Whether the holidays drive you to drink or the drinks are just part of the fun of celebrating, this is a good cocktail recipe to have on hand. I received a sample of PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and was interested in several ideas from the accompanying recipe booklet. A PAMA margarita or martini would have been nice, but the thought of pomegranate flavor with bourbon in a Manhattan was something I had to try. First I tasted a sip of the PAMA liqueur on its own, and it was very much like pomegranate juice. This is not a sweet or syrupy liqueur. The flavor is very well-balanced, and it adds nice color to a finished cocktail.
A classic Manhattan includes bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters and is garnished with lemon peel and a maraschino cherry. The recipe in the PAMA booklet, replaced the vermouth with PAMA, omitted the bitters, and added a splash of soda water. I decided to create a sort of hybrid mix of that recipe and the classic. A cocktail pitcher was filled with ice, bourbon, PAMA, and bitters were added, the mixture was stirred until chilled, it was poured over ice in two small glasses, and it was topped with sparkling water and garnished.
I’ve always been a bourbon fan, and I was very happy with the way its flavor mingled with that of pomegranate. I used angostura bitters, and just a couple of dashes added a distinctive note. I can imagine a lot of delicious uses of PAMA liqueur, and I’ll definitely try the margarita eventually, but for a sophisticated twist on a classic cocktail this pomegranate Manhattan would be hard to beat.
2 ounces bourbon
1 1/2 ounces PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
2 dashes angostura bitters
Lemon peel and maraschino cherries such as Silver Palate brand
-Fill a cocktail pitcher with ice. Pour bourbon, PAMA, and bitters over ice, and add dashes of bitters. Stir until chilled. Strain cocktail into two small glasses with ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish each with lemon peel and a cherry.