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Oct 29, 2019

The Sugar Plum Cocktail

This Sugar Plum Cocktail with gin, grapefruit juice, and a pomegranate reduction is perfect for all of your upcoming holiday festivities.

I first tried this cocktail at the Long Beach airport. It's a fabulous airport, The restaurants in the airport are all little outposts of some of the signature restaurants in Long Beach, and the food and cocktail offerings are really nice.

Later, I discovered the same cocktail in a cookbook by Nancy Silverton from her Los Angeles-based Italian restaurant, Mozza. It was meant to be! This cocktail, with the pomegranate reduction, is perfect for fall, just like this Apple Brown Derby Cocktail and Satan's Whiskers Cocktail.

I recommend serving all three at your Halloween party or "Friendsgiving."

I don't think it's any secret that I am a big fan of Nancy Silverton. Her book, Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur is a bread head's inspiration.

In 2011, she published The Mozza Cookbook: Recipes from Los Angeles's Favorite Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria (affiliate link). Of course I "needed" it.

While looking through the book for appetizer ideas for our family's Italian themed Christmas Eve dinner, I discovered the cocktail section of the book. There are five, all really interesting sounding.

She prefaces these recipes with a discussion of the Italian preference for only a few options for the pre-dinner hour, usually a glass of Prosecco. She describes her cocktails as "conceived in an Italian spirit and executed in an American one."

Serendipitously, I had all of the ingredients for the one I most wanted to try. It's totally my new favorite cocktail.

The book also has some simple and delicious appetizer recipes that pair wonderfully with this cocktail, including olives al forno, toasted almonds with sea salt, and prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks.

Of course, the pizzas and focaccias are amazing.

How to make the pomegranate reduction:

Boil 1/4 cup of pomegranate juice with 1/4 cup sugar until it is syrupy. Each cocktail only requires 1 1/2 teaspoons of the reduction, so this recipe is enough for about 8 cocktails. 

You can keep any leftovers in the refrigerator for about a week. 

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month's theme is Everything Pomegranate -- from pomegranate juice to molasses to fresh arils straight from the fruit. Our host this month is Beth Lee who blogs at OMG! Yummy.

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 it's a virtual party. We choose a theme each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the deliciousness we've put together for our celebration inspired dishes!

A Pomegranate Party

  • The Sugarplum Cocktail - Karen's Kitchen Stories
Main Courses

The Sugar Plum Cocktail recipe variations: 

This cocktail can be served straight up in a chilled cocktail glass or on the rocks. You can also substitute vodka for the gin (but why?)

The Sugar Plum Cocktail

The Sugar Plum Cocktail
Yield: 1 cocktail
This Sugar Plum Cocktail with gin, grapefruit juice, and a pomegranate reduction is perfect for all of your upcoming festivities.


Pomegranate Reductions
  • (Makes enough for eight cocktails. Can be stored in the refrigerator up to one week.)
  • 1/4 C pomegranate juice (like Pom)
  • 1/4 C sugar
The Sugar Plum
  • (Makes one cocktail)
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp pomegranate reduction


How to cook The Sugar Plum Cocktail

Pomegranate Reduction
  1. Bring the ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the mixture thickens into a thin syrup. Cool before using.
Sugar Plum Cocktail
  1. Chill a martini glass in the freezer.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into an ice filled shaker and shake until thoroughly chilled. The shaker should be nice and icy on the outside.
  3. Strain the ingredients into the chilled glass.
pomegranate, grapefruit juice, gin
Created using The Recipes Generator

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oooh, this will be perfect for my December book club gathering!! What a yummy cocktail!

  2. This is a fantastic cocktail; I just might have to steal it for my Friday Cocktails...finding a great cocktail using gin is not easy!

    Beautiful too Karen!

  3. Can't decide between your cocktail and Liz' for Thanksgiving - might have to do both! Just lovely!

  4. I am going to have to make this at every single holiday celebration! Yummmmmm!

  5. I'm a gin drinker, so this one is calling my name Karen! And pomegranate is so special... I've been to the Long Beach Airport, but it's been 26 years, so I'm sure it's vastly different. Love this cocktail!

    1. The airport is still quaint but it's much improved!

  6. We've got a couple of holiday gatherings coming up and I want to serve some amazing cocktails. I think I just found one of them! Sounds looks SOOO good!

  7. This looks so wonderful for the holidays - festive, gorgeous and delicious. I love having a signature cocktail at parties along with wine and beer, and this is my next one!!

  8. This sounds delicious and refreshing. I'm not really a cocktail drinker, but this is tempting me.


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