Welcome to Nifty, Gifty Holidays, our guide for all the little, magical ways we make the season sparkle. Today, we’re getting ready to ring in the New Year with a simple but special cocktail.
If you're like me, you prefer to stay in on New Year's Eve. In New York City especially, pricey restaurant menus and crowded bars are far less appealing than house parties or cozy get-togethers at home. But not going out can sometimes feel not really special. Over the years, I've landed on a few reliable ways to make any casual gathering (even just for two) still feel fun and celebratory. Really good snacks is one way—think deviled eggs, pigs in blankets, cheesy dips—but you probably could've guessed that. Games is another (a few faves: Catch Phrase, Joking Hazard, Codenames, Five Crowns, and charades, of course.) And a fancy drink is the last. Wine, beer, and straight liquor are solid bar standbys, but having a punch or a signature cocktail is a nice way to make any evening feel a little out of the ordinary. My go-to is usually a punch—it's large format, so there's very little to do after you make it, and an ice ring always impresses. But this year I'm going with something different—and you only need one ingredient to make it.
After seeing director of partner content Cory Baldwin's brilliant boiled apple cider number back in October, it made me wonder if there was a way to create something similar for winter (not that boiled apple cider and whiskey wouldn't work for winter too). Which got me to this beautiful, jammy pomegranate syrup.
Kind of like grenadine but not, this "recipe" isn't much of a recipe at all—it's just pomegranate juice. There's no citrus peel or spices or added sugar. You just boil the juice down, down, down until it's syrupy and go from there. It's sweet and it's tart and it would probably go just as well in a vinaigrette as it would in a cocktail.
This New Year's Eve I'll mix it with some Prosecco for a "Pom Fizz," but I plan on keeping a jar of it in the fridge to shake up with bourbon or vodka, or to stir into some seltzer with a squeeze of lime.