Although the upcoming spooky holiday is mostly for kids, we grown-ups need our fun too. And that’s where this Halloween Pomegranate Negroni comes in. Unlike creating Trick or Treat costumes, which stresses me out, coming up with this cocktail was so enjoyable I may have to try my hand at cocktail designing again. First a Moscow Mule. Now, a Pomegranate Negroni. Who knows where this cocktail-making adventure could go next?
It was mid-morning and the sun was shining. Although I’d promised to do a cocktail for this month’s Halloween-themed Progressive Eats, they are not exactly my forte. But once I’ve decided to do something, I don’t turn back and this time was no exception.
I’m glad no one saw me shaking and pouring the various versions of this Pomegranate Negroni, taking tiny sips to determine when I’d finally reached the right combination of almost blood red color and delicious taste. Luckily, it didn’t take too many tries to get the drink right. And once I did, it took all my self-control not to drink the entire glass before noon.
I’ve loved Campari forever. Well maybe not forever, but at least since I graduated from rum and Coke. About five years ago, a friend introduced me to the Negroni, a Campari-based cocktail. I was smitten. Of course, I had no way of knowing that it would later become the “it” drink for the decade. I only knew that its slightly bitter yet sweet taste stayed with me, and had me ordering it again and again.
The classic Negroni mixes Campari with equal parts gin and sweet vermouth. If you’re into cocktail trivia, you might enjoy this article, which calls the Negroni a “zeitgeist defining cocktail that’s as beloved as it is ubiquitous.” How’s that for a recommendation?
According to the story, an Italian bartender invented the Negroni in 1919 when he got a request for a stronger version of an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda.) He subbed gin for the club soda and named the new drink after an Italian Count. Now there are many variations, from a Pink Negroni with lemon and a citrus-based wine/liqueur mix to a Negroni Sbagliato, that replaces gin with sparkling wine.
For Halloween, I thought a Pomegranate Negroni would be perfect. Mixed with a bit of orange juice, the red of the Campari and pomegranate juice turn slightly darker. More like blood – which is not bright red after being exposed to air. (Cue the scary music.) And the sweetness of the rum and the orange juice balance out the bitterness of Campari and the tartness of pomegranate juice.
I’ve used fresh squeezed orange and pomegranate juices in this cocktail, however you could certainly use store-bought.
Tips for Making a Pomegranate Negroni
- Taste the orange before you juice it. Oranges vary considerably from deliciously sweet to quite tart. If yours is incredibly tart, you may want to add a bit of simple syrup (sugar dissolved in water in a 1-1 ratio) to the juice before mixing it with the other ingredients.
- The best way to juice a pomegranate. I’ve tried using a blender, but the best way to collect pomegranate juice without a juicer is to roll the pomegranate around, then prick one side with a fork, and press the pomegranate over a bowl. Sometime soon, I’ll make a video. In the meantime, check out this one. It’s not a “pretty” video but the method works. Like beets, once cut, pomegranates do stain everything they touch. So if you hate a mess, buy the juice.
- No need for a fancy cocktail shaker – use a glass jar. I don’t own a cocktail shaker and this drink can be just as easily made if you shake it with ice in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
Progressive Eats Halloween Menu
- Black Rice Risotto with Butternut Squash from Pastry Chef Online
- Bloody Feetloaf from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Chocolate Tombstone Parfaits from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Halloween Black & Orange Soup w/ Dukkah Pumpkin Seed from The Heritage Cook
- Halloween Pomegranate Negroni from Mother Would Know
- Mummy Halloween Cupcakes from Creative Culinary
- Mummy Truffles from The Redhead Baker
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re sharing a Halloween Menu, and our event is hosted by Heather, who blogs at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. We have dishes that show off the colors associated with Halloween, as well as some cute and creepy ideas. No matter your level of Halloween spirit, you’ll find something delicious to add to your repertoire this season!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.