We’re going to talk about Reindeer Antlers and how I created Reindeer Antlers punch today but first, we need to talk about Crab Claws.
The Back Story on How I Created Reindeer Antlers Punch
Remember how I’ve shared several times (e.g., here and here) that we love all things crab in the gfe family? You were probably thinking that always equated to food.
Well, no, not always. We have a Southern drink around here called Crab Claws.
It’s one of those pretty punch drinks that the waterfront crab houses like to serve. You know the house specialties that often come in a souvenir glass.
This drink has other names or variations like Peeler or Backrub, but Crab Claws are actually the best tasting in our area and have the most fun and creative name in my opinion. I mean who doesn’t want to say, “I’ll have a Crab Claw, please.”
The unindoctrinated always look on in surprise when one is handed a lovely tropical summer drink versus the pincher of a steamed crustacean. Crab Claws are an adult drink (i.e., they contain alcohol) and they are particularly welcome in the hot summertime.
Crab Claws always taste delicious and go down smoothly, very smoothly—some might say too smoothly.
A limit of one Crab Claw (imbibed with food and with the proper passage of time before driving), a designated driver, or a night in the guest room is a hard and fast rule here at the gfe house when one is drinking Crab Claws. (My dear friend, Tavie, created the original Crab Claws recipe, which I have happily used for many years.)
By now you’re asking what the heck do Crab Claws and Reindeer Antlers have to do with each other? Bear with me as I seemingly go on another tangent.
I’ve shared tales of our biennial Valentine’s Day parties before. These parties are always a blast. Interestingly enough, while attendees have a grand time each and every year, some years folks seem to be particularly frisky and romantic. Mr. GFE always jokes the morning after such parties, “I want to know who put ground-up reindeer antlers in the punch this year!”
Those of us who are sitting at the breakfast table always chuckle appreciatively. You see reindeer antlers supposedly contain an aphrodisiac. While reindeer antler powder has never made its way into our drinks (well, as far as I know anyway), he’s right … some Valentine’s Day parties have even the conservative, usually more standoffish, couples turning into downright “lovebirds.”
I’ve been thinking about Crab Claws a lot lately. Maybe it’s the fact that we are about a month away from a vacation in Key West (yippee!). But, I’m not about to make a batch of Crab Claws in November here in Virginia, so I had to come up with a suitable holiday alternative.
I wanted a drink that was deep red in color (versus the appropriate bright orange hue of crab claws). It occurred to me that adapting the recipe and adding POM Wonderful juice might do the trick—plus the POM Wonderful juice would provide its naturally sweet and tart flavor, with the added bonus of the antioxidants it contains.
So, I’ve reinvented the Crab Claws recipe to include pomegranate juice for its deep “holiday red” color, tart taste, and any potential health benefits. November is National Pomegranate Month. Therefore, the inclusion of pomegranate juice is timely in that regard as well.
Oh, and I already “field-tested” this recipe for you. You’re welcome.
I served it to my family members at Thanksgiving and, without exception, they all (ages 21 through 80) absolutely loved it. Some joked and referred to it as Reindeer Hooves or called it “that antler drink,” but everyone agreed that this punch is superb.
They also had no idea it contained alcohol from their initial tastes. It simply tastes like a delightful, festive punch. Without further ado, Reindeer Antlers—the holiday punch.
The pomegranate seeds, which are called arils, make a festive topping and even a crunchy and tasty ending after your drink is finished but adding them is completely optional.
Reindeer Antlers Punch Recipe
You and your guests will thoroughly enjoy this festive, spirited drink. Be careful though as it packs a punch despite its easy drinkability!
- 1 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
- 1 cup grenadine syrup or grenadine liqueur
- 3 cups orange juice
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup rum
- 1 cup tequila
- Stir all together. I added my ingredients to a gallon-sized jar, placed the lid on it, and just shook the jar to mix.
- Serve over ice and top with pomegranate seeds (also known as arils) if you like.
