Crippled Creek Cocktail | Something New For Dinner
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Crippled Creek Cocktail

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Easy and quick

Pomegranate molasses cocktail

I have been experimenting with pomegranate molasses, a concentrated pomegranate syrup that is made with reduced pomegranate juice and sometimes a bit of lemon juice and sugar. You can make your own, or buy it in a bottle from a Middle Eastern market or online. It is a wonderful condiment, that is essential to Persian cooking, but has a multitude of uses, including cocktails.

From 320 Main restaurant

I did a little research on cocktails made with pomegranate molasses and was particularly intrigued with this one. The best description I can give is "smoky-savory." The Crippled Creek is the brainchild of Jason Schiffer, a co-owner of 320 Main restaurant in Seal Beach, California. Intriguingly, in addition to bourbon and pomegranate molasses, this cocktail calls for 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard. All I can tell you, is the Crippled Creek is weirdly delicious, plus it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite happy songs by The Band, Up on Crippled Creek. OK, so I am definitely dating myself.


The Crippled Creek is garnished with a slice of cucumber and a generous sprinkling of celery seeds. I recommend it as an aperitif before dinner.

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Variations from the original Crippled Creek

I used Maker's Mark bourbon, which I think is delicious, but the original recipe calls for Angel's Envy bourbon. I'll let you decide which works best. I hit the mustard a little harder and used my favorite whole grain Pommery mustard. The original recipe calls for crushed ice, and I used one big ice sphere, made with the Tovolo ice mold, which is why my photograph appears to have layers. It doesn't, it is just the ice sphere resting on the inside of the glass. I like the ice sphere because it chills the drink without diluting it. I also threw in a couple dozen pomegranate seeds, which provided a little punch when you bit into them.

Special equipment

A cocktail shaker, a good steel muddler, a Tovolo ice mold and a highball glass.

From The Band

To put you in the mood here is the chorus from "Up on Cripple Creek"

"Up on cripple creek, she sends me

If I spring a leak, she mends me

I don't have to speak, she defends me

A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

Oh lo de hoo

Lo de lo de lo de hoo!"


Crippled Creek cocktail

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A weirdly satisfying, smoky, savory cocktail made with bourbon, pomegranate molasses and mustard. Garnished with a cucumber wheel and celery seeds. The brainchild of Jason Schiffer of 320 Main Street restaurant in Seal Beach, California.


  • 3 1/3” slices cucumber, reserve 1 slice for garnish
  • 1.5 ounces of bourbon (Maker’s Mark or Angel’s Envy are good choices)
  • 1/2 ounce of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce of pomegranate molasses
  • 2 t cane syrup
  • 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • 1 2.5″ ice sphere
  • 1520 pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • Celery seeds


  1. Muddle 2 slices of the cucumber in the bottom of the cocktail shaker. Add lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cane syrup and mustard. Stir. Add bourbon and ice cubes, shake vigorously for about a slow count to about 20.
  2. Put the ice sphere in a highball glass. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Throw in your pomegranate seeds. Garnish with the a slice of cucumber sprinkled with celery seed.





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