In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to create a little love potion for a dinner and concert we’re having at our place Valentine’s Day evening. I found this recipe for pomegranate liqueur and thought it would be perfect. Not only is it deep red and sweet, it’s made from pomegranates, a fruit which in Greek mythology is a symbol of love and passion.
According to the myth, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus the biggest and baddest god of them all and Demeter, the goddess of the earth and bounty. Hades, the god of the underworld had a serious crush on Persephone and asked Zeus if he could marry her. Not wanting to say yes and upset Hades (you really don’t want to make the god of the underworld mad), yet not wanting to say yes and upset Demeter, Zeus neither gave nor denied Hades permission, hoping the whole thing would just go away.
Naturally, it didn’t. Hades found Persephone alone one day and stole her away to become his wife in the underworld. This seriously bummed out Demeter, so much so that she refused to let the plants grow. Zeus saw how upset Demeter was and decided to go get her. He knew that according to the rules of the gods, Hades couldn’t keep Demeter unless she had eaten while in the underworld.
Things were all set for a happy ending and Persephone and Demeter were about to be reunited when some underworld underling tattled and told her that Persephone had eaten a few pomegranate seeds while hanging out with Hades. After much crying and bargaining, it was decided that since Persephone had only eaten a few seeds, she could spend nine months with her mother and three months in the underworld. Every year while Persephone was away Demeter refused to allow any plants to grow until she was once again freed, thus creating what we mortals know as winter.
How’s THAT for a story of passion? Lust, hatred, familial love- it’s got it all. A liqueur made from this controversial fruit seems to encompass the spectrum of feelings surrounding love. I just finished a batch at it’s delicious- sweet, a little tart and cinnamon spicy!