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.

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.