take it with you

pretty and pink

At the end of some weeks, what you really need is a pretty pink drink, you know?

It’s not that this past one hasn’t been good—filled with kind people, strangers who felt like friends, unexpected work and unexpected rest—it has. In fact, like I could tell you about most of my life, it’s been filled with grace—that which I don’t deserve but which finds me, when I need it, when my strength is not enough, sent in the form of family who comes when you need them, people who pray, phone calls with old friends and, candied sweet potatoes from Boston Market late at night.

But it’s also been a little harder than I’d expected say, Monday afternoon, when I’d jotted down my to-do list of tasks for the night, none of which would end up being accomplished. So, just between us, I’m glad it’s Friday again, I’m glad I’ve cleared my schedule for tomorrow and, you know, I’m glad I have something pretty and pink to hold in my hand.

This simple spritzer is a blend of pomegranate and lemon juices, mixed with sugar and made fizzy with club soda. The carbonation is important—it reminds me of the to-die-for sparkle tea I had last summer, when Sonja and I sweated through Lincoln Park on a hot July afternoon, and Argo Tea lured us inside with a free sample—it really ups the refreshment factor. In this drink, you blend everything, pour it all on top of ice and garnish with mint leaves, and voila: instant luxury.

And on the topic of things pretty and pink, I should tell you this recipe originates from Mia King, as published in her soon-to-be-released book, Table Manners, which not only sports a pink cover but is the literary version of a romantic comedy and an incredibly easy companion.

table manners

I got this preview copy in the mail last week sometime and had finished it two days later, grabbing a few minutes here and there when I could, the process effortless. It’s a novel; it’s about a woman who knows food; it’s as engrossing as any chick flick, I swear. (You could blame my over-familiarity with that genre, perhaps, but I literally kept picturing the scenes on a giant screen, almost like I was reading Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada.)

Anyway, what I am most thankful for is that it was fiction, something my life has been lacking lately, what with all the literary essays and food memoirs and cookbooks. It was very nice to get lost in someone’s story for a little while, to escape into a plot with a happy ending (not that I’m giving anything away, ahem).

pom lemonade

And it was nice to curb up at night with pillows and blankets and air-conditioning that blocks out humidity, to tuck myself in deep, open the pages and get lost for a while.

Sparkling Pomegranate Lemonade
Adapted from Mia King’s Table Manners

At the back of this book is a collection of recipes, some from prominent food bloggers like David Lebovitz and Molly Wizenberg, some from the author’s own collection, like this drink pictured here. Talk about the best of both worlds, right? An easy novel + quality recipes = always a good thing.

2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used one large lemon)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 liter club soda (or you could use sparkling water, but I find that less bubbly)
ice cube
fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Mix together sugar and lemon juice, stirring until it’s thoroughly dissolved.

Combine lemon-sugar mixture with pomegranate juice in a pitcher; add club soda and stir.

Pour into glasses with ice, and garnish with mint. Makes about three servings.


  1. says

    how lovely! lush alert: i imagine adding a splash of vodka to this concoction, enjoying it outside, on the deck or at a picnic, with girlfriends. because something so pretty should be shared with them.

  2. says

    I shall be making this or something very very like it tonight. Since Summer has finally arrived, it feels like a good idea.

  3. says

    um, this looks amazing. perfect summer drink i think. and i am highly intrigued by that book. i’ve been seeking out a bridget jones-esque smart yet happy read for the summer.

  4. says

    Lan, You should know that someone else, on Twitter, suggested the vodka addition as well, so you must be on to something. And amen to the girlfriends idea. We all need that once in a while, too.

    Emily, Ironically, it feels like fall here tonight (not that I’m complaining) but I hope wherever you are, you’re sipping something summery.

    Rachel, Wish you were here and we could share some together!

    Novelista, Thank you!

    Lainey, You’ll love this book, as it’s exactly smart and happy, such a nice break from things!

    Jennifer, That goes for you, too. This was like candy to read!

  5. Meryl333 says

    love your pictures… and pink drinks. I happen to have pomegranate juice in the fridge and I’m going to join you with a pink drink this afternoon

    PS. Just signing up for your blog after meeting Janet Pak for tea. She spoke highly of you… and I see why.


  1. […] Food Loves Writing: Amazing photography of the book and sparkling pomegranate lemonade (recipe featured in TABLE MANNERS) by the very lovely and talented Shannalee. Looking at those pictures again are making me VERY thirsty! Image (c) Food Loves Writing. […]

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