Pomegranates are in season from December to February in South Africa, giving you a convenient excuse to use this farm fare product in anything and everything.

Pomegranates are a niche market in the local fruit industry with 80% of all pomegranates produced locally being exported. Production volumes have increased almost every year from 2012 to 2017, going from 2 000 tons in 2012 to just below 6 000 tons in 2017. These figures are, however, still relatively small when compared to some of South Africa’s more established fruit export markets, such as nectarines and peaches, where annual production is usually around 250 000 tons.

Mix your new-found knowledge about local pomegranate production with some sparkling wine and viola: your very own festive pomegranate punch to ring in the new year.

Ingredients

2 oranges, thinly sliced

1 cup pomegranate seeds

3/4 cup late-harvest white wine, such as Late-Harvest Riesling

2 bottles sparkling wine

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup pomegranate juice

Ice cubes, for serving

Method

Dissolve the sugar in the pomegranate juice by stirring continuously. Add the sparkling wine and late-harvest white wine, then add the orange slices and pomegranate seeds. Serve the sparkling pomegranate punch over ice cubes. –Ursula Human, Farm fare

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