The Red Carpet – A Pomegranate Cocktail and Mocktail for The Oscars

Several months ago my friend Paula from the blog Vanilla Bean Baker sent me a variety of periodicals that included ‘mocktails’ – a cocktail that is devoid of alcohol. I’ve been thinking of adding a selection of mocktails to The Friday Cocktail but until today I’ve sure not acted on it. When my friend Rachael from La FujiMama asked me to craft one for her readers; well this might be the start of something big! Many of the cocktails that I make can be reborn as a mocktail; it’s pretty easy when they have a gin or vodka base; re-creating something with bourbon or rum would be much harder so those I would shy away from. In the case of this pomegranate beauty, it was easy; I simply substituted a lemon flavored sparkling water when I made Rachael’s version instead of the Prosecco I used in mine.


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With the Oscars upon us, I was inspired to make something ‘Red Carpet’ ready. I’m so besotted with these two seasonal beauties; I just love pomegranates and the amazing oranges that are so perfect right now. I used Cara Cara oranges for this preparation today but would have loved blood oranges too; their juice is a bit sweeter and a nice compliment to the tangy pomegranate juice.

As I mentioned to Rachael’s readers, despite the fact that I get called the ‘booze queen’ by many, it might surprise some how little I actually imbibe. I’m a social drinker; so unless I have planned well and have friends stopping by, I often just taste the result of an effort but seldom actually drink a whole cocktail unless it’s in the evening. No drunk tweeting from me at 10am! More? I often substitute sparkling water when I’m making a cocktail for a photo shoot where I call for sparkling wine. Why? Well, one $10-12 bottle of sparkling wine just for a photo is a bit too pricey for me; besides the big benefit is that I can actually enjoy the results when I do a morning or afternoon shoot; like right now!


This ‘Red Carpet’ cocktail really was perfect. It was beautiful, refreshing to drink with that bit of bubbly and had the bonus ofย  something fun…pom arils. How I love those little beauties. Gorgeous. Sweet. Tart. Succulent. All wrapped up in one little gem. I think it is probably the perfect fruit! If you missed my post recently on how to clean one easily; do check it out. The fear of a huge mess keeps many away from this treasure; in this case all it takes is a bowl of cold water and a bit of time.

I knew pretty quickly the components I wanted to use and I knew how I wanted to use them. The problem is that the pomegranate arils and I were so not on the same page! I expected them to sink; they decided to swim. When I gave in and decided to just have them float? Some got tired and sank to the floor. Seriously. I did two photo shoots and was not happy with the results. I do not have time to do multiple shoots but I also could not imagine using photos that just didn’t represent what I had in my head…so third time it was; and it was a charm!


Finaly I had a moment of inspiration and clarity and went with it. Nestled among ice chips; they stayed put and my work was finally done. I loved this cold, crisp beverage with a surprise in every sip!

Do me and yourself a favor? If you don’t already know Rachael…please go visit her. She is, in my mind at least, the epitome of an enigma. La FujiMama. Japanese food specialist beyond compare. Every bit of her blue-eyed, blond Southern California girl self…she is amazing! Go NOW!

The Red Carpet โ€“ A Pomegranate Cocktail and Mocktail for The Oscars

Creative Culinary
A cold and refreshing cocktail that features pomegranate and orange with sparkling wine!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes


  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 3 Tbsp Grenadine I make my own; recipe at
  • 3 Tbsp Orange Simple Syrup Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup strained orange juice; heat just until sugar dissolves and then cool before using for recipe
  • Crushed Ice
  • Arils from 1 Pomegranate
  • Chilled Prosecco or any sparkling wine you prefer
  • Orange twists for garnish


  • Chill glasses in freezer.
  • Combine Pomegranate juice, Grenadine and Orange simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 10-12 seconds.
  • Fill cocktail glasses with crushed ice. Sprinkle a generous amount (approx 2 Tablespoons) of Pomegranate arils over ice and then fill glass 3/4 full with the juice mixture.
  • Finish by filling glasses with the sparkling wine and garnish top with an orange twist.


These glasses were HUGE so it's hard to judge the yield; this same amount could be enough for up to 4 smaller martini glasses.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Just for my readers; a special treat…here is what I guess we could call an ‘outtake’ from today…I just hated it! Too orange. Do you know I hate orange? It’s a Red Carpet; not an Orange Carpet!!


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  1. So beautiful! Cocktails are the perfect conversation starters; alcohol (in moderation of course) is a handy tool in wetting the tongue and loosening the lips of great dialogue. =)

  2. This is such an impressive looking drink Barb and so perfect for the Red Carpet for which you created it for. It really is a sexy and seductive looking mocktail. If there was an award for best writing and photograhy for a Cocktails, you are a sure bet to go home with it.

