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The Persephone

by Georgina Hayden from Taverna: Recipes From a Cypriot Kitchen

Georgie Hayden's prosecco cocktail infused with homemade rose syrup and topped with pomegranate has a sophisticated touch of festive sparkle.

From the book

Georgina Hayden


This pretty party drink was a happy accident. When we came to the end of shooting Taverna I wanted to celebrate with the amazing team behind it and popped a few bottles of prosecco in the fridge for the end of the shoot day. In an attempt to jazz it up I added a splash of homemade rose syrup to each glass and a scattering of pomegranate seeds. Not only is it a delight to look at but it tastes heavenly too, and has become a firm favourite in our house. I’ve attributed the recipe to my daughter Persephone, due to the pomegranate seeds in there, not because of her love of prosecco (she has only just turned one). The story of Persephone and the pomegranate is full of hope and the promise of new life, and is why we chose such a big name for our little girl. As a result you will find pomegranate paraphernalia everywhere in our house.

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For the homemade rose syrup (makes 750ml)
500g caster sugar
1 lemon
4 tbsp rose water
a drop of natural red food colouring (optional)
To assemble the The Persephone:
1-2 tbsp homemade rose syrup
150ml prosecco
a few pomegranate seeds


To make the homemade rose syrup (triantafyllo):

Pour the sugar into a large saucepan with 400ml of water and place on a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to gently cook for 5 minutes until thickened, but before it has a chance to turn golden – you want a light syrup, not a caramel. Squeeze in the lemon juice, then add enough rose water to get the desired strength – I add around four tablespoons. Add a drop of food colouring, if you like. Shop-bought triantafyllo is always bright pink in colour, and is pretty when finishing puddings.

To assemble The Persephone:

Pour the rose syrup into the glass and top with the prosecco – the amount of syrup will depend on your personal taste. I love 2 tablespoons, but make a test glass first and see what works for you. Finish with a scattering of pomegranate seeds and serve.


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From the book: Taverna: Recipes From a Cypriot Kitchen

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