A new craft beer cocktail for you today! This is what I am talking about – bourbon pale ale cocktail with fresh pomegranate juice and seeds and a hint of rosemary by way of rosemary ice cubes. Totally festive and totally in line with the most celebrated imagery of the season.
I am very glad that my homemade ice cubes freeze with lots and lots of air inside. They are not ice cubes that will last a long time before melting into the drink but visually – a total winner. The resulting white backdrop (from the air) looks really good against the green of the rosemary, doesn’t it? And the red color from the pomegranate juice.
Believe it or not (better to believe it for I speak the truth) the entire cocktail is built around the pale ale. All the ingredients were chosen to complement it. Yet, it is easy to replicate as no single ingredient is out of reach and there aren’t any complicated bitters and liqueurs involved. The hops in the pale ale do the heavy lifting.
Let me introduce Doggie Style Pale Ale brewed by Flying Dog Brewery in Fredrick, Maryland. The brew of choice in this bourbon pale ale cocktail.
As you may know, pale ale is Chris’ favorite style. I like them well enough as long as they are well balanced and not overly hoppy, and the hops are not way too extreme. By not too extreme I mean not too perfumey or too piney (or worse cheap piney perfume like) as some American hop varieties can be, especially if used too liberally. Who wants to be haunted by the feeling that they are drinking liquefied and carbonated potpourri??
Founded in 1990 Flying Dog Brewery is quite old by American standards and has its origins in Aspen, CO. Theirs is a true story of adventure, which involves summiting the deadly second highest mountain in the world K2 and they brew a legendary line up of year round and seasonal brews.
Their Doggie Style pale ale is low in bitterness (IBU 35) and is brewed with Caramel malt which gives it a gorgeous bourbon like color and faint sweetish toast bite. It has a beautifully balanced mix of herbal and floral aromas which is a safe distance away from being perceived as perfumey. An excellent American style pale ale. Chris really likes it (I put some in his craft beer advent calendar this year) and he is also a fan of bourbon and the elegant tartness of pomegranates.
When choosing a beer of your own to mix this bourbon pale ale cocktail stick with the American pale ale style. From there select your favorite bourbon and either use a fresh pomegranate or pomegranate juice ( I love that POM brand even though I rarely buy it, but when I do…:). If you have fresh rosemary handy do make a few ice cubes with it – as the ice melts in the glass the rosemary aromas are released and join those of the pale ale hops.
The bourbon fortifies the pale ale (they are traditionally in the 4.5%-6% range) and boosts the caramel flavor presence. Then the tart and sweet layers of the pomegranate get involved.
Check out our Craft Beer Cocktails page for more cocktail ideas with craft beer.
To squeeze the juice from a fresh pomegranate you first need to make sure it is ripe – it needs to feel heavy in your hand (i.e. lots of juice), with a slightly angular shape and have a nicely developed, dark red color. After you cut a small portion off the top and gently split it open, carefully remove the seeds and place them in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Press over them with the back side of a spoon to release the juice while the seeds and any skin are trapped.
Keep some of the seeds (clean out the skins thoroughly) and reserve them to place at the bottom of the cocktail glass. Once you drink the bourbon pale ale cocktail grab a small spoon and enjoy the now bourbon awesomeness infused pomegranate seeds as a snack…or maybe dessert?
Bourbon, Pale Ale Cocktail with Pomegranate
American pale ale fortified with bourbon and infused with the elegant tartness of fresh pomegranate juice. With rosemary ice cubes.
- 12 oz American pale ale
- 3 oz ounces bourbon
- 1 pomegranate fruit
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary to make rosemary ice cubes + ice cube tray
- In advance prepare the rosemary ice cubes by placing a few rosemary leaves in each cube of an ice form and fill with water.
- Split open the pomegranate and carefully scoop out two thirds of the seeds and place them into a fine mesh strainer placed over a small bowl.
- With the back of a spoon press the seeds to release the juices.
- Fill two glasses with the reserved pomegranate seeds (equally divided).
- Equally divide the resulting pomegranate juice and pour over two glasses filled with 4-5 rosemary ice cubes.
- Measure out 1.5 oz of bourbon to each glass and pour over the ice cubes.
- Pour 6 oz of pale ale into each glass and stir.
I have a new favorite holiday cocktail! The pale ale and bourbon were lovely together, and those rosemary ice cubes added such an elegant touch. Already looking forward to making this again over the holidays!
Such a pretty and festive drink idea. Using herbs in a ice cube for a sweet drink is wonderful. Every single week you show me something new. Love following along with all your different flavours.
Amber Harrop says
I love pomegranate in a drink so I would try this
I love the idea of adding the rosemary to the ice cubes. Such a fun idea! And we love pomegranate around here. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Such a beautiful and festive cocktail! Cheers 🙂
[email protected] says
The rosemary ice cubes make me happy(!) and this tasty cocktail is everything I want in a holiday drink – making me all the merrier! You have nailed it, my friends!
Cheers, Annie! To the holidays!
Cheers Mary! Gosh, the leftover rosemary ice cubes…They make plain water so fragrant:)
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Rosemary ice cubes? Genius!!! This cocktail looks super festive! Never would have thought to pair those flavours together, but I know I have to try it. Hubby really enjoys bourbon and I’m liking it now too. I happen to have pomegranate in our fridge now too from a recent Costco trip so I see this one happening soon. P.S. this is totally acceptable as a dessert! Love it! Pinned 🙂
Thank you Dawn! I hear about bourbon, it is growing on me in cocktails..yet to learn to drink it straight, but do enjoy the smell of it more and more.
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
This cocktail is totally putting me in the holiday spirit. Your ice cubes are GORGEOUS against the red of the cocktail :). I’m imagining myself drinking one of these and watching it snow and I can’t imagine a better way to spend a December afternoon. Hope you’re having a great weekend!
Whenever you feel like watching the snow you are always welcome in Colorado Kelsie!