How to Make the Green Zone’s Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktail

A sparkler with a Middle Eastern twist.
Arak, an anise-flavored spirit, revs up this cocktail. Photograph by Scott Suchman

After years of pop-ups, a Middle Eastern cocktail bar, the Green Zone (2226 18th St., NW), finally landed a permanent space in Adams Morgan this summer. Owner Chris Hassaan Francke draws inspiration from his Iraqi-via-Lebanon roots for riffs on cocktail classics. One of his signature concoctions, dubbed Under the Pomegranate Tree, after a famous traditional Levantine song, combines pomegranate with arak, which Hassaan Francke calls the “national spirit of the eastern Arab world.” The fruit makes the anise-flavored alcohol a lot more palatable, but take note—this one’s for licorice-lovers.

Serves 1

  • ¾ ounce arak (Potomac Wines & Spirits, at 3100 M Street in Georgetown, carries a wide selection; the Green Zone uses Ramallah-brand golden arak.)
  • ¾ ounce vodka
  • ¼ ounce pomegranate syrup*
  • 1½ ounces pomegranate juice (for best results, juice fresh pomegranates in a citrus press, then strain; otherwise, use a bottled brand that’s 100- percent juice and not from concentrate)
  • Very fizzy soda water (such as Q club soda), as needed
  • In a cocktail shaker, shake arak, vodka, pomegranate syrup, and juice with ice, then strain into a chilled flute glass. Top with soda water.

*For pomegranate syrup: combine 1 cup sugar with ½ cup juice in a blender until dissolved.

This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Washingtonian.

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.