Tom Garvin, the beverage director at Tribeca's Kitchen, calls this cocktail “one of my favorite grenadine drinks I’ve ever made.”
A fan of the fruity cocktail sweetener, Garvin finds it burdened with misconceptions. “Instead of a rich, enhancing pomegranate-based syrup, people think of grenadine as the leftover juice at the bottom of a jar of cherries,” he says. While the syrup is undeniably sweet, “so are most syrups and cordials that we use in cocktails all of the time,” he says. “It’s our job as bartenders to find the right amount of acidity to balance the drink, whether it’s with citrus or an alternative acid.”
Garvin’s drink, using a combination of lemon juice and bright passion fruit puree, certainly provides that balance. “It’s a riff on a forgotten classic called Harry’s Pick Me Up, with a little more of a tropical feel,” he says. The recipe that provided his inspiration appears in the 1927 cocktail book “Barflies & Cocktails” by Harry McElhone and calls for shaking grenadine, brandy and lemon juice together, then topping it with Champagne.
It’s crucial to use a good homemade grenadine in the drink, and Garvin’s recipe differs from a more often-used version in its simplicity, omitting the orange flower water. “I’m pretty traditional,” he says. “It’s more important to make something classic really well than to add a bunch of different flavors to muddy something that’s already tasty.”
- 1 ounce D’ussé VSOP cognac
- 1/2 ounce Amaro Montenegro
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce passion fruit puree
- 3/4 ounce grenadine*
- 3 dashes orange bitters
- Champagne, chilled, to top
- Garnish: lemon wheel
Add the cognac, amaro, lemon juice, passion fruit puree, grenadine and orange bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Top with Champagne.
Garnish with a lemon wheel.
*Grenadine: Add 2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, 2 cups granulated sugar and peels and juice from 2 lemons into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool, then strain out and discard solids. Chill mixture before using. Will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 month.