As an amateur, I don’t often get a chance to make cocktails for large groups of people, apart from the occasional party. But back in 2008, I was asked to invent a drink for the book launch of Anjum Anand’s New Indian. It needed to be something simple and easily adapted to large quantities. I also wanted it to be vaguely Indian themed and as it was to be held at Waterstones 5thView bar in summer, long and cool seemed the way to go. When made by the staff at 5thView it proved a hit.
According to the BBC, pomegranates are still in season so I decided now was a good time to revisit this recipe. I bought a couple of pomegranaties to juice and hoped they didn’t travel too far – after buying blueberries the other day I’m accumulating some bad green karma. The resulting ruby liquid had an intense fresh flavour and none of the bitterness you can get with commercial juices. If you don’t have a juicer you can either rub the seeds through a sieve or simmer them in a pan until they release their juice and then strain.
The recipe below differs from the original as it uses ginger syrup instead of fresh muddled ginger. The syrup is fierce and adds a real kick – if you don’t like too much heat then half the amount of syrup below. I juiced the ginger, added equal amounts of sugar and simmered until the sugar dissolved. Next time I’m going to make a large batch as it’s delicious topped up with soda and lime juice. Again, if you don’t have a juicer there are plenty of online recipes for ginger syrup.
Anjum’s New Indian
2 fresh squeezed pomegranate juice
1 home-made ginger syrup
Handful of mint
Muddle ginger syrup and lime in shaker. Add mint and muddle lightly. Next add vodka and pomegranate juice and shake, Pour into tumbler of cracked ice and top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Tip: This drink works equally well with white rum or vodka.