A couple weekends ago we headed out to Napa for a lazy afternoon. We’re just close enough that it’s TOTALLY reasonable to wake up a little early, grab some coffee for the road and hit the Oxbow Public Market just in time for brunch at C Casa and a second round of joe at Ritual. And then? You’re in NAPA. SKY’S THE LIMIT.
One of the most excellent stalls in the market is stocked full of tiny glass bottles and fetching glasses– a distillery selling cocktail bitters and craft spirit tastings. It’s a great way to mix things up in the grape-happy Napa Valley and I couldn’t get enough (as evidenced by the cash I dropped on several new bitters for my own bar.) The whole experience got me thinking- how much of the cocktail process can I start to create on my own? Grenadine was a no brainer.
In lieu of the sticky red stuff you can buy at the grocery store, this grenadine is made with only two easy peasy items, a saucepan and a stovetop. It smells delicious, isn’t full of ingredients you can’t pronounce and tastes awfully good in the Vodka Blush cocktail I stirred it into.
First, here’s some surprising grenadine knowledge: it’s made of pomegranate juice. Yup! Pomegranate!
Since it’s quite simple to get your hands on pomegranate juice, go the extra mile and find a high quality version that’s just juice.
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan, then set on stovetop over medium heat.
- Let the mixture come to a boil, then simmer for 3 minutes until syrupy.
- Cool in the saucepan.
- Pour into a glass jar for storage and keep refrigerated.
- Lasts at least two to three weeks in the fridge if kept chilled.
Now, obviously, this syrup is begging for a cocktail. Even better, I was already in the drink-making mood thanks to a little project I’ve been working on.
Several weeks ago, Blurb reached out to me about creating a book using their uber intuitive software. I’ve used a couple of different photo book websites before, but I’ve always been a tiny bit disappointed. The irritations run the gamut: slow sites, really complicated tools and– the most frustrating offender– a lack of style options that really captured the look I wanted.
The neat thing about Blurb? They have TEMPLATES for exactly what you’re looking for. So when I wanted to make a cookbook featuring some of our favorite drink recipes here on A&C? It was not only possible- it looked DARN GOOD.
And the final product? It’s absolutely lovely, full of bright photos and quality pages.
On to the Vodka Blush!
- 2 1/2 Ounces Vodka
- 1/2 Ounce Homemade Grenadine
- Shake ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, pour into a glass and serve with two ice cubes.
Thanks to Blurb for sponsoring this post!