Pouring the Reindeer Antlers over crushed ice and topping with arils provides a lovely presentation. (Mr. GFE will also tell you that particular application results in sipping versus drinking, which I say just might not be a bad thing.) As an alternative you can sprinkle arils on your Reindeer Antler just before serving; the arils will sink to the bottom of your drink and become more potent. Or, you can add festive ice cubes that contain pomegranate seeds that you’ve made earlier.
Very important---one must eat the arils to achieve the optimum “effects” of the Reindeer Antlers or so "they" say. So Reindeer Antlers taste delicious and are good for your love life. Perhaps. Plus, you know how some folks eat the agave worm at the bottom of a Mescal bottle? Eating the reindeer antler-infused arils is such a nicer alternative, don’t you think?
Of course, if pomegranates themselves are out of season, please enjoy your Reindeer Antlers sans arils--they will still be splendid!
Shirley’s Notes: All distilled alcohol is gluten free. That means your basic vodka, rum, tequila, scotch, gin, and the like. Be wary of alcohol that has been flavored after the distillation process. It still may be gluten free, but always check. You also may need to be wary of small distilleries where proper processes are not in place to ensure there is no cross contact with grains after distillation.
“Real” grenadine syrup or liqueur is actually made from pomegranates. (I don’t know if any of the grenadine products that I’ve used to date have contained pomegranates.) I’ve used both the syrup and the liqueur, interchangeably. The liqueur contains alcohol (2.5% per the label of the Jacquin’s Grenadine that I used).
This recipe will also be linked to Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix—Pomegranates (which she did so well a while back, sharing the history and health benefits of pomegranates) and Linda’s What can I eat that’s gluten free? for her party food on Wednesday, and, frankly, any other terrific blog carnivals that come to mind. Reindeer Antlers is awesome “holiday cheer” (some would say it’s addictive, too) and needs to be shared!
Enjoy and drink responsibly! As for me, I’m staying home today and this evening. It’s cocktail time … hand me a Reindeer Antler, please!
Full disclosure: I attended the POM Wonderful Blogger Harvest Festival in California—all expenses paid—years ago. I was not paid to write this post, but the POM Wonderful products used were given to me.
Originally published November 27, 2009; updated November 12, 2021.
Personally I like taking the seeds and topping ice cream with them, but I have a recipe for frozen custard that tastes absolutely POM-wonderful with about a cup of the juice tossed in right before freezing, and it gets that wonderful pink color to it! Definitely frozen desserts (and chugging out of the bottle) are my favorite way to take care of extra POM.
Hi Castal–Welcome to gfe! Yes, arils are beautiful on ice cream. Your frozen custard recipe reminds me of the POMerdoodle ice cream I made. Frozen desserts are extra special when made with POM I think. 🙂
Thanks so much for entering the giveaway!
What a fun giveaway Shirley! Sounds like you has a great trip too, lucky you! 🙂
Now that I know how to use Twitter, I’ll tweet this post too! -Ali 🙂
Hi Ali–Yes, that trip was phenomenal. I’ll be sharing more soon.
I’m imagining your kids going through those pomegranates that quickly. LOL, but that’s a great thing for them to devour, of course. Arils do make salads so lovely. That recipe of yours is so gorgeous. I think I’ll pick up some pears (which I need for smoothies anyway) and make your salad tomorrow. I need something to go with my leftover turkey. 😉
Thanks for taking the time to comment and tweeting the giveaway! Make another comment here after you’ve tweeted so your additional entry will be recorded. 🙂 It’s good to see you on twitter sharing what you find noteworthy!
I make a margarita cake which is actually just the yellow cake mix and then where it says water add margarita mix instead. I have done this with a cranberry margarita mix and mixed it actually with half the liquid being the margarita mix and then the other half being the POM juice.
