the pamplemousse cocktail

My husband and I are having a party soon — all part of my commitment to myself to entertain more. One thing I realized during the planning process, though, is that if you call a party a cocktail party, you should probably serve a cocktail. And, let me preface this post by saying that I am much more of a wine person than a cocktail person. In fact, I’ve never made what could be considered a cocktail. I mean, mixing up some rum and Coke doesn’t really count, does it?

So, the pressure is on to find a cocktail recipe that I can’t screw up.

My husband has agreed to help me with the taste-testing — tough job, I know. So, last weekend I set out on a mission to find a cocktail recipe that didn’t have a ton of steps, used alcohol that we had on hand or could easily find, could be made in advance, and could  triple or quadruple for a crowd. And it had to taste fabulous, too. Can’t forget that.

In my search for the perfect cocktail, I found a few candidates on Epicurious. One potential was the Pamplemousse Cocktail, from Bon Appétit. Since I’m really not comfortable with messing up expensive alcoholic beverages, I followed the recipe pretty much to the tee. The cocktail got great reviews online, so I decided not to mess with a good thing. A handful of weeks ago, the great folks at Pom Wonderful sent me some of their pomegranate juice to try, so I was able put it to excellent use in this cocktail.

And, folks. We may have a winner.

Yield: Serves 6.

The Pamplemousse Cocktail


7 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 cups vodka
3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
18 fresh mint leaves, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
ice cubes


Make pomegranate simple syrup by bringing the first 4 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cool. This step can be done one day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Combine pomegranate simple syrup, vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and mint leaves together in a large pitcher. Fill pitcher with ice cubes and stir vigorously. Strain drink into martini glasses. Garnish each glass with mint sprig and serve.

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    15 Responses to “the pamplemousse cocktail”

    1. 1
      Jean — May 19, 2010 @ 10:54 am

      Wow, this does sound like a winner. I smiled when I read your post because you may as have been writing about me, too. From the comment about entertaining more to being more a wine drinker rather than cocktails. I experimented with a cocktail last week and posted on it but I think you were much more successful. I love all the individual components of this drink so I’ll remember to try it.

      Thanks for posting!

    2. 2
      Jason Phelps — May 19, 2010 @ 11:59 am

      Cocktails at a cocktail party, absolutely! We often open more wine than we make mixed drinks, but a little effort can change that for sure. One thing we have tried is doing a mixology demo during the party to help guest see how they make the drinks at home. The last time I did this I made Old Fashioned’s and a Jamaican delight call Cool Runnings. The response was phenomenal, my friends indicated that I had said and done things they didn’t know about and thought were reserved for bartenders.

      I make simple syrups all the time as a way to have the sweetner for drinks ready in the fridge. Pom is one I haven’t tried yet.

      Enjoy the party!


    3. 3
      Miranda — May 19, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

      I do not drink, but this looks wonderful. I bartended threw college and this sounds perfect 🙂

    4. 4
      Truett — May 19, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

      A Gimlet is a cocktail. And easy to make. Tasty!

    5. 5
      The Housewife — May 19, 2010 @ 9:45 pm

      That would be a great star cocktail at a party! Wish you all the luck for your party 🙂

    6. 6
      magic of spice — May 19, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

      Sounds wonderful!

    7. 7
      Trissa — May 19, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

      I have to say, it is very rare people think about cocktails for parties (at least those I know) – they usually serve softdrinks or wine… cocktails are a great addition and shouldn’t be overlooked! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    8. 8
      Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — May 20, 2010 @ 10:51 am

      Looks and sounds wonderful. I’m typically a wine drinker too…but summer brings out the cocktail craving. Very (too?) fond of my own margarita recipe…but that baby packs a powerful punch; this looks refreshing and lighter and maybe better for entertaining; I have to keep my wits about me if grilling!

    9. 9
      Kristi Rimkus — May 20, 2010 @ 11:20 am

      I know exactly what you mean. I can make a good White Russian, but that’s about it. I love the color of this cocktail!

    10. 10
      Jason Phelps — May 21, 2010 @ 9:35 am

      I thought this discussion was so lively and interesting this week. I wrote up some of my own expeirences with cocktails and hosting. I linked back here as well.



    11. 11
      Kelsey — May 21, 2010 @ 11:31 am

      Beautiful picture! And congrats on Foodbuzz Top 9!

    12. 12
      Liren — May 21, 2010 @ 11:47 am

      I adore the name of this cocktail, but what I love even more is that you can make it in advance! No need to play bartender for the whole time! It sounds very refreshing – I would love to have one right now, even though it’s only 8:46 am Pacific. It’s beautiful and congrats on Top 9!

    13. 13
      sensiblecooking — May 21, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

      I can use some of these after work today. Sounds easy to make and tasty.

    14. 14
      Patty Price — May 21, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

      Your pamplemousse cocktail makes me either want to have a party or go to one! Thanks for sharing this delicious sounding cocktail and congratulations on Top 9, I almost said 10, what a faux pas!

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