A post on a forum this morning gave me today’s subject. Someone posted a recipe for pomegranate cordial which sounds so yummy, I’m going to have to make a trip to the liquor and grocery stores and give it a try (I’ll share later on).
Pomegranate Punica granatum has long been known for its healthful benefits. Mention of it goes back to the Homeric Hymns and the Bible book of Exodus. Even further back, it’s been found in the Ebers Papyrus. Lately, Pomegranate has been getting a lot of attention for its antioxidant benefits. You know antioxidants: they help keep arteries clean, benefiting the cardiovascular system which in turn may help with diseases like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and a host of others.
Scientists are now studying Pomegranate for its potential to aid in weight loss. Anything that takes that long to eat would probably help. Seriously: they think it might contain beneficial compounds.
While scientists are ‘just discovering’ the benefits of this fruit, use of it for sore throats (as a gargle), and to relieve flatulence goes back centuries.
Many people balk at the thought of eating a Pomegranate. I’ll admit, it’s a pain. Rather than separate the seeds from the fruit, I eat the seeds, too. They’re small enough not to bother with. They’re a demulcent and the fruit is a refrigerant, making the combination nice when you’ve got fever with lung congestion. The seeds were used in ancient times to expel intestinal worms.
However, just one taste of the rind was enough to convince me that wasn’t the most flavorful part. No wonder: it contains tannic acid and some alkaloids, making it quite bitter. Under proper supervision, the rind can be used medicinally for diarrhea and dysentery. (In other words, don’t try this at home.)
Pomegranate shines on the magical level, as well. Perhaps because of the myriad seeds/fruit, it’s used as a plant of ‘increase’, as in fertility and prosperity spells. Since pomegranates are usually only available in the northern hemisphere from about December to March, a good substitute in off-months is grenadine, which is made from pomegranate juice. (I’ll bet you Tequila Sunrise drinkers never thought of this!)
Because the juice is red, it can be used as magical ink, too, although it comes out a little light on the page.
Now, for the Pomegranate Cordial recipe (thanks, sweetie, and you know who you are):
3 cups pomegranate fruit/seeds (about 5 whole ones)
4 cups 80-proof brandy
1-1/8 cups sugar
Remove the seeds/fruit from the rind, and remove all the white membrane. Macerate (crush) to release the juice. Put the whole mess into a container you can make airtight. Add the sugar, stirring until you get a syrup-like consistency. Add the brandy. Tightly cover. Shake hard, once a day for 7 days. Strain (use a coffee filter as a final strain to get all the dregs), bottle and enjoy!
My friend likes his cordials sweeter so uses 2-1/8 cups sugar. I don’t like stuff quite so sweet and will stick with the lesser amount. I’ll let you know how it comes out.