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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    21 Responses to “roasted spiced pecans”

    1. Jenn — January 26, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

      I’m with you on the pronunciation 🙂 those sound great!

    2. Gail — January 26, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

      I’m with you, MJ…pe-kawn. And, my favorite bar nuts recipe is from The Union Square Cafe..
      cayenne, brown sugar, salt, rosemary & butter. Sometimes I use mixed nuts, but my favorite is pe-kawns.

    3. Chris — January 26, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

      These look irresistible! I admit, I pronounce them both ways. It depends on what the recipe/dish is and where it came from (Old home – up north, New Home – down south). Odd, really. Same with Aunt (Ant) and Aunt (Aônt).

    4. Liz the Chef — January 26, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

      After having had my orange tree professionally pruned last year, we have double or triple the fruit this winter – I’d hire someone to do your folks’ tree. Worth it for those gorgeous nuts!

    5. Pingback: Tweets that mention roasted spiced pecans | the merry gourmet --

    6. Kathy — January 26, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

      I love your spice jars; I apologize if you’ve answered before, but I’ve been a long-time reader and I don’t recall seeing anything about them… where did you get them? What did you use to write on them?

      Thanks for the recipe! I may try with almonds, as Mini Me is highly allergic to pecans.

      • mj (merry gourmet)

        mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 26th, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

        Hi Kathy! The jars are Libbey Vibe jars (here’s a link on Amazon: To write on them, I used an oil-based marker from Sharpie – made for writing on glass and other surfaces.

    7. Paula - bell'alimento — January 26, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

      I think these could be a new addiction. I won’t tell you how I pronounce them ; ) The jars are adorable LURVE xoxo

    8. Liren — January 26, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

      I pronounce it like you, but my understanding is that your sweet hubbie’s pronunciation is considered correct as well. What a treat for you to grow up with a pecan tree! I can’t get enough of them…this recipe sounds wonderful and would taste so good in my salads!

    9. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans — January 27, 2011 @ 12:25 am

      Ok … I admit … I have serious jar envy! So cute!! Anything I say about this recipe will sound dirty … so let me just say that you pronounce pecan properly, and those pecans sounds mighty tasty no matter how you way it. Even if you say it wrong. 😀

    10. Lana @ Never enough Thyme — January 27, 2011 @ 8:58 am

      Well, I grew up in pecan-producing country and we always pronounced it “puh-cahn.” We had pecan trees in our yards, all over town and in orchards throughout the area – mostly Stuarts and Slides with a few Papershells, too. But no matter what variety you have or how you say it, pecans are just delicious! Pecans are always my preference, much more so than walnuts. I have a similar savory-spicy recipe that I make for cocktail parties and a sweet version that I make every Christmas.

    11. Lynda — January 27, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

      oops, I think I pronounce it your husband’s way. I do share your love for pecans, though! Thanks for the recipe.

    12. Seems like everyone is having the same pronunciation debate! I’m with you, my husband is in the other camp. How nice that you had a tree in your backyard growing up, like you said it certainly would be the perfect convenience food!

    13. Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — January 28, 2011 @ 7:27 am

      “You say TomaaatO & I say TomaetOE, potaeeto, potaaato, lets call the whole thing off”. However, you say it, tastes great. Now I’m going to have that song in my head all day 🙂

      • mj (merry gourmet)

        mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 28th, 2011 @ 8:43 am

        Lael – Now I do too! 🙂

    14. Barbara Kiebel — January 28, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

      I loved in the south for 10 yrs so am familiar with the pee-can version but us midwesterners (from St. Louis originally) pronounce more like Lana’s version. Funny how one little nut can have such variants depending on geography.

      I wish I had the recipe listed but this post was a part of the series for those of us with Dorie Greenspan’s newest book and we’ve committed to not publishing the recipe but I loved these. Sugar and spice…they’re in her book, ‘Around My French Table’ and yes, a bit addictive.

      The jars are adorable. Have you ever heard of – the most wonderful jars if you put foods up especially for gifts.

    15. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 28, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

      Yum! These look fabulous! And, I am totally a pe-kawn person. 🙂

    16. Aggie — January 29, 2011 @ 7:11 am

      I love pee-cans!! 😉 They are one of my favorites for sure. How lucky are you to have grown up with a tree right in your backyard! I love them spiced, but I love them even more just toasted and thrown into salads.

      Your jars are gorgeous!!

    17. Barbara Polat — January 31, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

      Please tell your husband that in Virginia, where I grew up, we took a pee-can with us in the boat when we went out on the Chesapeake in case “nature called.” I happen to have a bunch of pecans that were just given to me, and I’m going to try this recipe – if I can keep them away from the kids long enough!

    18. I am with you on how to pronounce pecan! There is nothing better than spicing up nuts and just munching on them. Love the combination you did and the jars are spectacular. Nice job!

    19. Yvonne — January 17, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

      I pronounce pecans as puh-kawns, but Jimmy Carter says that it’s correct to pronounce them as pee-lawns, pee-cans or puh-kawns…different strokes, huh? I’m originally from Atlanta, so puh-kawns sounds right to me. I currently live in Spokane, WA, and most people here say pee-cans. Anyway, nice blog. I grew up with pecan trees, plus peach, apple, plum, pear and persimmon in Atlanta. My favorite roasted pecan is simply made with unsalted butter and kosher or sea salt which I make often during the holidays. We have a restaurant here in Spokane that makes Caesar salad with cumin pecans that are neither spicy or sweet. I love the combination of the simple cumin pecans with the parmesan and Caesar dressing.

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