Hi Maureen–Welcome to gfe! Your cake sounds absolutely amazing! I don’t usually use cake mixes, but I might have to find a gluten-free one (or a good recipe for one) to make this recipe. It sounds really wonderful. You’ve got me thinking now … LOL Thanks so much for stopping by and entering the giveaway. 🙂
I was intrigued by the posting because I love Pomegranate. My husband tends to think perhaps a bit too much. But it is good for you and well that is always a plus.
🙂 re: your husband. Yes, pomegranate is really good for you. We’re all so glad that you shared your creative cake idea!
Well, in all honesty, I eat the seeds as is. The juice is delicious when mixed with ginger ale! I personally don’t drink pop anymore, but if you do, its a great way to make it fancy!
Hey, Lauren–Thanks for being honest and giving others a great way of enjoying POM. I’m with you on not drinking sodas, but some might enjoy that combo for an occasional treat. I bet it’s fancy, pretty, and tastes delicious. 🙂
Do they make gluten free rum, tequila, and vodka?
Carol–All distilled alcohol is gluten free, including rum, tequila, and vodka, etc. The gluten molecule can’t make it through the distillation process, so they are all gluten free—yippee! You only need to be concerned for flavored and spiced alcohols where ingredients are added after the distillation process. Even then, most of those alcohols are gluten free. 🙂 Check the manufacturer’s website when you are concerned about a particular alcohol that has had ingredients added after distillation.
Hope that helps!
And, Carol, welcome to gfe! I appreciate you being here. 🙂
Okay – my second comment because I tweeted! 🙂
Thanks so much, Ali! 🙂
Jean Layton says
I fell in love with the sour sweet taste of pomegranate when my mom first ripped one into wedges and let us scoop out each seed.
Then I met pomegranate molasses and the world hasn’t been the same. Makes the most amazing bar-b-que sauce for chicken in the world.
I love to quick marinate chicken breasts in Pom juice with a bit of olive oil and fresh ginger. Only needs to sit for 20 minutes or so to create a savory sweet glaze when baked.
Perfect for those got to get dinner on the table nights.
Jean–Now I must find some pomegranate molasses to try and to use for barbecue chicken. It sounds fabulous. The marinated chicken breasts sound wonderful, too. I’m sure I’ll have one of those got to get dinner on the table nights soon.
Heather @CeliacFamily says
Sounds like a great punch for a party. Maybe I’ll take it to our Christmas celebration.
I recently used POM pomegranate juice to make cranberry sauce. It was the best cranberry sauce I’ve ever made. I tried cooking with the arils, but the seeds were just too crunchy to have in the sauce so I had to remove them. But, I will definitely make it again with the juice. Yum.
Hi Heather–Thanks for sharing your POM idea! Your pomegranate-cranberry sauce sounds delicious. 🙂
I assure you if you take the Reindeer Antlers punch to your Christmas party, it will be a big hit and you, therefore, will be very popular. 😉
Jennifer R. says
Hi, Jennifer–That’s terrific that you made Ali’s salad. It’s definitely on my “to make” list. 🙂 I know you’ll enjoy making dairy-free ice cream with POM. I’ve had great results in making ice cream with POM. Good idea on buying pomegranates now and freezing the arils!
Thanks for commenting and entering the giveaway! Hugs,
Jennifer R. says
And I printed this drink recipe out and will make this for our Christmas dinner gathering here at my house 🙂 Sounds delicious!!
Jennifer–Oh, I think you will be a very popular hostess and also a relaxed one! 😉 It’s really yummy. I think I’ll be making it a few times over the holidays.
I would love the arils in spinach salad and add the POM to the strawberry dressing…strawberry, olive oil, applecider vinegar and POM…yum!
Other seasonal ideas:
spiced cider adding POM to that and the arils too
Pear crisp with arils in the filling and then POM added to the crust and topping for sweetening
Thanks for the chance at the giveaway! 🙂
Hi Linda–Welcome to gfe! Your ideas sound great! I’m so glad I’ll have them all here for future reference (definitely an advantage of having a blog). 😉 I’m making the spiced cider using POM at my next support group meeting. A little packgage of the mulling spices with recipe was actually part of my goodie bag at the POM blogger festival. 🙂
Your reindeer antlers looks out of this world. I wonder how it would be to replace all or part of the OJ with grapefruit juice? I got a hair up my you-know-what the other day and bought a giant bag of grapefruits at Costco – and there’s only two of us!
