tis the season for blood oranges and pomegranates. not much foraging going on in january but the grocery stores are full of fresh produce that can be turned into lovely nourishing recipes. the base for this beverage is a blood orange and pomegranate simple syrup.
this syrup can be used any way you would typically use syrup. i like to use herbal syrups as a base for wild drink concoctions. the ingredients can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
i recently purchased a case of pomegranates and at costco they have little boxes of organic ginger. i couldn't pass them up. i seem to be drawn to ginger lately so i have just been rolling with it. ginger is anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant which means it fights free radicals in the body. something i feel we all need in our current state of affairs. we as humans haven't lived in such a chemical-filled society before and it's taking its toll on our health and well-being.
i don't know where to begin with pomegranates......maybe just fruit of the goddess. i love seasonal eating. mingling and staying awhile with certain foods then moving on just to come back and revisit them a year later. i also feel like winter is a good time to eat lots of pomegranates they improve gut health and aid in digestion.
fresh thyme also went into this syrup. thyme is such a happy little plant friend. thyme and humans have a long history together. thyme was mentioned as an antiseptic is our earliest records, some 3,000 years ago. thyme was also used during the embalming process in ancient egypt. so i guess we can call her an old friend. feel free to substitute any fresh herb or omit if you don't have any around.
i've been into the citrus lately and blood oranges are my go-to. they are full of antioxidants and nutrients. super tasty too.
after getting the pomegranate fruit out of the peel i blended the fruity seeds up in my nutribullet.
9 blood oranges juiced
3 oz fresh ginger ~ about three medium thumbs
3 or 4 pomegranates depending on the size
few sprigs of fresh thyme
2-3 quarts water ~ depends on how thick or thin you like your syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar (a little less if using less water)
place all ingredients except sugar in a saucepan and bring to a low boil and simmer a while. there aren't really any rules around this, the longer it cooks the less liquid there will be. i usually "cook down" for around an hour. after it has almost cooked down i add the sugar and lightly simmer for another 5-10 minutes. cover and let cool.
after it has cooled completely strain and bottle. i store in the fridge. if you want a fancy garnish for this mocktail dried blood oranges are nice and they hold up well in the beverage.
i place sliced oranges on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and cook in the oven on the lowest setting. that was 170 but i think some ovens only go down to 200. so somewhere in there and be sure to check them after a half hour to 45 minutes to make sure they aren't burning. i usually flip them over after an hour in the oven. total time in the oven is somewhere around two hours. then i do leave them out on a plate or dry rack for a few days just to make sure they are dry. or you can leave them in a jar with the lid off. i have had them mold if put in a bag too quickly.
i start with around 1/4 cup of syrup in the bottom of the glass, then i added two dropperfuls of thyme oxymel. something i had in hand, if you don't have any oxymels lying around simply omit this step. what to learn more about oxymels? here is a link to another post about them simplyjosephine.com/post/plum-blossom-oxymel
if you take any herbal extracts or tinctures this is a good time to add a dropperful or two. i have really been into elderflower lately so i added a dropper full of that.
next, i top with sparkling water. i have a soda stream and i love it. they are worth the investment if you like the sparkle. you also get to control the sparkle. sometimes canned sparkling water can be too carbonated for me. plus you can order the small co2 tanks and return the used ones. i ordered mine right from https://sodastream.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIs-zYpvbn_AIVlAh9Ch0gbA9MEAAYASAAEgIB2_D_BwE
then i give a little stir and garnish with fresh thyme and a dried orange. so good. this is a great way to celebrate during dry january or maybe you are rolling into february alcohol-free. no matter what you are doing the evidence is clear......we need more alcohol-free days. cheers ✨
thank you for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. my name is dacia and i am the woman behind simply josephine. please share this herbal drink recipe with a friend.