Created with all-natural pomegranate juice, vodka and a touch of tequila, PAMA boasts bold characteristics that make it an essential addition to the canon of cocktail ingredients. To explore how these characteristics can shape a cocktail, Master Mixologist Eben Freeman put PAMA to the test – incorporating it into classic cocktails, and creating modern variations.
As proven by the array of recipes to follow, PAMA's delicately balanced sweet yet tart flavor holds its own when combined with any base spirit. This versatility allows PAMA to mix with Whiskey, Rum and Brandy equally as well as it mixes with Vodka, Gin and Tequila. PAMA’s boldness goes toe-to-toe with rich Whiskeys, Brandies, Cognacs and Brandy-based Liqueurs without getting lost, yet it is delicate enough to complement the subtle flavors of lighter spirits like Gin, Rum or Vodka.
I wanted to get away from the idea of the pomegranate-flavored Margarita or the pomegranate-flavored Mojito and think about PAMA as something that adds texture and body to a drink. The liqueur has sweetness, but it also has acidity and tannins that really create structure, which is sometimes missing from cocktails. PAMA can add body without throwing off the balance of sweet and sour too much.
It is with an understanding of tannins and their textural properties that I began my study of PAMA and its many uses behind the bar. I began looking to PAMA to replace the citrus in a whole range of classic cocktails which you will find in this volume and, I hope, consider successful interpretations of the familiar. I wanted to present PAMA first in a classical context to show that it can work within that framework, and then to explore more modern ideas and recipes. There were many unexpected discoveries during my work with PAMA and I now have a new appreciation for a product I formerly identified solely by its flavor. I encourage you to begin your own exploration of PAMA and its many uses in cocktails and to gain the same appreciation as I did for the role of texture in beverages.” – Eben Freeman