Ever wondered what makes certain cocktails have a ruby red or dark pink coloring? In most cases, it’s not anything artificial, it’s simply grenadine. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about this super-food fueled syrup – and to share a simple recipe to make it yourself!
What is Grenadine?
Grenadine is simply a pomegranate juice infused syrup. Pomegranate seeds – which are the edible fruit of this odd tropical fruit – have a rich red coloring that contributes the rich red coloring to this popular cocktail mixer.
Grenadine makes a delicious addition to craft cocktails. Or keep it family friendly and make a batch of grenadine with your kids and then treat them to a Shirley Temple. You’ll sneak a superfood into their diet, and I bet they’ll even thank you!
Pomegranates are a tropical fruit that grow on trees. California is the largest commercial producer of pomegranates in the United States, so poms and pomegranate juice that you find at the local grocery store likely originated from California.
Interestingly, I saw my first pomegranate tree “in the wild” this past year during a trip to south Texas, where I learned that the fruit is quite capable of growing well across the coastal southern U.S.
Pomegranate season is September thru February in the Northern Hemisphere – so grab one today because they’re in season! Crack it open and spoon out the seeds which are delightful for a myriad of uses. But today, we’re going to stick with using them to make a special treat: homemade grenadine.
Recipe: Homemade Grenadine
This recipe is really simple, y’all.
All you have to do is combine equal parts granulated sugar and pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Stir frequently and remove from heat when the sugar has completely dissolved.
If you want a more viscous (thick) grenadine, simply allow the syrup to reduce further over a medium-low flame.
If you want to incorporate a bit of flavor complexity in your grenadine, add some orange zest or even a small star anise pod while the syrup is cooking.
Allow syrup to cool in refrigerator before using. Kept refrigerated, grenadine will keep for 2-3 weeks.
>> If you’re not the recipe-making type, but still want to treat yourself to a grenadine-infused beverage, we recommend our friend’s Eli Mason Classic Grenadine, made in Nashville with real pom juice and cane sugar. Eli Mason Cocktail Mixers are available in nicer bottle shops around the southern U.S.