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As I juiced my millionth pomegranate of the winter using the hand-cranked press that sits on our counter, it occurred to me: Who needs Campari when you’ve got fresh pomegranate juice? The fruit’s tannic, sweet-bitter taste stands in perfectly for the classic Italian aperitif, especially with a shake or two of bitters to steer the drink firmly out of the sugary column. Of course, a blood orange slice makes positively everything look gorgeous and calls to mind yet another element of Campari, orange peels.


6 ounces (¾ cup) pomegranate juice

2 ounces (¼ cup) sweet white vermouth or Lillet

2ounces (¼ cup) dry gin

Generous splash Angostura bitters

Blood orange or other orange wheels


In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, vigorously shake the pomegranate juice, vermouth, gin, and bitters. Pour into two ice-filled rocks glasses, add more bitters to taste, and garnish with orange wheels. The recipe can be multiplied (minus the ice) and stored in a pitcher for up to 1 week and can be freshened with more bitters as needed.

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