More seasonal flavors today with this Pomegranate Brandy Sour. I’d wanted to use gin, but I preferred the softer, baking spice and raisin flavors of the Cognac that had been hiding behind the bourbon for a few weeks. Paired with a little pear, some lemon juice, and a dash of bitters it’s glorious.
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How to Juice a Pomegranate
I’m always harping about fresh juice this and fresh juice that. I hadn’t thought about how you might juice a pomegranate. I didn’t want to get the huge Champion juicer down and it would likely pulverize the arils anyway. Instead, I cut the pom into small segments like I would a citrus and juiced them with my citrus press.
Fast, easy, and you don’t have to worry about the grit from the aril seeds in your teeth. No wonder Persephone only ate six.
You may see more pomegranate in my future. The tart, sweet combination means I don’t have to add much lemon juice or simple syrup to the recipes for balance.
Pears and Pomegranates
While perusing my new-ish copy of The Flavor Matrix, I noted that the pomegranate page listed both citrus and pears as great matches. That also meant I finally got to use those dried pears I had been working on in the dehydrator weeks ago.
While I could have used pear juice or syrup, since I was using a cognac base, I decided to pull the pear in via a lovely pear brandy, Belle de Brillet. I don’t use it very often. I love the intensity of the pear cognac, but it has a floral note that can taste/smell off in some combinations. In this case, I loved it matched with the tart/sweet pomegranate, but my honey did not. In his defense, I normally don’t use cognac bases in cocktails, so that might be the issue.
While not as popular as its whiskey cousin, brandy is often used as a base for sours. Because of its flavor profiles, it can be much sweeter, meaning you won’t need as much sweet in the cocktail, or may be able to increase the sour to balance it.
Given that the earliest Americans were likely drinking brandy and rum, we can say that early on, all sours were brandy sours.
How to Make the Pomegranate Pear Brandy Sour
First, juice the pomegranate (using a citrus juicer as described above is the easiest way). Then add the pomegranate juice, cognac, pear brandy, lemon juice, bitters and just a bit of simple syrup. Add ice, shake away, and strain into a chilled coupe.
Top the cocktail with a few spritzes of absinthe to pair with the pom and pear and you’ve got a smooth sipper that’s gorgeous as well.
If you’d like to add egg white and make it a foamy sour, be my guest. I was so excited by the flavor that while I had planned to make it a Boston sour with egg white, I forgot.
But making cocktails is always an exploration and journey, am I right?
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You probably already have these, but you may need them, too:
Pomegranate Brandy Sour
- 2 oz fresh pomegranate juice
- 1.5 oz cognac
- 0.75 oz pear brandy
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 3 dashes cherry bark vanilla bitters
- 2 spritzes of absinthe over the drink as served
- Garnish: star anise and dried pear
- Combine cognac, pomegranate juice, pear brandy, lemon juice and bitters in a shaking tin. Add ice and shake until the outside of the tin is frosty. Strain into a coupe and top with a couple spritzes of absinthe, garnish and sit back and watch the fire.