    P.S. Thanks for the mention, I appreciate that.

  3. Nice cocktail! It’s a good idea to do some mocktails- so many people don’t drink, or drink very little. Great job with the orange garnish! One of the best looking cocktail garnishes I’ve seen in a long time. On your “outtake” I think part of the problem is you’re picking up a lot of reflection on the glass, and that’s creating a slight color cast. Reflections are so tricky, aren’t they? Anyway, fun cocktail, fun post – thanks!

    1. I agree; I think I’ll probably do posts with suggestions for how to ‘mocktail’ it more often so everyone can use the recipe.

      I think the orange was more from my ratios. I simply had to include more of the pomegranate juice to get the richer color I wanted. But yes, wasn’t happy with reflections either. I find doing this so challenging which is probably why I like doing them but that one was just a ‘head bashing against wall’ shoot.

      I usually shoot in the evening with lights pointed away from the subject…this was earlier and harder because I could not control what everyone covets. Natural light. Go figure huh?

  4. B, what a beautiful cocktail for the Oscars! You always do such a swell job with mixology. Love the photography as well as the ‘outtake’…because it is a beautiful composition despite being overly orange. You are too funny…but, now the ‘mystique’ about you has vanished with your taking off the mask. Kind of like KISS, the band, coming out without their make-up. LOL! You’re just like me…enjoy the concocting and tasting. But, have to watch my sugar intake so I am careful as well. Thanks again for another great cocktail…and, this time, mocktail! The pregnant ladies thank you. xo

    1. There was a mystique about me? Probably not! Cocktails aren’t like cookies you can make and enjoy anytime. I might enjoy the cocktail I decide to post but I would be hard pressed to use the exact ingredients when I recreate it for a photo. Well, not hard pressed but I guess I’m too frugal to open a new bottle just for a photo…you can’t blame me for that right? I actually did open a bottle for the ones I now call ‘outtakes’ and that was a trip. I had to keep sipping through a straw to remove liquid so I could try to get another shot of fizzing. Dangerous territory when I couldn’t get it just right!

  5. I can picture you taking such care to get exactly the shot you wanted for this post– that is what I enjoy about your writing and photos, that you fully invest yourself in what you are doing and won’t just throw any old thing online just to get a post done. Now, saying that, I think your out-take is wonderful too, so maybe you are being too hard on yourself? The drink is gorgeous, red carpet ready for sure!!

    1. You might be right…but some things will never change! Thanks too; you are so sweet! Practicing your jig? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is a truly beautiful cocktail and worthy of the red carpet, Barb! Prosecco-based cocktails are my favorite, and adding pomegranate juice and pretty arils is lovely. And your outtake photo is still quite elegant, orange-y hue and all! Cheers!

    1. Thanks so much Hannah…I can be a bit hard on myself sometimes I guess…but the orangish hue made it impossible for me to like. I mean I just really hate it; not sure why…I can handle peach though!

  7. This sounds great, I just love the pomegranate floating in the drink! Its such a beautiful colour (in both pictures!) I actually love the thought of you drinking your cocktails in the morning!

    1. I made a real margarita once and drank it…I mean I figured it was juice and all right? Yes, I was a little giddy for a bit!

  8. I love the “outtake”!! But definitely understand your feelings… I hate it when a photo doesn’t match the one in my head! Such a wonderful and classic combination – think I may have to make some of these “mocktails” this weekend!!

    1. That was it exactly…I am SO a cool color person so the burgundy red hues work but if they head to orange? I don’t see red at all and that’s how that pic hit me. It wasn’t the worst but not at all what I wanted. Boy we have come a long way from those first pics when any old thing would do from my point and shoot huh? I wonder sometimes if being more fussy is always good…this was a 4 hour shoot!

  9. You are way too sweet!! I will be making the mocktail this weekend…I was so excited to share it with my readers. It’s so beautiful! And I have to say, I actually LOVE the outtake. Even though it’s orange, it’s stunning!

  10. Both of these are so pretty Barb. I think you should perpetuate the myth that maybe, just maybe you drink all of these cocktails instead of dispelling it. That way we can all live a sophisticated life of exotic cocktails and delicious foods through you without consuming the calories that come along with it.

    1. You’re right…so forget what I said. I lie around in silk pj’s with a cocktail in hand all day long while my servants serve me those delicious food! Yeah, I like that better too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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