If the residents of Mt. Olympus feasted on ambrosia and nectar, then they were feasting on a delicacy of divinity indeed! Ambrosia is one of those dishes I look forward to with great zeal, for when citrus season comes in from our neighboring state to the south, I know that my treasured citrus salad is at hand. California and Texas, too, have fabulous citrus crops, and I take great pride in mixing different types of fresh citrus ambrosias. Of course, when someone else makes it, it always tastes better.
For instance, Mimi and Mrs. Mary made this for us from Thanksgiving through the holidays and into winter. Mimi said I didn’t eat my ambrosia bur rather drank it! The nectar and juices in the bottom of the bowl was the best part to me, with all the fruit flavors infused together. I’m a bit of an ambrosia purist, preferring juicy sweet oranges, coconut, and some pomegranate anils for pizzazz. Fresh-squeezed orange juice makes all the difference here.
Ambrosia Nectar Recipe with Coconut Rim (Makes about 4 cups)
Blood oranges, grapefruit, kumquats-whatever your favorite citrus-can be mixed in with this drink or your own version of ambrosia. The jewel-toned flesh of citrus, and even some pineapple chunks, is elegant for a dinner party, a morning treat, or a New Year’s side.
- 2 cups fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup pineapple with juice
- ½ cup pure pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for rimming the glasses
- Pomegranate arils for garnish, optional
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the mixed juices to a simmer and add the coconut.
- Allow to infuse and steep for about 5 minutes.
- Chill and then serve chilled or over ice.
To rim a glass with coconut, finely chop the shredded coconut and place on a small plate. On another small plate, squeeze out a couple tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Dip the rim of the glass in the juice and then the coconut, repeating if necessary until the rim is coated. Repeat with other glasses. Drop a few pomegranate arils into each glass, if desired.
Photographs by James T. Farmer III and Maggie Yelton from Sip & Savor by James T. Farmer III. Reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.
Get recipes for all-season teas, lemonades, nectars, fizzes, cordials, punches, and more in James T. Farmer’s book, Sip & Savor: Drinks for Party and Porch.