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(Re)Discovering the Pomegranate 

Cocktails Anyone?
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

The taste of the pomegranate may be relatively new to North America, but the fruit has been around since before Moses was a kid. A Greek myth relates that Hades, god of the underworld, seduced Persephone with a pomegranate. This sealed the juicy crimson fruit's reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac in the ancient world, adding to its established role as a symbol of health and fertility. More recently, pomegranates were "discovered" and cultivated by Spanish missionaries as far back as 1521.

The pomegranate, whose name roughly means "fruit of many seeds" in Latin, is the fruit of the plant punica granatum. It thrives in warm climates and grows wild in western Asia and northwestern India. It also is grown commercially in the United States and shows its best in the San Joaquin Valley in central California.

Middle easterners have been importing pomegranates into Canada since they arrived here. I have fond memories of peeling back the red leathery skin to get at the plump little juice laden seeds as a child. I'll never forget the rich red juice and the red stains on my hands that lasted for days.

Canadians took to pomegranates seriously in the '90s. Since 2005, close to 200 new pomegranate foods and beverages have been launched. Everyone loves their deep crimson colour, and the little ruby-like seeds are great for decorating food. The juice is delicious, not to mention healthy. The fruit and its juice have more antioxidant power than other drinks. The word out is that pomegranates' abundant polyphenols help guard your body against the nasty free radicals that cause heart disease, stroke, premature aging, Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

You can enjoy this delicious and healthful fruit in PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, a sweet yet tart liqueur made from all-natural California pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a touch of imported tequila. A highly mixable dram, it can be served straight up over ice or with a twist or with club soda, champagne, grapefruit juice, or ginger ale.

PAMA Rita

  • 1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  1. Assemble all the ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice; shake well. Or blend with ice to serve frozen.
  2. Rim margarita glass with red sugar and garnish with lime.

 

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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