Introduction: Homemade Pomegranate Liqueur

Picture of Homemade Pomegranate Liqueur

Homemade pomegranate liqueur is surprisingly easy to make without any complex or out-of-the-ordinary tools and the results are both delicious and make perfect gifts for almost any occasion! All you need are a few simple ingredients, a few household kitchen utensils, and some time (it takes about a month and a half to properly age and cure).


Step 1: Tools, Utensils, Ingredients, Etc.

Picture of Tools, Utensils, Ingredients, Etc.

I went with the simplest utensils, using everyday kitchen implements instead of some specialty items. I always try to make things work with what I have, and this recipe is simple enough that nothing too technical is necessary.

Ingredients:
- Pomegranates (roughly six, depending on their size)
- peel of 1 lemon (I prefer meyers)
- cinnamon stick
- 3 cups vodka
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup water

Utensils:
- A large glass jar (I used a 3 litre jar)
- large plastic bowl
- paring knife
- vegetable peeler  (or knife)
- measuring cups (liquid and dry)
- metal strainer
- cheescloth
- saucepan
- small funnel
- glass bottles or storage containers for the final product

Notes on Utensils:
- Avoid plastic as much as possible when working with strong alcohol. Glass is always preferable.
- A food mill can be used for crushing pomegranate seeds, but certainly isn't necessary.Similarly, a tube siphon can be used to fill the bottles, but I find it just as easy to carefully use a measuring cup or ladle.

Notes on Ingredients:
- Pomegranate juice can be substituted if fresh pomegranates are unavailable, however Ive had better results using whole seed pods, as the seeds impart different characteristics to the liqueur and add more depth.
- I generally tend away from processed white sugar, however with this recipe - and most liqueurs - white sugar is the best way to go. unrefined, unprocessed sugars fail to yield as successful results.
- Other spices can be added as well, like cloves or star anise. My personal preference is to have more fruit flavored and less spiced liqueur (unless I go all out and make one heavily spiced). The spicing is up to you.

Step 2: Seeding the Pomegranates

Picture of Seeding the Pomegranates

There are several different ways to go about getting the seed pods out of pomegranates (some of which are even instructables!) but the water method has always been my preferred method.

- Cut the pomegranate in half (vertically as opposed to hemispherically)
- Fill a large bowl with water
- Turn the pomegranate half seed-side down and while holding the edges of the half, push on the center with your thumbs to basically turn the half inside-out. Sometimes it's not entirely successful and you need to pull apart the pods individually.
- By keeping the pomegranate under water, you minimize errant juice spraying when pods are incidentally broken (the stuff stains like crazy!) and the membrane, flesh, pith, etc. all float to the top, while the seeds fall to the bottom.
- One final rinse and agitation to free up any extra membrane and then you should have a glistening collection of seeds.

Step 3: Crushing the Pods and Extracting Juice

Picture of Crushing the Pods and Extracting Juice

There's no perfect way to accomplish this one, and I've tried, seen, and heard everything from a potato masher to a blender. A food mill is an option, but the seeds are hard to the point that it makes it difficult. Keep in mind that the purpose of this step is to crush the pods so the vodka can infuse through the pomegranates, and not necessarily to fully extract all of the juice. This is the method I prefer:

- Place a fine mesh metal strainer in a plastic or glass bowl.
- Put seed pods into the strainer
- Using a spoon (i personally find slotted works nicely), press the pomegranate seed pods down against the strainer to crush the pods and extract the juice.
- Continue working the pods around the strainer until all the pods are broken.
- Remember to reserve the seeds as well as the juice!

Step 4: Peeling the Lemon

Picture of Peeling the Lemon

Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, carefully peel the lemon. The goal is to avoid getting any of the pith (the white part) with the peel, as you want the oils in the peel. The pith will impart an unpleasant bitterness in the final product. If you peel off too much, you can always scrape off extra pith.

Step 5: Infusion: Part I

Picture of Infusion: Part I

Sterilize the large jar, either in boiling water or running through the dishwasher rinse cycle.

Add the pomegranate juice and seeds, the lemon peel, and the cinnamon stick.

Pour in the vodka, then wipe the rim of the jar to ensure it's clean and seal.

Store the jar in a cool and dark location, agitating the jar every day to ensure everything is properly infusing. A good, solid swirl is sufficient. I let this stage infuse for two to three weeks.

Step 6: Straining

Picture of Straining

After several weeks of infusing, it's time to strain the liquid.

