Today I’m linking up with the Recipe ReDux and POM Wonderful to bring you delicious, antioxidant-rich cocktail recipe. I received free samples of POM Wonderful mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by POM Wonderful and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I never mean for it to turn out this way, but I feel like all my Recipe ReDux posts turn into stories about my dating life. Today I’m continuing the accidental tradition.

When I first was living in NYC (ages 22, 23, 24), most of the people in my life there were vegan and vegetarian, so going out to eat usually involved one of the city’s herbivore spots. It’s been closed for years now, but I remember going to Counter in the East Village a lot. While I don’t remember much about the food, I do remember this cocktail I used to order there. It was simply sparkling wine with pomegranate juice, and it cost $10, which seemed extravagant to me then, but it was a fun splurge I looked forward to. I guess it was the poor grad student’s version of the Cosmopolitan.

Speaking of the Cosmo, I recently binge-watched Sex and the City from the beginning, something I’d never done. It’s certainly a New York of a different era, but now that I’m around the same age as the characters, interesting to see what has and hasn’t changed in 15, 20 years. It still blows my mind that we’re supposed to believe Carrie is able to survive writing just one column without needing multiple income streams. I know people always talk about how the heck the girls could possibly afford their clothes and to go out so much, but what I really want to know is where they find the time and patience for all those men. Story for another day.

Speaking of men, this recipe was inspired by a fight with a long-ago boyfriend. Because he was a vegetarian, sometimes we went to Counter before he played a show nearby—this was back when I used to date musicians and haul my butt to the Village and Lower East Side to watch them play. Anyway. I guess it was his turn to pay for dinner that night because when I ordered my pomegranate cocktail, he got so angry with me. I’d actually kind of assumed I would pay for my own drink with dinner, so it took me a few beats too long to catch on to why he was so mad. He was pissed I wouldn’t wait until we got to the venue and I could use one of his drink tickets. I tried to explain that I was going to pay my $10 for the drink I really wanted rather than drink something I didn’t want just because it was free. Wrong answer, apparently.

I’m a little embarrassed I still remember that night. I don’t even remember where the show was or which band it was, but I do remember the feeling of shame—and also anger, an emotion my younger self was so uncomfortable with, at least when I knew it was somewhat justified. I’m pretty sure I never went back to that restaurant or ordered that drink again. It reminded me too much of that argument and all the icky feelings it brought up around money and decisions and control in relationships.

It’s a shame, though. Pomegranates are perfect for a festive drink, thanks to that brilliant red color. Pomegranate juice is also packed with powerful antioxidants and potassium, which is helpful for supporting healthy muscle and nerve function and easing sore muscles after a day on your feet in your favorite city. It’s also a great brunch choice when you want to cut the alcohol with the juice. While it doesn’t quite work this way, you could say that you’re detox-ing and retox-ing at the same time?

POM Wonderful 100% juice is made using a whole-press method, meaning that you’re getting a blend of polyphenols from the fruit, pith, and rind. Each 8-ounce bottle has the equivalent of about two whole pomegranates—that’s a lot of antioxidants! The juice is also a great source of potassium—an 8-ounce serving has as much as a medium banana. Aside from cocktails, it’s also great if you’re looking for a smart post-workout beverage (minus the alcohol, of course).

Anyway, this recipe is really more of a trip down F-You Lane than a formal recipe, but it’s delicious. I named it after the other favorite cocktail of my early NYC Days: A Kir Royale, a black currant liqueur and champagne concoction (and where my old blog name, Keeping It Real Food came from, by the way). It’s simple, delicious, and festive for the smallest or grandest celebration. Cheers to you!

POM Wonderful Royale

POM Wonderful Royale

Serves 6


  • 1 bottle dry sparkling wine
  • 3 cups POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)


  1. Divide pomegranate juice between 6 wine glasses or champagne flutes
  2. Pour sparkling wine into each glass and garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.



What’s your favorite drink? Has your drink preference changed over the years?  



The Recipe ReDux is a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians that aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.




**This post is sponsored by POM Wonderful.  Opinions are my own. 



This has been another installment of the Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.



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