Pomegranate Molasses

Years ago, a friend introduced me to pomegranate molasses. It was in a little bottle that looked like a cousin to soy and Worcestershire sauce, but held a delightfully tangy sweetness within. We splashed a bit on bowls of beef stew before digging in and later added a bit to a fall cocktail. Not only was this magic delicious ... it was versatile. But when I found a tiny bottle with a $15 price tag, I decided it might just need to wait. And then I discovered it's very simple to make and can be produced at home for much less than buying a bottle from the market.

Just three ingredients are needed to make this fantastic fantasy condiment and enough patience to reduce them to a thick syrup. Then you've got an ingredient that's perfect for adding a bit of tangy sweetness to just about anything. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is in the company of a creamy goat cheese or brie. Splashed in a cocktail or even a bit of seltzer gives beverages a little color and flavor. Drizzling it over everything from fried rice to roasted pork to the aforementioned stew also renders meals just a bit more special.

And, in this season of giving, putting some of this ruby elixir into a small glass jar and affixing a label with suggested uses (and, if you're especially generous, the recipe) can make the perfect hostess or teacher gift for the aspiring chefs in your life.

Pomegranate Molasses

  • 4 cups ( 1 liter/ 33.8 ounces) pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a medium non-reactive pan with a whisk. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer in the pan until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Cool completely and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

  • Yields: 1 cup
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes