12 Drinks of Christmas: The Pinkston
For the third drink of Christmas, my true love served to me … the Pinkston. It’s our third of 12 drink ideas to make your holiday parties and quiet nights by the fire merry and bright.
The Pinkston is our very slight variation on an old, but little known and–to our minds inexplicably–much disdained classic, the Pink Lady. While it would be perfectly enjoyable anytime, we think of the Pinkston as a seasonally appropriate drink because of the prominence of grenadine among its ingredients. You may or may not know that grenadine is pomegranate syrup (you definitely do know if you speak French, since apparently grenade is French for pomegranate).
Does the pomegranate have Christmas associations for you? It does for both of us, although neither of us could clearly articulate why. I did some poking around, and it seems that pomegranates are a holiday symbol in Greece and maybe the Eastern Mediterranean more broadly, though I didn’t get a clear idea of what it symbolizes. I also discovered that pomegranates make frequent appearances in Renaissance Madonna and Child paintings.
Since I’m not Greek, but I have seen a Madonna and Child or two in my time (particularly at this time of year), maybe this is where I get my connection of pomegranates and Christmas.
In any case, the deep red of Grenadine goes well with Christmas decorations. And the frothy pinkness of this drink as a whole conjures up visions of sugar plums. And this is one of those drinks that hits the sweet spot for us for holiday hosting. Its pretty presentation and easygoing flavors make it popular with people who might otherwise steer away from cocktails, but it’s spirited enough and unfamiliar enough to keep gin lovers interested as well.
- 1.5 oz gin (a basic mixing gin like Gordon’s is sufficient)
- .5 oz pear liqueur (if you use Applejack instead, it’s a Pink Lady)
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz of grenadine
- 1 egg white
Grenadine: You might be most familiar with Rose’s artificially bright red grenadine. The color may or may not be a problem. However, Rose’s clearly contains large amounts of high fructose corn syrup, and it’s unclear whether it contains any pomegranate at all. We think it’s worth springing for a more authentic, pomegranate-containing grenadine like Stirrings’ Authentic Grenadine or True Grenadine.
Egg whites: It can seem weird to some to throw an egg white in your cocktail. Trust us, it’s delicious. Just think of it simply as another ingredient and don’t dwell on its egg-ness.
Parties: The egg white is an essential part of this drink so don’t nix it. That said, egg whites do make it hard to turn this drink into a party pitcher. You can however mix batches of 3-4 at a time. We recommend buying a carton of egg whites. It’s cleaner and faster.
- add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice and shake to foam the egg white;
- add ice and shake again to chill;
- strain into a cocktail glass.