Sparkling Pomegranate Cider Punch.

And it’s a mocktail!

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Maybe it’s even my last mocktail of the year? Eeeep, I don’t know. I’m waiting! But let’s see. This sparkling pomegranate punch is SO good. You won’t even care (or maybe know!) that it’s booze free. It tastes fantastic and is the epitome of FALL.

Without being basic. Right?

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MY OTHER RECIPES

This recipe is a spin on the cranberry cider punch that I first shared a few years ago when I was pregnant with Max. It was actually the drink at my baby shower, one they made that was so, so pretty and full of burst cranberries. It also tasted amazing – so amazing in fact that even though I’ve been able to consume alcohol the last two years, I have made that punch for parties because it’s such a hit. SO delish.

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I only have one gripe about it. And that’s…. that it is made with cranberry juice. Which I don’t OMG 100% love. I do like it more than I used to. For years, I refused to drink it at all. I’ve already made about four holiday cocktails with cranberries so perhaps I should bite my tongue. But I knew… just knew… that this punch would be ideal with pomegranate juice.

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All hail pomegranate season! I live for apple season and fully partake in pumpkin season, but pomegranate season is one that I ADORE. First, I love the tart taste. I love the juice in a spritzer and I love the arils in yogurt or on cereal. I used to sit with half a pomegranate in a bowl and take the seeds out one by one and eat them. But that was before Max was born annnnnnd I totally don’t have time for that now.

However, I still love the flavor. And buy them packaged, of course. #millennial

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Finally, why I really love pomegranate season?

UM, the color! It’s so gorgeous. I based my entire Thanksgiving table that I’ll show you soon around the pomegranate color. I’ve made a few other pomegranate drinks for us to enjoy over the next few weeks. It’s so pretty! Like the perfect autumn jewel tone. Oh hiiiii color lovers.

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So, one of the other awesome parts of this punch is the autumn simple syrup! That’s something that came directly from the cranberry cider punch and wasn’t anything I wanted to change. This syrup is unreal. You could also use it in cocktails or something like a margarita or mojito or sangria. It’s wonderful.

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Plus, it couldn’t be prettier! Rim the glass with coarse sugar and it looks all sparkly too.

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Annnnd I think you could also totally make this frozen! Throw it in a blender with some ice or use the apple cider or pomegranate juice to make ice cubes the night before. You know. Since it’s going to be 85 freaking degrees here this weekend. UGH. Whyyyy. I just want it to be 55. That’s like my ideal temp.

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I mean, doesn’t it just LOOK like something you want to drink?!

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Pomegranate Cider Punch

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups sparkling pomegranate italian soda
  • 1 cup ginger ale or ginger beer (which will make it have a little toast!)
  • 1 cup seltzer (plain or flavored of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup autumn simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 to 3 apples, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
  • cinnamon sugar for the rim

autumn simple syrup

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • a few slices of orange rind

Directions:

punch

Stir the ingredients together gently and taste. All ginger beers can be different, so you may want to add more simple syrup or cider if yours is super spicy. You can also use ginger ale, but in that case you may want LESS simple syrup than what is called for. You can always add more syrup if you’d like!

Place sugar (about 1/3 cup) and cinnamon (1 teaspoon or so) on a plate. Rim each glass with a wedge of orange or lime and dip in the sugar. Add the ice to the glass.

Serve the punch over crushed ice (this is important!) and garnish with extra pomegranate arils.

autumn simple syrup

Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. You can store this in the fridge for a few days – I keep the spices and rind in the syrup for flavor, but remove right before using.

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