ADVENT CALENDAR: PERSEPHONE

For Day Fifteen of the cocktail advent calendar, I created "Persephone." As a kid, my aunt would often give me books on Greek and Norse mythology for Christmas. This drink is named after the Greek goddess whose tragedy provided an explanation for why fall and winter occur. Persephone was a goddess of nature and her mother Demeter was a goddess of cultivation and harvest. Persephone was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, and her disappearance caused Demeter to mourn. In her sorrow the earth was barren. Eventually, Zeus, king of the gods, forced Hades to free Persephone, but since she had eaten some pomegranate seeds, she had to return to the underworld every year. So, every year, Demeter misses her daughter and turns the climate dark and cold until Persephone is freed again and she rejoices, bringing spring. I featured homemade grenadine (made from pomegranate juice) and Greek tsikoudia (a grape brandy) purchased during my trip to Crete. One of Persephone's symbols was the torch, and while the bright color of the drink played into that, I also made a garnish shaped like it.

For the drink:

-2 oz tsikoudia/raki soaked 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger for 20 minutes (You can substitute vodka)

-3/4 oz grenadine

-3/4 oz grapefruit

-1/4 oz lemon

-5 mint leaves

-4 Greek oregano leaves


Garnish:

Grapefruit peel


Glassware:

Nick and Nora


Add the Greek oregano, mint leaves, and grenadine to a cocktail shaker. Muddle for about five seconds. Combine the remaining ingredients in the shaker and fill three-quarters with ice. Shake 5-10 seconds until chilled. Pour through a Hawthorne and fine mesh strainer. Garnish.


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