Carefully strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth. It helps to moisten the cheesecloth first so the liquid permeates more smoothly.

Once you get to the point of straining out the pulp and rind, gently wring the cheesecloth to extract all of the liquid and juice (the fourth photo).

After straining, you can discard all of the rind, pulp and any spices.

Return the liquid to the jar.

Step 7: Making the Simple Syrup

Picture of Making the Simple Syrup

Gently heat the sugar and water to create a simple syrup. Only heat until the sugar is dissolved, taking caution to heat on medium-low so the sugar doesn't begin to burn or caramelize.

Give the syrup time to sufficiently cool.

Step 8: Infusion: Part II

Picture of Infusion: Part II

After the syrup has cooled, add it to the jar with the strained liquid.

Repeat the process, storing in a cool, dark and dry location, agitating every few days, and allow to age at least another three weeks, ideally 4 to 5 weeks.

Step 9: Bottling!

Picture of Bottling!

Sterilize the jars or containers you plan to bottle into, again either in a boiling water bath or in a sterilizing rinse of a dishwasher. Theoretically, the alcohol should help keep anything unhealthy at bay, but any time you're dealing with fresh fruit juice, it doesn't hurt to be safe. Also sterilize the funnel and whatever cups, spoons, etc. you plan to use to transfer the final product.

Carefully scoop the liquid out of the jar and transfer it into another glass cup. I use a liquid measure so it makes pouring easier. Use caution so you don't agitate any sediment at the bottom of the jar - it's unpleasant at best, and it's best to avoid bottling it. As I mentioned before, some prefer to use a siphon and rack the liquid, as in beer or winemaking, but I find it an unnecessary step and carefully scooping the liquid is just as efficient

Pour the liqueur into the bottles through the funnel, wipe the lid, and seal quickly. Wipe down the bottles to ensure they're clean, and now you're ready to serve, gift, etc.

Step 10: Serving Suggestions & Recipe Credits

Picture of Serving Suggestions & Recipe Credits

This liqueur makes an excellent gift! Labeling with serving suggestions is always nice.

Just a few simple serving suggestions:

This pomegranate iiqueur can be served straight up, chilled.

mix 1 to 1 with vodka (straight or flavored) for a simple pomegranate martini. A splash of fresh pomegranate (or cranberry) juice can add another level.

An ounce of pomegranate liqueur in champagne makes for a festive (and stunning) drink.


While I'd love to take complete credit for this recipe, i cobbled together this recipe after reading through various websites across the internet and a few different books. Most notably, however, is the book Luscious Liquors by A.J. Rathbun and Gunther Anderson's internet musings on Homemade Liquors.

Comments

NettyM made it! (author)2015-12-10

Made this with variations with Vodka, Rum and Brandy and Gin. Vodka great, Brandy amazing. may homegrown pomegranates were so sweet that I didn't add the sugar. Also put in bags of mulling spices for some. This is a no fail project. Thank you for posting.

jlink3 made it! (author)2014-12-30

I've made Pine-nut Liqueur before and thought I'd try this. The picture is before I added the sugar water, but I re-used the Absolut Vodka bottles (after sterilizing). Mine turned out delicious and a great little sipping desert. We frequently thought it would be great as a topping for cheese cake... maybe a little more sugar to make it more syrupy. :) Loved it! Thanks for posting.

JackFLaming (author)2014-12-26

I made it but cannot share images right now. The taste was a bit rough but it was overall satisfying and I won't mind trying it again for my New Year cocktail party.

http://www.newyear.quotesms.com/

JackFLaming (author)2014-12-26

I made it but cannot share images right now. The taste was a bit rough but it was overall satisfying and I won't mind trying it again for my New Year cocktail party.

http://www.newyear.quotesms.com/

JackFLaming (author)2014-12-26

I made it but cannot share images right now. The taste was a bit rough but it was overall satisfying and I won't mind trying it again for my New Year cocktail party.

http://www.newyear.quotesms.com/

JackFLaming (author)2014-12-26

I made it but cannot share images right now. The taste was a bit rough but it was overall satisfying and I won't mind trying it again for my New Year cocktail party.

http://www.newyear.quotesms.com/

JackFLaming (author)2014-12-26

I made it but cannot share images right now. The taste was a bit rough but it was overall satisfying and I won't mind trying it again for my New Year cocktail party.

