A delicious fruity cocktail syrup that has been used for centuries to make awesome drinks. A must-know for any cocktail enthusiast.
Grenadine pops up in cocktail recipes from time to time as a mysterious ingredient many people aren't familiar with.
But what's important to know is that you can easily make a delicious version right at home!
Here I will share my favorite way to make grenadine as well a few drinks to try it in, and which ingredients you should use.
What is grenadine?
Grenadine is a rich and flavorful cocktail syrup made from pomegranate juice, sweetened with cane sugar, and flavored with orange flower water.
It has a wonderful dark red fruity flavor with subtle floral notes and a characteristic deep magenta color that looks beautiful in the glass.
When used in cocktails it adds both sweetness and a rich fruity background that is able to work well with a variety of other ingredients.
My favorite grenadine recipe
There are so many different ways to make grenadine, but I've settled on this method that has a balance between dark and fresh pomegranate flavor, with a subtle floral background.
This is done by first making a quick pomegranate molasses which I promise is not that hard.
Simply cook down pomegranate juice and sugar until it reduces to 1/3 of it's original volume and has an amber color and a rich caramelized fruit smell to it.
Be careful with orange flower water! It is super potent and can be overpowering if not used sparingly.
Then add in the remaining juice and sugar, add a pinch of salt and a few drops of orange flower to brighten it up.
If you'd like to help extend it's storage life splash in just a titch of Everclear or high proof vodka. It will store in the fridge for up to a month but it's best within 1-2 weeks.
Grab your ingredients
First you're going to need unsweetened pomegranate juice.
I prefer to buy it at the supermarket to avoid the total pain in the ass of juicing pomegranates at home. You can get some good ones like POM or Lakewood, and if you can't find them at the store grab some HERE on Amazon.
For the sugar I prefer to use cane for almost any syrup recipe but white granulated sugar will also work just fine.
And last, if possible, try not to skip the orange flower water. I know it's a strange ingredient but it really gives grenadine those delicate floral flavors!
If you really want to juice your own:
- Mash/puree: You can blend the pomegranates until they just form a liquid but most of the seeds are still intact, then strain out the solids in a really fine sieve or with a cheese cloth. If you don't have a blender use potato masher or something similar.
- Use a citrus juicer: If you have a pressing style citrus juicer large enough to fit a grapefruit half you can use this method. Cut the pomegranate in half and juice it the same way that you would a piece of citrus. Full credit for this method goes to the cocktail legend Jeffery Morgenthaler.
Grenadine cocktails to try
Grenadine is used in many recipes to contribute its' dark red fruity flavors, and just like simple syrup it works nicely when its' sweetness is balanced by a tart or bitter component like fresh citrus juices.
The Scofflaw, Monkey Gland, and Ward 8 are a few well know cocktails with grenadine, but there are countless others.
The Jack Rose
A classic applejack cocktail with homemade grenadine and lemon.
If you are able to make it (or randomly have some) raspberry syrup will work well as a substitute for grenadine.
According to Ted Haig, raspberry syrup was historically used almost interchangeably with grenadine in many old drink recipes. Obviously it will bring a different fruit flavor to your cocktail, but you could absolutely use it!
It would be interesting to make a bunch of cocktails that use grenadine or raspberry syrup and try a version with each syrup.
In a pinch you could also use the syrup from some good quality cocktail cherries, but keep in mind that will be much sweeter than grenadine.
Grenadine Syrup Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice
- 1 1/2 cup Cane Sugar
- 12 drops Orange Flower Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- splash Everclear or High Proof Vodka - optional
- Add 1 cup of pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup of the sugar to a small saucepan.
- Simmer and let bubble on medium while stirring until it reduces to about 1/3 of its' original volume and is thick and redish-brown (see images above). The bubbles will begin to get bigger and syrupy looking which will let you know you're close.
- Add the rest of the sugar and pomegranate juice as well as the salt and orange flower water.
- Warm on low just until all the sugar is dissolved and remove from heat.
- Once cooled, pour into a bottle for storing in the fridge. Add about 1/2oz of Everclear to help preserve if you'd like.
Make a batch of your own homemade grenadine and try it in a few classic cocktail recipes!
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