I have so many fond memories of pomegranates. Growing up, they were always in our household. Although the pomegranate has only recently gained popularity in the United States, it is a central food in Iranian culture. The Pomegranate originates in the are of modern day Iran to northern India.
The pomegranate has significant meaning in many cultures and to Iranians, it's a symbol of fertility and sometimes immortality due to it's health benefits. Pomegranate is used to make fruit leather, stews, stain fabrics and cloths etc. Pomegranate was one of my favorite things to eat growing up, despite always staining whatever clothes I was wearing. My sister and I always joke that there is no greater way of showing love than a parent who shucks a pomegranate for you.
So yea, I kind of have a love affair with pomegranate and have wanted to use it in a recipe! I recently got some pomegranates in my CSA and started brainstorming on how to use them.
When I got my Sipsby box I had this fascinating tea blend by Leaf & Twig. Lavender and Mint. Let me tell you something about these two flavors, I love in all things except tea. Don't get me wrong I can enjoy tea with these flavors but they aren't my favorite. I love lavender bath products and I love mint ice cream but these aren't my first choices in tea so when it was time to come up with a recipe I was truly stumped.
This tea have lavender, peppermint, honeyroo and chamomile flower in it. I thought forever and ever about what to make and what flavors to use. When I can't come up with something I take a chance and do an experiment. I had a pomegranate and figured that the sweet & tart taste could provide a bit of oomph to this herbal blend.
I started thinking that a cocktail might be the answer but didn't want to taint these delicate flavors with alcohol. The tea blend is so pretty that I set out to create a fun, non-alcoholic tea cocktail to make when you're feeling fancy AND want to have a nice cup of healthy goodness.
The bigger your pomegranate the better (in general) and for this recipe. I used one of those hand held lemon reamers to get as much juice as I could from the pomegranate. Make sure to take off a few seeds for garnish before juicing. I added the juice to some fancy glasses as the base.
I strained the brewed tea and let it cool before adding it to these glasses so that the liquids could interact without changing each other too much. Mix up the tea and pomegranate juice and let settle before adding garnish.
I was discouraged at first when the pomegranate seeds sank to the bottom of the glass. I've seen so many drinks that have the seeds as a garnish and they are floating so what the heck! I took a spoon and brought the seeds to the top and somehow they stayed! If your seeds sink, make sure to bring them to the top and they will stay on top or if you use ice it will be easier for them to float as well.
I set out to make a fun fancy drink and all I could think about this drink was MEH. Red on red. Seemed pretty lame. It was pretty in it's own way but needed something extra, some more color. I reached back into the tea tin and pulled out a bunch of these chamomile buds and placed them gently on top and BAM ! Cocktail transformation! The colors are so pretty and this drink looks like some expert mixologist made it, but in reality you are the expert mixologist!
The pomegranate adds a nice sweet and tangy flavor to the min and lavender that is actually quite good! Enjoy!