Wow, Patty, that sounds lovely … holiday-ish I might add! One has to test as one eats, right? 😉
The Reindeer Antlers are the best. I’m not sure about the grapefruit juice. For sure, it will change the taste and color some. I’d make a mini batch to test out that substitution, using parts like I suggested in my notes. You might have come up with a new winner!
Linda-Kitchen Therapy says
I didn’t think I liked the arils, too crunchy and messy. But I had fabulous combination of a flourless chocolate torte topped with arils. Oh boy that was good! It was not planned, this was a “bring a dish” group event and two different people brought the torte and the pomegranate arils. They really added some fresh zip.
Hi Linda–Good to see you again! Oh, I can imagine how good the arils would be on a flourless chocolate torte. Serendipity, I’d say. 😉 I might have to steal that idea for my next support group meeting. I’m speaking on pomegranates and we’re having holiday food, so my flourless chocolate cake with arils would be sooo appropriate. Thanks so much for the idea—I know others will really appreciate it!
We like to put the arils in cooked brown rice and add toasted pine nuts. It makes it so much more festive and it’s really easy and yummy!
That’s a great recipe idea, Christina. 🙂 A lovely combination I’m sure. I bet it would be equally nice with quinoa vs brown rice. Easy and yummy are two of my favorite words!
Johanna B says
I’d love to make your adult beverage for our office Christmas party but I’d probably get canned. I might try to cut it down so that my family can enjoy it Christmas Day (there’s only 3 of us) or maybe New Year’s Eve. It sounds delicious.
Johanna—LOL … no, we don’t want you getting fired, dear! 😉 It’s easy to adjust the amounts and make less, so I think you and your family will enjoy it. Let us know.
It looks so pretty and sounds delicious too. Thanks for linking up!
Thanks, Linda. I was so pleased at how it turned out. I was happy to link up to this week’s great party food roundup at your site. Some great recipes there, including your cran-apple salsa and warm fruit punch. 🙂
I am delighted to see your emphasis on responsible drinking. I was nearly side-swiped by a drunk driver on Thanksgiving. It scared my daughter who is just learning to drive and taught her an important lesson about defensive driving. Hanging back, I watched him swerve all over the road ahead then get pulled over by the cops a mile or so later.
Thankfully, he was taken off the road before he could harm himself or others, though waking in jail on “Black Friday” must have really grim. I wish his hosts had been as thoughtful as you.
Hi, Ronnie–Welcome to gfe. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words. I’m so thankful that you and your daughter are okay. That must have been scary indeed. Personally, I’ll never forget seeing a car coming towards me in my own car during the holidays many years ago. The individual was driving the wrong way on a divided highway at 55 mph. Luckily, I was in the right lane and he was in the other lane—his right. Both serving and ingesting alcoholic drinks are serious responsibilities. We live 20 miles outside of town, but we’ve had party guests take a taxi to their homes in town before.
Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Best,
Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free says
I love the seeds. They are fabulous. Your creative use of POM juice is so much fun, especially this time of year with the deep red color. We are not drinkers at all so I’d take mine as a mocktail – but it would be tasty none the less. Thanks for sharing this at Holiday Food Fest!
Thanks, Amy! Good news … I reinvented this recipe with no alcohol and it tasted equally great. 🙂 Instead of using grenadine (which contains corn syrup, even when it doesn’t contain alcohol), I made a “simple syrup” using POM Wonderful juice. I used regular sugar, but I’m totally sure that agave would work. So just cut out the alcohol, make the simple syrup using agave vs sugar, and you’ll be good to go for a holiday colored and delicious holiday punch. I’m still batting around name ideas for the mocktail version … Rudolph’s Nose? … Prancer Punch?. 😉