http://www.newyear.quotesms.com/

alealeale made it! (author)2014-12-24

Very nice outcome indeed! Thank you for the instructable, although, i think i made it a bit sweeter than it was supposed to be but overall very good! :)

dollydlux (author)2012-11-01

Does the finished product need to stay refrigerated?

cookie kisses (author)2012-08-23

I made the liqueur with POM and tastes lovely, although it is a little more brown than red. I am bottling and giving as gifts and would like to put a few whole pomegranate pods into each bottle to add to the look. Should I worry that they will go bad or will the alcohol in the liqueur protect them? In addition, will they change the flavor too much or will they just look nice, since I am not crushing them in any way?

suayres (author)2012-06-22

I use unbleached coffee filters to strain liqueurs--you get a crystal-clear product (especially when you've used ground spices). Good instructable--pomegranate hadn't even occurred to me (says she, slapping her forehead!)--thanks! It wouldn't have occurred to me to crush the seeds, either, but it makes perfect sense. So. Again, thanks.

TheShabz (author)2012-01-09

The process has begun. The only change I made is that I used ground cinnamon as I'd like to keep the spice taste throughout. I'll report back in about 6 weeks and let yall know how it turned out.

Thanks for the recipe.

jacquiJB (author)2011-12-29

Coming very late to the party, but I wanted to mention that you'll have a clearer end product and much less in the way of sediment if you don't "wring" the solids after straining (step 6).

Sounds very tasty, though. :)

fpoorkazem (author)2011-12-09

isn,t it dangerous if the white part of the pomegranate seeds , i mean the little ones inside them remain in the alcohol? i mean the blindness danger or some thing? although cinnamon stick, isn't it kinda wood? is it ok?

Buckshott00 (author)2011-04-13

great instructable. Where can you those small swing top bottles for cheap?

paganwonder (author)Buckshott002011-12-04

Thrift store, yard sales, local homebrew store. (my cheap might differ from your cheap)

helghast356 (author)2011-01-31

Great instructable! Started a batch of this and it should be ready just in time for my 21st bday. I also chanced upon the exact same bottles used in this instructable at World Market for about 6 bucks a piece, if anyone is still searching.

jase78 (author)2011-01-17

you can buy pomegranits that have already been taken from the skin if your willing to pay the extra cash

rpjphs (author)2011-01-11

Where did you get the bottles pictured

djeucalyptus (author)rpjphs2011-01-11

as mentioned below, "These particular bottles used in this instructible are Bormioli Rocco 17oz swing-top glass flasks like these, available from The Container Store and various other retailers like Amazon."

spark master (author)2011-01-07

what is abv? I have never heard of that before.

thanks

puma b32 (author)spark master2011-01-08

"Alochol by volume" is the same as % or half the proof number.

80 proof = 40% or 40 a.b.v

spark master (author)puma b322011-01-10

AHA,

I never have seen the abbreviation, I understand the concept though. Proof was th epoint at which alcohol if exposed to a flame ignites. The booze had to PROVE it was strong enough! goes back to jolly old drunk England I believe. In history class at one point the taverns had a sign that read drunk for half a penny dead drunk for a penny. I believe that was in the 1600's and taverns were every block or so.

thanks

soljoe (author)2011-01-06

Great instructions. Where can i buy the bottles?

djeucalyptus (author)soljoe2011-01-06

I find bottles at various kitchen, storage, and homegoods shops. These particular bottles used in this instructible are Bormioli Rocco 17oz swing-top glass flasks like these, available from The Container Store and various other retailers like Amazon.

I personally prefer swing top hermetic seals to cork, as it keeps the liqueur fresher longer, resists damage from the alcohol itself, and makes for a more easily reusable container in the future.


thepelton (author)djeucalyptus2011-01-08

Bottles may also be purchased from www.sciplus.com

thepelton (author)2011-01-08

I read that the papery walls inside the seedpod are not harmful, and if ground up in a juice machine may acutally contribute to the healthful contents.

evilangelgirl (author)2011-01-06

very nice and clear instructions. I have made lots of these infused flavor liqueurs, and I agree with you that it's better to just eat the strawberries. It took literally two years for one of mine to mellow out enough to be drinkable. Lesson learned: choose quality over price. I also use corn sugar to make my simple syrup and give the liquid one last straining through a coffee filter in my funnel as I bottle it. Helps get rid of that last bit of sediment.

thanks! I'll have to give corn sugar a try the next time I make a batch.

