In the last 10 years, pomegranate has been one of the hottest flavor trends in food and beverages. With reputed health benefits and a delicious sweet-tart flavor, pomegranate has enchanted the hearts and stomachs of Americans. In 2005, bartenders and cocktail drinkers were introduced to PAMA pomegranate liqueur. Since that time, PAMA has become a staple of cocktail menus and home enthusiasts for its mixability and versatility in a variety of cocktails.
At $24.99 MSRP for a 750 milliliter bottle, PAMA offers a level of quality and versatility that is hard to match in the world of liqueurs. Just a splash of PAMA in, say, a Manhattan adds a new dimension to this classic cocktail. PAMA brings a balance between sweet and tart flavors just as actual pomegranates do, and it also has a level of tannins that help to create structure within a drink. Essentially, PAMA is one of the more forgiving liqueurs; it will help even the most novice cocktail creator make a drink that is interesting and appealing. Take, for instance, the color: cocktails containing PAMA usually take on an interesting red hue that is far more visually appealing than the usual gamut of muddy brown-colored cocktails.
PAMA’s role in a cocktail is not to overwhelm a drink, but instead to play a supporting role with a base spirit, whether that be whiskey, tequila, cognac, rum, or vodka. It has a 17 percent ABV, but I’d never sit down at a bar and order a PAMA and soda; that’s not just what this liqueur was designed to do. However, if I sat down at a nice cocktail bar and saw a featured cocktail with PAMA and a base spirit, I’m probably going to order it. The other thing that I like about PAMA is that it can improve even a flawed cocktail. Occasionally, I’ll be in a bar or a restaurant, and it’s pretty clear that whomever is making the drinks isn’t terribly skilled. One of the ways I can get a decent and unique cocktail in that situation is to order a drink with PAMA in it. Between the sweet and tart flavor profile and its ability to match well with base liquors, I’ve dramatically improved my chances of getting something drinkable. Think of it almost as training wheels for bad bartenders. In the hands of an expert bartender, PAMA cocktails are even better, and their creative options are almost endless.
If you can’t tell, I enjoy PAMA a lot. The flavor profile is delicious, it is fun to mix with, and it can really enhance your cocktail experience. At the price point, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better and more versatile liqueur for your home bar. Look for PAMA cocktails when you are out and about as well. You’ll discover that it is one of the best and tastiest mixers out there.