How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

How to Make Grenadine #cocktailbasics

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After fielding questions from a number of friends about where to begin with making cocktails, I’m doing a series that will walk you through the basics. First, I covered basic equipment. Last time, I explained how to make simple syrup. Today I’ll be showing you how to make grenadine.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even knew what flavor grenadine was supposed to be. If I’d had to guess I might have gone with a hesitant cherry??? or whatever flavor the Michigan-made Faygo Red Pop I grew up with is supposed to be.

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

It would have taken me numerous wrong guesses before I would have thought of pomegranate. If I knew more French or Spanish, in which the words for pomegranate are grenade and grenada, respectively, I might have guessed at the etymological clues.

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

To be honest, even though I drank my share of cloying Shirley Temples at wedding receptions as a kid, I never particularly liked grenadine and didn’t think much about it until I started exploring the world of craft cocktails and realized that so many syrups and other cocktail ingredients could easily be made better than the high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor and color concoctions you can buy in the “mixers” aisle at an average liquor store.

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

To make grenadine, you really just need pomegranate juice and cane sugar. You can squeeze your own pomegranate juice if that’s your thing. Jeffrey Morgenthaler (who tends to be right about these things) says that you can slice the fruit in half and squeeze it like an orange with a citrus press. (One fruit is supposed to yield about a cup of juice.) But I’ll be honest that I’ve never actually bothered with that because I picture myself and my kitchen covered with bright garnet-colored splatter that I just don’t wanna clean up. I just buy Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice (the 100% pomegranate kind) that’s in the refrigerated section of my grocery store. It should be pretty easy to find. Then all you need to do is combine equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. You want to avoid heating the pomegranate juice to a boil, not just because the evaporation will throw off your ratio of juice to sugar, but because you want to retain as much fresh pomegranate flavor as possible. Cooked pomegranate juice just isn’t the same. (You could also make this with a cold process, which involves shaking the juice and sugar together for about ten minutes until combined. This would retain the fresh fruit flavor, but not so much the freshness of your shoulder tendons. If you are young, ambitious, and unfamiliar with joint pain, go ahead and give it a try…)

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

If you want to get fancy, and I tend to, you can add a little pomegranate molasses, which is a thick syrupy concentrated Middle Eastern pomegranate sauce, for extra pomegranate flavor. You could also add a tiny splash of orange blossom water for some aromatic floral notes.  I find both of these at the Middle Eastern Bakery and Grocery in my neighborhood, but they’re available online as well.

If you want to keep it around for more than a few weeks, it’s a good idea to add a splash of vodka or gin, which will act as a preservative and keep it fresh in the refrigerator for over a month.

And really, that’s all there is to it. You can be making good Shirley Temples and Jack Roses and grenadine sodas in no time.

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net

How to Make Grenadine. #cocktailbasics From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious www.blossomtostem.net
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Homemade Grenadine

Source: Adapted from Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s excellent The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique
Making your own grenadine at home is easy. There are two essential ingredients (pomegranate juice and sugar), one recommended natural preservative (vodka or gin), and two optional flavor enhancers (pomegranate molasses and orange flower water). You can juice your own pomegranates if you like, or you can use a pre-made refrigerated pomegranate juice like Pom Wonderful. This makes a small batch that a household could reasonably get through before it goes bad. It easily scales up if you want more. I recommend weighing the sugar on a kitchen scale for more precise measurement.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pomegranate juice (236 ml)
  • 8 ounces cane sugar (425 grams) preferably organic
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange flower water optional
  • 1 tablespoon vodka or gin optional but recommended as a preservative

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the pomegranate juice, cane sugar, pomegranate molasses (if using) and orange flower water (if using), and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the vodka or gin (if using). Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator.

 


11 Comments

  • HI! Great article and great site! Found you on FB. Let me know if you’d like to collaborate on anything.
    All the best,
    Heather

    Reply
    • Thanks, Heather!

      Reply
  • This looks like such a simple recipe. I still love Shirley Temples but I never thought about making them at home. I might need to now!

    Molly and Stacie

    Reply
    • It is simple. I hope you give it a try!

      Reply
  • I had a thought – to help preserve the freshness of the juice, what if you started with a 2:1 simple syrup. Ie, 8oz sugar, and 4oz of juice, and then add the extra 4oz right at the end, after it’s all dissolved? Do you think that would work?

    Reply
    • I think that would work. I’d wait to add the extra juice until the mixture has cooled to room temperature and formed a stable solution. (Really, if you cook it over a low heat, the juice retains a significant amount of its fresh flavor, so it’s unclear to me if the difference here would be significant, but a side by side comparison of these methods could be interesting.)

      Reply
  • I’ve never made my own grenadine. Awesome tips and great recipes! Must try.

    Reply
  • Who knew that one could make their own grenadine? Great article.

    Reply
  • Brilliant! Gotta try this.

    Reply
  • I never thought to make my own syrup for cocktails. This is so much healthier than the artificial grenadine.

    Reply
  • Take comfort in the fact that I just learnt from you what Grenadines were!!!! Who’d have thunk? Hmm… GORGEOUS pictures btw!!!! LOVE this, and can’t wait to try it myself!

    Reply

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