Pomegranate Skin Infusions
Pomegranates are fruit-bearing shrubs that contain many seeds that hold a vibrant red and juicy flesh that is very tasty, flavorful with a bit of tartness to it. Perfect for making grenadine syrup!
Most good bartenders know how to make this fresh syrup the traditional way, and by traditional, I mean making it straight from the fruit without having to buy the juice separately.
The process is long but well worth it, especially when compared to the terrible artificial grenadine syrups that are on the market.
Making grenadine syrup starts with opening up the fruit and extracting all of the seeds. They subsequently get crushed to release their juice and mixed with sugar and a few other spices to create a syrup that goes in many classic cocktails.
What you will be left with are the piths and skins, which usually get thrown out.
When you think about it, using pomegranates for just their seeds and juice is a total waste. Most of the pomegranate fruit IS made up of the skins and pith, and hardly contains much flesh and juice at all!
You'll be doing yourself a great favor at home and behind the bar by upcycling the leftovers of this fruit.
So the next time you use up the seeds, save the skins for the following recipe!
Vibrant red and with a distinct smell. Pomegranate skin is very healthy for you!
Most people use it on their own skin while other companies produce powder out of it for the purpose of creating teas or supplements.
The skin IS EDIBLE, but in its raw form is not pleasant to eat.
Apart from the fact that pomegranate skin is healthy for you, it also contains a bit of flavor within it!
When infused and tasted, you'll note some tannic fruitiness with a bit of an astringent aftertaste.
It will also bleed out some of its red colors, turning your infusion pink/red.
The recipe is very simple and requires hardly any ingredients. Follow the recipe below to learn how to make it.
Remove Skins & Dry
Ingredients you'll need:
Vodka (Gin works well also)
Pot of Water
Oven or Dehydrator
Fine Mesh Strainer
The best thing to do before opening up a pomegranate is to remove all the peels from it.
Remember to always buy organic when using the outer part of any fruit!
Once washed, peel all the skin off using a peeler. If there is any pith attached to it, remove it with a sharp paring knife.
You do not want the piths for this recipe as they are very bitter when infused.
Stick them in your dehydrator or oven for just 30min at 100°C with the fan on.
You don't want to dry them out completely. Just enough so that they are slightly darker in color and still bendable without cracking easily.
If they crack in your hand you've dehydrated them for too long...
The purpose of dehydrating serves more as a way to intensify the color and flavor of the skin.
Intensifying it will help the infusion in terms of color and flavor.
Infuse & Sous Vide
Once you remove your peels from the dehydrator, it's important to quickly pour in the chosen spirit.
Remember to use a clear spirit like Vodka or Gin.
For every 1g of Pomegranate Skin, infuse 30ml of Vodka.
In my recipe, I used 5g with 150ml.
Close the jar and prepare a hot bath of water on your stovetop. Heat your water in a pot to just below simmering. Using a thermometer, make sure that the temperature is around 65 to 70°C.
Once the temperature stays at that margin, place your infusion into the bath making sure that the water arrives just beneath the seal of the lid.
Frequently measure your water and make sure that the temperature always remains in the margin listed above.
Leave this infusion to Sous Vide for 90 minutes or less.
Once you've finished, remove the jar and let it cool off without opening it up.
Once cooled, filter the infusion using a fine mesh strainer to retrieve the liquid.
You'll notice your infusion has turned a dark pink/light red color. If you smell and taste it, you'll notice that it has a nice floral and fruity aroma. The aftertaste is a bit astringent but will balance out well with any kind of sweetness.
If it tastes too bitter it means that you infused too much of the pith in it.
SIDE NOTE: You can of course turn this infusion into a liqueur. Simply mix roughly equal parts of simple syrup with the infusion.
The final result will be a very light pomegranate liqueur which can be used for sweetening and adding flavor to drinks!
Using Your Infusion for Cocktails
Whether you infused the peels with Gin or Vodka, you chose right.
This infusion will work excellently with the simplest of drinks, like a Gin Tonic or Vodka Soda.
You can make something more interesting like a Negroni (infused gin) or a Salty Dog (infused vodka).
Cosmopolitan recipe coming soon...