This cocktail is based on a recipe called Juniperotivo which was created by mixologist Jerri Banks of the Indian-fusion lounge, Taj, in New York City.
Since I haven't been able to find the deliciously uber-piney Junipero gin that she uses in her recipe, I developed my own version that allows the flavor of a tamer gin to come through.
I really like Cascade Mountain gin which is made by a distillery in Bend, Oregon.
It is made from hand-picked wild juniper berries that grow in Central Oregon and has a smooth, pure juniper flavor.
Use any gin you like as long as it is of decent quality.
This recipe calls for pomegranate molasses which can be found in Indian and Middle-Eastern markets.
It is very thick and has a tart, fruity flavor.
It is traditionally used in the Middle-East in spreads, marinades and stews but is also a great syrup for drinks.
Although the pomegranate and mint give this cocktail a definite Middle-Eastern twist, you certainly don't need to cook up a Middle-Eastern feast to appreciate the sweet and sour, herbal flavors in this special cocktail.
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2 ounces quality gin
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
3 to 4 fresh mint leaves
1 sprig of fresh mint (for garnish)
Using a cocktail shaker, shake the first five ingredients vigorously with ice.
Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with the mint sprig and enjoy!
Makes 1 drink
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To make simple syrup, mix equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the sugar has melted.
Remove from heat, allow to cool, and refrigerate, covered, until needed.
Pomegranate molasses is available in Indian and Middle Eastern markets.
It is a very unique product that really doesn't have a good substitute(the typical grenadine that you find in stores doesn't even come close!)
Try mixing pomegranate molasses with club soda or tonic water for a quick, refreshing treat.
Or, use some in a glaze for pork or salmon.