Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Simple Pomegranate Martini

A recent date night recipe called for a pomegranate glaze which included, among other things, a quarter cup of pomegranate juice. While surveying the juice section at Whole Foods, I was astonished that a 16 ounce container of POM pomegranate juice cost $4. That is roughly 8 times more expensive per volume than gasoline. I am used to Whole Foods sticker shock, but this was a bit much and demanded a little investigating.

I quickly learned that pomegranate juice is hailed as an antioxidant, bad cholesterol preventer and cancer fighter. These properties might justify the high cost, but these days products from chocolate to red wine to ketchup make similar claims and, as comes with such claims, pomegranate juice's healing powers are under debate.

So why is this magical elixir so expensive? The logical answer would be that pomegranate seeds contain little juice and therefore would take a lot of fruit to make a glass of juice. But a video on the POM website states that they only use 4 pomegranates for each 16 ounce container of juice, which seems, if you think about it, physically impossible and very efficient.

POM executives site many reasons for the high cost of their product including: the creation of proprietary machinery and systems; a worldwide shortage of pomegranate juice; and the fact that their competition sneaks apple and pear juice into their pomegranate drinks. This corporate rhetoric sounds very similar to other manufacturing sectors including the aforementioned oil industry (I hate it when they sneak apple juice into my regular unleaded).

Who knows for sure why pomegranate juice costs so much, if I got paid for writing this blog I would have made some calls.

Anyways I was stuck with an excess of the expensive juice and I didn’t want to just chug it away with breakfast. I scoured the internet for some more substantial pomegranate applications and settled on the pomegranate martini. According to the internet Oprah is apparently a big fan and what is good for big O is good for me. We don't have any fancy vodkas or liquours, so I boiled down the wide array pomegranate martini recipes to their bare elements:

One part vodka
One part pomegranate juice
One part simple sugar

Shake well with ice, serve in martini glass.

A shot of each ingredient will fill a martini glass.

For the simple sugar, bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil until the sugar is dissolved, allow to cool, 1/3 cup of each was enough for 2 martinis.

The other blogger really liked this drink and I have to admit it was pretty tasty, but we can't get used to it, until the economy turns around pomegranate juice is off the menu.

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