Grenadine is a commonplace (though often misunderstood) classic bar syrup. Although store-bought versions are usually bright red and artificially flavored, true grenadine is just a simple sweet and sour pomegranate syrup.
What is in grenadine?
Grenadine gets its name from the French word for pomegranate, grenade. The syrup is traditionally made by mixing pomegranate juice with sugar and a little water, but more modern versions are made with:
- Pomegranate juice
- Pomegranate molasses (optional, but recommended)
- Orange blossom water
- Vodka or grain alcohol (optional, for extending shelf life)
Cocktails you can use it in:
- Tequila Sunrise
- El Presidente
- Jack Rose
- Silk Stocking
- Ward Eight
- The Bacardi Cocktail
Grenadine is a sweet and tart ingredient that adds flavor and color to any drink. Add some to lemonade for a classic pink lemonade.
Add a splash to your ginger ale for a Shirley Temple, or a splash to cola for a Roy Rodgers. Substitute grenadine for simple syrup in a classic Daiquiri and you have yourself a Bacardi Cocktail.
How to make this easy grenadine
Gather your ingredients. You can use freshly juiced pomegranates or just grab a bottle of POM Wonderful at the grocery store.
Bottled unsweetened pomegranate juice is a great option for making quality grenadine when fresh pomegranates aren’t available.
Pomegranate molasses is a pomegranate syrup that has been cooked down to a thick and rich consistency.
It adds a depth of flavor to this grenadine recipe, but it’s not mandatory if you have a hard time finding it in stores. You can also find it on Amazon.
Orange blossom water might sound like an exotic ingredient if you don’t make a lot of cocktails, but it’s actually pretty easy to find at most supermarkets.
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Look in the spice aisle or Middle Eastern section, if your store has one. It’s often next to rosewater, which is another fantastic cocktail ingredient to keep on hand. You can also pick up a bottle on Amazon.
Now you’ll add your pomegranate juice and sugar to a small saucepan and set the heat to medium-low. You just want to heat things up enough to allow the sugar to dissolve, without cooking or boiling the syrup.
Stir frequently until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove the syrup from the heat.
All you have to do now is stir in your pomegranate molasses (if using), and a teensy bit of orange blossom water.
These two ingredients transform the syrup from bright and fruity but basic to deep, exotic, and pleasantly floral.
How long will it last?
There’s a reason I don’t typically make big batches of any syrup. Being a home bartender and just fixing drinks for myself and my husband these days, my syrups sometimes take a long time to get used up.
This is why I like to add an ounce or two of vodka to help extend the fridge life of any syrup that’s not getting used up within a week or two.
Without vodka, refrigerate and use this recipe within two weeks. With vodka, this grenadine should last a month or maybe longer.
Some grenadine recipes call for rosewater instead of orange blossom water. Either one will add a subtle floral undertone that works really well with the bright flavor of pomegranates. Try both and see what you like best!
How to make a super fast, super small batch
If you just want enough fresh grenadine for a few cocktails, you can mix up ½ cup of pomegranate juice with ½ cup of sugar in a mason jar.
Screw on the lid and shake until the sugar has dissolved. Then add 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses and ¼ tsp of orange blossom water, put the lid back on, and shake to incorporate.
This recipe was adapted from Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Grenadine Recipe to be made on a smaller scale. Visit his original recipe for instructions on how to make a larger batch!
How to Make Grenadine
- 1 cup pomegranate juice (freshly pressed or unsweetened bottled juice like POM)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional, but recommended)
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- 1 oz vodka, to extend shelf life (optional)
- Combine the pomegranate juice and sugar in a small saucepan and set heat to medium-low.
- Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the pomegranate molasses (if using) and the orange blossom water (or rosewater).
- Add one ounce of vodka or grain alcohol (optional) to help extend the life of the syrup.
- Allow the syrup to cool fully, then store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. Syrup will last at least two weeks, or longer if using vodka to preserve it.