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Wine & Spirits

TNH Mixologist: The Greek Gobble Gimlet

November 29, 2020
By Matthew Dowling

My wife and I both grew up on Long Island and our parents still spend the majority of their time there. When we first started dating, it was crucial that we made it to both households to celebrate every holiday. 

Yes, that meant two Christmas day meals, two Easter Sunday brunches/late lunches, and two Thanksgiving feasts.  

Our first Thanksgiving together was especially memorable – I had never been to a Greek Thanksgiving before. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to impress – so I asked my then-girlfriend if there was anything I could do or bring. The typical Greek hostess reply of ‘just bring yourself’ was given, but my stubborn Irish side wouldn’t accept that as an answer.  

During my initial visits to my future in-laws’ home, I had noticed quite a few pomegranate themed decorations – napkin holders, painted vases, small silver sculptures, etc. (a tradition that lives on in the apartment my wife and I now call home). So, I did a bit of research and found out that in Greece, pomegranates have been considered a symbol of abundance, youthfulness, fertility, rebirth, and good luck since antiquity.  

While I had never eaten (let alone cut) a pomegranate before, I decided I was going to make this autumn fruit the star of my Thanksgiving-themed cocktail to share with the household and their guests. I told my girlfriend and she seemed intrigued by my idea – but I think she was more impressed by my thoughtfulness. 

A few days before the Thanksgiving holiday, I purchased all the necessary ingredients, including fresh pomegranates, watched a few videos on how to cut and deseed them, and felt confident that I was going to make a good impression.  

Proud of myself for being so prepared, I arrived at my girlfriend’s childhood home at the time that I was told and started setting up my work station. However, it wasn’t long before I realized that those YouTube videos that I had based my pomegranate research and pseudo-knowledge on, had deceived me. Shockingly, it was not as easy to clean and deseed the fruit as they made it seem. I must have started to look a bit flustered because within a few minutes, my future wife passed by and ever so nonchalantly placed a bottle of store bought pomegranate juice on the counter top and gave me a wink. 

And that’s one of the first, very distinct, times when I thought to myself, ‘yep, she’s the one.’ 

Στην υγειά μας! 

Ingredients – makes 2 cocktails: 

3 oz. freshly squeezed pomegranate juice (make sure to strain well) or store bought pomegranate juice 

4 oz. gin (or vodka) 

1 lime, juiced 

1/2 oz. agave syrup (or simple syrup) (to taste) 

Garnish: 

Thinly sliced lime wedges 

Fresh pomegranate arils 

Directions: 

Freeze two martini glasses and pomegranate arils for at least one hour before serving. 

Fill a cocktail shaker half-full with ice. Add pomegranate juice, gin (or vodka), lime and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then strain into the chilled martini glass. Add a lime slice to the side of the glass and some pomegranate arils in the glass for garnish. 

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