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Watch Party

Melograno Gin + Tonic

Written by Linda SarrisPhotos by Alberta Cuccia

EDITOR'S NOTE: What's better than watching a riveting drama with great friends? Watching a riveting drama with great friends while having some delicious food and drink! Invite some friends over to watch MHz Choice and enjoy these scrumptious recipes crafted by Chef Linda Sarris! ~ J.C.

Melograno Gin + Tonic

Fresh pomegranate juice, gin + sage cocktail

italian party gin tonic 11 1540x1027
Melograno Gin + Tonic

Sage Simple Syrup Ingredients:
1c. white sugar
1c. water
1c. sage leaves, loosely packed

Cocktail Ingredients:
2 oz. gin
2 oz. pomegranate juice
1/2 oz. sage simple syrup
splash of tonic
sage sprig garnish

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Notes from the Chef:

Eating seasonally doesn’t just refer to food. The way we drink follows along with the time of year, the weather, and the special reasons to celebrate. This winter, we are stirring up a fresh spin on a gin and tonic cocktail made with a herbaceous sage simple syrup and freshly squeezed tart pomegranate juice.

Plump, juicy, dark red pomegranates are cracked open to press the juice for this melograno gin + tonic . There are many methods to get those beautiful little red aril pearls out of your pomegranate, whether you whack it with a wooden spoon or carefully make incisions with a pairing knife to separate each section of seeds — the most important factor always being the need to keep the red color off of your clothing since it stains very easily. In this case, I split the pomegranates in half and pressed them down on an electric citrus juicer…et voilà! You’ll get as much juice as possible with as little mess as possible.

The word aperitivo can describe the drink itself or the “happy hour” period at the end of a work day and before dinner begins. Wine or beer are not the typical choice for aperitivo’clock but more commonly a liquor-based cocktail like an Aperol spritz or the amaro and gin negroni will be served to awaken your senses and get yourself ready to eat! The pomegranates in this recipe are naturally super-rich in fiber, vitamin c and have a high anti-inflammatory effect. This fruit, and specifically a sexy little cocktail mixed up with the juice, are the perfect fix for the winter blues. With friends coming over this winter, serve up this recipe to buzz up a little extra holiday cheer.

Make the sage simple syrup ahead of time and give it plenty of time to cool. In a small sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil. Make sure the sugar dissolves completely then set aside off of the heat. Let the syrup cool for the first ten minutes before adding the fresh sage leaves. The light green color and sage aroma will be fresher if you do not add the herbs while the liquid is still boiling hot. Allow it to cool down to room temperature then keep in a glass jar or plastic squeeze bottle until needed. It can last in the refrigerator for 1 month.

For the cocktail, use a short rocks glass or a tall Tom Collins cocktail glass. Combine the sage syrup, pomegranate juice, and gin in the glass or a cocktail shaker. Stir to mix thoroughly then finish with a splash of tonic and garnish with a fresh sprig of sage. This festive drink can be served on the rocks or straight up.

Pair this recipe with:

In this quirky comedy-drama set in 1970s Palermo, nothing escapes the gaze of 10-year-old Salvatore. He sees it all: the Mafia’s oppression, his crazy family dynamic and the magnificence of his first love, Alice.

Italian Watch Party Recipes

About the Chef
Linda Sarris is a food/wine travel consultant and private chef based in Palermo, Sicily. From her sun-lit kitchen studio above the 1,000 year-old Ballarò food market, Linda works as a freelance writer, social media manager, and culinary communications consultant while still traveling regularly for private chef work with clients in the fashion and music industries. Under her brand, @thecheekychef, she is self-publishing a Sicilian food and wine ‘zine and curates a series of Mediterranean culinary/lifestyle retreats and travel experiences. Her first book will be published in 2022 with Hachette Book Group.