As I have mentioned before on the blog, I am much more in favor of cooking on Valentine’s Day than of going out to a fancy four-course dinner. It’s just cozier, more relaxed, and in my opinion, more fun. But that doesn’t mean my ideal Valentine’s Day involves eating takeout on the couch and scrolling through Netflix. Holidays are what you make of them, and whether you’re head over heels in love or just hanging out with your friends on Valentine’s Day, cooking a special dinner makes it feel like a special day. And what’s a special dinner without a cocktail?
The Pomegranate Royale is my riff on the Kir Royale- the classic French cocktail of Crème de Cassis topped with Champagne. Crème de Cassis is a sweet, syrupy liqueur made from black currants. It’s dark red, almost purple in color, and when mixed with Champagne, makes a striking cocktail. My twist is to use homemade pomegranate syrup in place of the Crème de Cassis. I love the sweet-tart flavor of pomegranate juice, and its deep red color is Valentine’s Day perfection. Plus, pomegranates are supposedly a very strong aphrodisiac, if you believe in that sort of thing. 😉
Traditionally, Kir Royales are made with Champagne – hence the name ‘royale.’ But shhhhh, I tried these with Prosecco, too, and they’re delicious and still royale in my book! I’ll leave that decision up to you, but either way, I would recommend using a high-quality Prosecco or Champagne. Because there are very few ingredients in this cocktail, the quality of each one really does matter. But don’t just reach for the label you recognize. I always recommend asking for suggestions at your local wine store so you end up with a great Champagne or Prosecco for a great price.
Cheers to love, to aphrodisiacs, and to crushing a bottle of Champagne with the person- or people- you love! xox
- 1 (16-ounce) bottle pomegranate juice, such as POM Wonderful
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- 1 (750-ml) bottle good-quality Champagne or Prosecco, chilled
- fresh pomegranate seeds, for serving
DirectionsFirst, make the pomegranate syrup. Combine the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan, and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Continue to cook over medium heat for twenty minutes, until the juice is reduced by half. Set aside to cool slightly, then transfer to a glass measuring cup and refrigerate until very cold.
To make the drinks, pour 1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon juice into the bottom of a Champagne flute or coupe. Top with ½ cup Champagne and garnish with a few pomegranate seeds. Repeat for each cocktail. Serve immediately.
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