Have you ever heard of grenadine? Many people have not because it does not have the best reputation with bartenders due to a misunderstanding of what exactly grenadine is. However, it can be a great addition to any bar stash. It can add beautiful color, sweetness, and flavor to tons of different cocktails. It can be difficult to find but don't worry; you can make it yourself. This article will cover everything you need to know to start making and using grenadine.
What Is Grenadine?
Many people, even those who drink grenadine, do not know what it is. Many people believe it has to do with maraschino cherries because they are used in drinks like the Shirley Temple that typically come with maraschino cherries. However, grenadine is made primarily from pomegranate. The pomegranate juice is combined with other ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, molasses, or orange blossom water.
Grenadine is very similar to a simple syrup. It is bright red and can be used to sweeten drinks; however, contrary to popular belief, grenadine can be used to add a lot more than just color and sweetness to the drink. If you take the time to make your flavorful grenadine at home, you will find that grenadine can add a lot to the cocktails you make.
A Brief History Of Grenadine
Fruity syrups have been used in drinks since the very beginning of cocktail recipes in the 1800s. Grenadine was first published in a cocktail recipe in 1891 by William "Cocktail" Boothby in the recipe book "American Bar-Tender." In 1908, he published more recipes using grenadine in the Jack Rose and the Clover Club. For the next 30 years, this syrup began to grow in popularity. By the 1930s, there were dozens of recipes that called for grenadine.
However, there have also been misconceptions about this drink from the beginning. Grenadine was often presented to bartenders as a substitute for strawberry syrups or raspberry syrups. Many people believed that grenadine was made with berries, not pomegranate. Additionally, many people believed the only benefit of this syrup was color. Because of this, almost from the time that people started using grenadine, people were making fake grenadine without a single drop of pomegranate in them. As it began to become public knowledge that American grenadine often did not actually contain pomegranate, many bartenders stopped using it.
Because of the bad reputation of grenadine developed in America and a lot of misinformation, it can be hard to find true grenadine today. That is why, if you want to try out grenadine in your drinks for real, it is often recommended that you go ahead and make it yourself. The good news is that it isn't too hard to do just that.
How To Make Grenadine Cocktail Syrup
The first thing you will need to do is gather your ingredients. You will need 2 cups of pomegranate juice. You can buy this from the store or juice 2 to 3 pomegranates if you prefer. You will also need 1 cup of granulated sugar, a 1/2 teaspoon of orange flower water, and one tablespoon of molasses. If you want to make your grenadine alcoholic, you can add an ounce of vodka, but that is unnecessary.
After you have gathered your ingredients, follow the instructions below to make your syrup.
Step One: Take a small saucepan and combine the pomegranate juice and sugar with a whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the juice to a boil. You want to stir continuously, so the sugar and juice mixture does not burn.
Step Two: Once you are sure that all the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover it. Allow it to simmer, occasionally stirring, until the liquid reduces. It should reduce to about 1/3 of the liquid and have a consistency similar to honey. This could take between 20 and 30 minutes.
Step Three: Once you have reduced the mixture, take it off the heat and allow it to cool. Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, you can stir in the orange flower water and the pomegranate molasses. This is the point where you should stir in the vodka if you are using it.
Step Four: Once the ingredients are combined, pour the grenadine into an air-tight container or bottle. You can store the syrup for 1 to 3 months in the refrigerator.
How And When To Use Grenadine In A Cocktail
If you are going to try grenadine, you must know how to use it. Because it has a bad reputation amongst many bartenders, this delicious ingredient is left out of many cocktail recipes. Nevertheless, here are some different ways you can use this delightful syrup:
First, you can use grenadine in gin cocktails. Gin has botanical and herbal flavors, which tend to mix well with the fruitiness of grenadine. If you want to let the pomegranate shine, you could try grenadine with a vodka cocktail. Rum's natural sweetness also tends to pair well with grenadines in cocktails. You could also try grenadine in margaritas or other tequila drinks. Finally, you could mix grenadine with whiskey, especially if the whiskey cocktail already calls for citrus.
As you can see, there are many great ways to use grenadine. In the next section, we will go over some of the more popular grenadine cocktails and how to make them.
Most Popular Grenadine Cocktails
1) Shirley Temple
Yes, the Shirley Temple is technically a mocktail. Still, you can make it a cocktail by adding vodka (often referred to as a Dirty Shirley.) The Shirley Temple is one of the most popular grenadine drinks. All you need to make one is about 2/3 cup of ginger ale, 1/2 an ounce of lime juice, and 1 ounce of grenadine. Mix in the vodka if you want it, garnish with a cherry, and enjoy.
2) Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers is very similar to a Shirley Temple; only it is made with Coca-Cola instead of the traditional ginger beer. It may sound a little strange to some, but many people consider this their favorite drink. To make it, follow the instructions you would to make a Shirley Temple, but add Coca-Cola instead of ginger beer.
3) Tequila Sunrise
The tequila sunrise is a stunning cocktail with brightly colored layers that mimic a beautiful sunrise. All you need to make one is orange juice, tequila, lime juice, grenadine, and garnishes. It is typically garnished with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange.
4) New York
A New York is a super simple grenadine cocktail that you can make. Take a shaker and fill it with bourbon, peach brandy, lime juice, orange peel, simple syrup, and grenadine. Shake it up and strain it into a chilled cocktail glass. Using paring knife to cut an orange slice or twist of orange peel to garnish it.
5) Blushing Mimosas
Mimosas are one of the most well-known drinks, commonly drank with brunch. However, try a blushing mimosa if you want to add a fun twist to your traditional mimosa. Mix pineapple juice, grenadine, orange juice, and some champagne and sparkling wine to achieve a beautiful pink drink. You can garnish with a few cherries or a slice of blood orange.
6) Clover Club Cocktail
People have been drinking Clover Club cocktails since before prohibition, which are still many people's favorite drinks. They are often made with raspberry syrup, but the traditional recipe calls for grenadine. This drink is made with grenadine, lemon, and gin to make a delicious drink with the perfect balance of sweet and tart. It is mixed with white egg foam, which might sound strange, but it gives it an awesome creamy texture.
How To Store and Freeze Grenadine
Homemade grenadine can last a month if it is kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Still, sometimes you want to make a large batch and keep it for longer than that. There are a couple of different ways that you can extend the shelf life of your grenadine. First, by adding vodka, you can extend the shelf-life of grenadine. Try finding a vodka that is at least 80 proof for the best results. You can also try to freeze the grenadine, but it loses some freshness. If you need to freeze it, you can do so in ice cube trays with a tight lid. When you need some grenadine, pop out one of the ice cubes.
In conclusion, grenadine is a great and easy addition to your bar collection. With this one syrup, you can make tons of delicious cocktails. Of course, you could use a more common strawberry or raspberry syrup. Still, adding homemade grenadine will definitely up your cocktail game and impress all of your guests.