I agree, a second filtration when bottling never hurts, especially if the liqueur has a good amount of sediment. I've done it a few times with single cup melitta coffee brewers and filters which works pretty nicely!

joaopeixe (author)2011-01-06

there is another way to take the pods from the white stuff. After you cut in half, put the cut half in your left hand and gently strike the oposite site with a spoon. You can use a napkin to avoid any errant juice. You will be amazed how easy it is.

djeucalyptus (author)joaopeixe2011-01-06

I've attempted the back of the spoon method several times after seeing it on television years ago (martha stewart, I think). I've had success once or twice, but the pomegranates that grow locally never seem to magically release like I'm told they should!

dacker (author)2011-01-06

Fresh pomegranates cost about $3 each where I live. Have you tried using bottled pomegranate juice such as POM? How many ounces/ml of juice do six pomegranates typically yield? Other than "cheating" a bit, can you think of any downsides?

djeucalyptus (author)dacker2011-01-06

I'd mentioned using juice at the bottom of step one... bottled works perfectly well, although the characteristics change slightly as the crushed seeds do impart some different flavor profiles to the liqueur.

As for volume, I usually get roughly 4 to 5 oz per pomegranate, so the total yield desired for this recipe is somewhere between 25 and 30 oz of juice.

ribatejoluso (author)2011-01-06

Great tut.
You can make liquor of pretty much any fruit.
This reminds me about my sys Ilda back in Portugal, who is an expert in liquors.

She uses pretty much all fruits that she can and some cereals too.
Some of those are delicious!!! others are good just for the fun,

ladybanksia99 (author)2011-01-06

I live in a area where pomegranates are plentiful, and have found that when juicing the seeds, it is easier to accomplish this when the seeds are warmed up a little. Soaking them in warm water softens them and releases the juices better. Similar to warming citrus before juicing.

PenfoldPlant (author)2011-01-06

A very well written Instructable for what sounds like a delicious drink. I'm going to have to add it to my "to make" list.

gouache (author)2011-01-05

looks good I will give it a try but what is the shelf life? how do you store the bottles? in the refrigerator or room tempreture?

thepelton (author)2011-01-04

I wish I was still living in that apartment in San Diego with a Pomegranate tree outside the front door.

jrossetti (author)2011-01-01

Would there be any advantage or disadvantage to letting it infuse or age for longer than the prescribed number of weeks?

Scurvymcdiggle (author)jrossetti2011-01-04

you wouldn't get much benefit from longer infusing there is only so much flavor in any one item. and it really goes pretty quickly. i did strawberry once and it was done extracting the flavor after 3 days....also don't make strawberry just eat them. its not worth it.

djeucalyptus (author)jrossetti2011-01-01

while I'm not a true expert, I've found that too little time yields a slightly harsher, less blended flavor, while a longer infusion produces a stronger, almost bitter flavor profile. The remaining sediment from the pomegranate continues to impart flavors and after a certain point, it starts to turn the liqueur bitter despite the addition of the simple syrup.

Boppo3 (author)2011-01-03

Will whiskey work too? I currently don't have any vodka and I have some whiskey :P

djeucalyptus (author)Boppo32011-01-03

whiskey and pomegranate would certainly be interesting!

Natasha Dee (author)2011-01-03

What is the shelf life of the finished product? I'm assuming you would keep it in the fridge.

djeucalyptus (author)Natasha Dee2011-01-03

The final product is roughly 18% abv, so it's relatively shelf stable for extended periods months, if not years. spoilage is highly unlikely due to the alcohol, so the only detriment of age would be a fading of flavors. refrigerated storage would extend the life of the flavors, but isn't absolutely necessary.

Catling (author)2011-01-03

How cool a place should you keep it in? Would a fridge or a cabinet be preferable?

djeucalyptus (author)Catling2011-01-03

The back of a cabinet away from a heat source would be sufficient. Fridge temperatures run the risk of slowing down the aging process. anywhere away from heat and bright light is fine.

CrLz (author)2011-01-02

Looks awesome, should have just enough time to make some for a Valentine's Day love potion!

scoochmaroo (author)2011-01-02

Please send to: Scoochmaroo, 82 Second Street, San Francisco. . . .

the walking stick (author)2011-01-01

I tend to add simple syrup in a ratio of 1 part syrup to 5 parts fruity vodka, and I love the idea of using pomegranates. I have not tried that fruit yet.

About This Instructable

135,921views

347favorites

License:

More by djeucalyptus:Refresh that old plastic cutting boardEasy Soda BreadHomemade Pomegranate Liqueur
Add instructable to: