers such as the Caramelized Onion Tartlets, which will please both vegetarians and omnivores alike. And you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment. Last year, The Wonderful Company announced a $750 million pledge to Caltech in support of the school’s environmental sustainability initiatives, and it’s believed to be one of the largest gift aimed at combating climate change ever.

For more information on POM products and for additional recipes go to

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Merryn Johns

Merryn Johns is the Editor-in-Chief of Queer Forty. She is an award-winning journalist, as well as a broadcaster and public speaker. Originally from Sydney, Australia where she began her career in journalism in the 1990s, she is based in New York City where she became the editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine and wrote for a variety of publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Slate, and more. Follow on Twitter at @Merryn1

Merryn Johns has 140 posts and counting. See all posts by Merryn Johns

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