Why It Works
- Fresh pomegranate juice gives the drink an intense pomegranate flavor and brightness.
- Harissa adds a savory spiciness that complements the pomegranate juice.
- A splash of aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas) adds a delicately foamy texture while keeping the drink vegan-friendly; egg white is a fine substitute if you don’t have chickpeas around.
This mezcal cocktail, created by Los Angeles bartender Gabriella Mlynarczyk, has a remarkably complex flavor without using any bitters, fancy syrups, or liqueurs. Instead, it calls for pantry ingredients, pairing the earthy agave spirit with tangy pomegranate, savory, warming harissa, and a touch of rose water for a delicate floral aroma.
Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail: More than 80 Recipes With Fresh Ingredients and a Single Spirit by Maggie Hoffman, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) mezcal
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) pomegranate juice (fresh preferred, see notes)
- 3/4 ounce (22ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce (22ml) 1:1 simple syrup (see note)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (3 to 5ml) harissa paste, either homemade or store-bought (such as DEA)
- 3/4 teaspoon (4ml) rose water
- Splash aquafaba or egg white (about 1 tablespoon) (see note)
- Pinch each pomegranate seeds, cracked pink peppercorns, and flaky salt (black, smoked, or Maldon), for garnish
Combine mezcal, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, harissa, rose water, and aquafaba in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice for 20 seconds to emulsify.
Add ice, reseal shaker, and shake until chilled and foamy, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.
Garnish with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds, cracked pink peppercorns, and flaky salt.
Citrus juicer, cocktail shaker, cocktail strainer
You can buy unsweetened, 100 percent pomegranate juice at many grocery stores, but the fresh stuff is easy and better: it's both brighter and more intense in flavor. It's also remarkably easy to get at—you can put chunky quarters or sixths of a whole pomegranate directly in your manual citrus squeezer and press the juice right out, no seed-gathering required. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. If you're getting aquafaba from a can, purchase low-sodium chickpeas.