There are very few products that get more guff behind the bar than grenadine. When we think about it, we picture a bright red, artificially colored, high-fructose corn syrupy liquid, used in terrible drinks you’d find on a Bennigan’s happy hour menu. And, if you are thinking about the grenadine behind most bars, you wouldn’t be far off in your assessment. The grenadine we most commonly see is nothing more than high-fructose corn syrup with dyes and preservatives. But, true grenadine is actually a syrup made with nothing more than pomegranate and sugar. So why go buy the bad stuff, when you can easily make a fresh batch in your own kitchen?
This recipe couldn’t be simpler but couldn’t yield more rewarding results. Pomegranates produce a sweet but tart juice which, when boiled with sugar, makes a perfectly balanced cocktail ingredient. For the best results, make sure you source 100% unsweetened pomegranate juice, which can be found at most health food stores. If you have a home juicer, consider juicing your own. Remember, the best part about making your own syrups at home is that you are in charge. You can make it as sweet or as tart as you like. You can get creative and add herbs or spices into the recipe, making your very own grenadine flavors. Use that big squishy thing in between your ears and your inner grenadine genius is sure to emerge.
Acquire Your Elements (to yield 2 cups of Grenadine):
2 cups All Natural Pomegranate Juice (100% unsweetened)
½ cup Sugar
1 Lemon or Orange (optional to add a bit more tartness)
Get Geared Up:
Mason Jar or Sealable Bottle for Storage
Funnel for transfer
Get to Cookin’:
Combine the sugar and juice. In a sauce pan, combine the pomegranate juice and sugar. Place over medium heat. Stir to help the sugar dissolve.
Bring to a boil. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and cook until slightly thickened. Remember not to over-boil. The mixture will begin to crystallize if over-boiled.
Cool and add citrus. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool. Taste your syrup and add fresh lemon or orange juice to accentuate the tartness (if necessary).
Bottle and store. Safely pour your grenadine syrup into a mason jar or place a funnel in a clean, sealable bottle, and pour in the syrup. Your new grenadine syrup will store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
If you decide you want to get more creative with your flavor, (may we suggest adding dried flowers, fresh herbs or bitters?) add your extra ingredients in step one and boil with the juice and sugar.
Now the you have your proper grenadine, try making one of the original cocktails written to contain the pomegranate syrup, the Jack Rose.
The Jack Rose
1 ½ oz Applejack Brandy
½ oz Homemade Grenadine
Juice of ½ Lime
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice 26 times. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.