**If you just want the recipe then scroll down a bit. This is a blog, after all, and so it includes my musings.**
So, I have this group of mamas that has started getting together semi-regularly. We call it “the Mama Speakeasy”. The first time we had it, I put a sign on my front door that looked like this:
Which was funny and made us feel like we were doing something sneaky and fun. And we were. Ironically, the day of the party this sign did not deter the AT&T guy from accosting J (again! Dear AT&T: PLEASE LEAVE US ALONE. WE DO NOT WANT U-VERSE. Coming to our house several times a week in the summer and sending us things in the mail is not convincing. Furthermore, trying to engage us in long and fruitless conversation with the door open when it’s well below freezing doesn’t help your case.)
But for this month’s Mama Speakeasy, and moving forward, I wanted to find something that reflected what I was trying to accomplish a little more accurately, while still preserving my nerd cred. So we landed here:
I want people to be able to speak freely and in safety about their lives in an environment that is nonjudgmental and encouraging. And sometimes involves martinis. (In case you are nerdy too and wondering, I did not actually make people say “mellon” before they could come into my house. I’m not THAT bad.)
Anyhow, in the quest for crunchy or “real food” drink options, a friend and I were looking for grenadine because pink drinks are fun. And the first one I found had these types of ingredients:
Ingredients: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVE), RED 40, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, BLUE 1
Um, no thank you.
We did manage to find one that seemed to contain food, but when I looked at the ingredients I realized it was basically pomegranate simple syrup. Since we were planning for a fancy party, I already had pomegranate juice at home, so I decided to try to figure it out myself. It has to boil down for a while, but there’s very little (read: about 30 seconds) actual work involved in this and it makes an impressive party addition because it’s one of those things not everyone might think to make from scratch.
2 cups of pomegranate juice
1/4-1/2 cup of real maple syrup
a little splash of lemon juice
Combine pomegranate juice and maple syrup in a wide sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce, stirring periodically, until it reaches your preferred intensity of flavor. If it’s too sweet, add a little juice (pomegranate juice is tart!). If it’s too tart, add some more maple syrup. When you are happy with it (mine reduced over low heat for about an hour), remove from heat, pour into a cute bottle if you have one (or whatever container you have), cover, and use or refrigerate.
You could also make this with regular sugar, or honey, or another natural sweetener. But my maple syrup version was really good. Just saying.
This weekend my kids and I talked about Shirley Temple Black and drank homemade shirley temples. Good times.