He’ll have a big fat pack upon his back
And lots of goodies for you and me
So leave a peppermint stick for old St. Nick
Hanging on the Christmas tree.
One of my favorite parts about the holidays is getting together with friends and having an excuse to indulge. We can all resolve to be better in January… until then, let’s have that extra cookie or three.
A new month means a new cocktail highlighting another incredible herb. This month’s star is mint! Most of us are familiar with the refreshing application of mint, but it has far more to offer. From aiding digestion, to relief from congestion, this herb has been used for hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties. To complement the mint, and capture its essence in a delicious seasonal indulgence, we will be pairing it with pomegranate. This fantastic little fruit, in season October through January, is a powerful antioxidant that helps with heart disease! The cooling taste of mint paired with the sweet, yet tart, pomegranate juice makes for a perfect union. When finished off with a squeeze of lemon, it makes a cocktail that will satisfy anyone with a sweet-tooth while keeping enough ‘zing’ to balance the taste, exactly the way I like my cocktails. Of course, you can play with the ratios and make it as sweet as you like and, if you aren’t into mouth-puckering drinks like I am, substitute out the lemon for a squeeze of orange.
Instead of simply muddling mint, I decided to ‘shake things up a bit’ and infuse mint into the vodka. If you haven’t noticed, flavored vodkas appear to be having a bit of a ‘moment.’ You can find various vodka flavors like, citrus, whipped cream, cupcake… even bacon! When it comes to any recipe, I prefer to start from scratch, so I started by infusing the vodka with mint myself. The process couldn’t be easier: simply wash your ‘flavoring,’ place it in an airtight jar, add 3 cups of vodka, and secure the lid. Store your minty masterpiece in a dimly lit area, and voila you’re done! Give the mixture a good shake a few times a day and, in 4-5 days, you’ll have deliciously flavored vodka to use in a variety of cocktail recipes.
To assemble this wintery concoction:
One part mint infused vodka
Two parts fresh pomegranate juice
Squeeze of lemon (or orange)
Combine vodka and pomegranate juice in a shaker with ice. Add a squeeze of lemon (or orange) and shake it up! Pour into a martini glass. Top it off with club soda to add little bubble and sit back, sip, and get merry with mint!
***A glass of this beneath your stocking just might get you that iPad you asked Santa for. Cookies and a glass of