Next up in our Solstice or Festival of Light drinks, a cocktail celebrating Yaldā. What is Yaldā, you ask? To the tape (or, Wikipedia, in this case!) ...
Shab-e Yalda ("Yalda night" Persian: شب یلدا) is an Iranian festival celebrated on the "longest and darkest night of the year," that is, in the night of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice. The longest and darkest night of the year is a time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafez) until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant. The red colour in these fruits symbolizes the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life.
Now, we're not really fans of watermelon. But who doesn't love drinks with pomegranate!?!
Note: no poetry was read during the creation of this cocktail. You can decide for yourself if that is a good thing or a bad thing.
The Yaldā Night Cocktail
- 1 part - Pomegranate Juice
- 2 parts - Brandy
- 1 part - Sea Buckthorn Liqueur from Okanagan Spirits
- 1/2 bar spoon - Pernod
Combine ingredients in shaker. Shake over ice. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds that Drew REALLY didn't want to dig out of the pomegranate but he did because he loves his sister. Have them immediately sink to the bottom of the glass so you can't see them (pro-tip: pomegranate seeds don't float). Feel secure in knowing that they are there, quietly imbuing the drink with their essence - much like Hafez imbues post-14th century Persian literature with the wisdom found in his poetry.
- We started off thinking about this as a pomegranate sour. That didn't work out as planned. We tried with Poire William as well as another pear brandy plus lime. No.
- Then we thought about a variant on a cosmo. So we tried the Sea Buckthorn (which has a tart note) and East Van Vodka (which is slightly floral). Not enough deep notes.
- So we went with a variant on a sidecar - putting in brandy as the main spirit. Kept the Sea Buckthorn. And added a 1/2 barspoon of Pernod as a slight nod to Persia's anise-flavoured arak liquor. This combo worked quite well. We think it would be very good with grilled meats (and now we're craving kebobs!).