Grenadine is a cocktail modifier that gained popularity in the late 19th century. Taking its name from the pomegranate, the fruit from which its made, grenadine adds a sweetness/tartness to a drink and as well as the signature red colour.
Grenadine is essentially pomegranate syrup and if you know how to make simple syrup, making grenadine is just as easy.
The techniques vary from the cold method of using equal parts of pomegranate juice and granulated sugar, shaking it in a jar until dissolved, to the heat method where the mixture is heated or boiled, simmered to reduce then enriched with pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water. The latter ingredients which you can buy from Middle Eastern stores impart a depth of flavour and are well worth using. Whichever method you choose, you can add a little vodka or neutral grain spirit as a preservative.
To make grenadine at home, you can use store bought pomegranate juice (such as POM 100% pomegranate juice) or fresh pomegranates which you simply juice in a citrus juicer or a citrus press with a handle. Juicing fresh pomegranates does not yield a lot of juice therefore the store bought option might be preferable.
Here’s how to make grenadine using the heat method.
How to Make Grenadine
Adapted from a recipe by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
- 2 cups (500ml) of fresh pomegranate juice OR 3-4 large pomegranates, juiced
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 30 ml vodka or neutral grain spirit (optional)
1. If making your own pomegranate juice, slice the pomegranates in half and using a citrus juicer, press the juice out then strain using a fine strainer.
2. Heat the pomegranate juice over low heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Do not let the liquid boil. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water until dissolved.
3. Allow to cool then add the neutral grain spirit (optional) and store in metal swing top glass bottles in the fridge. Makes about 600 ml.
Grenadine keeps for approximately one month. Use it in cocktails such as the Scofflaw, Clover Club, Jack Rose, Monkey Gland, Pink Lady, and if you feel like a trip back in time, Tequila Sunrise.
Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.