[I am writing a monthly column at Drink of the Week, providing recipes and uses for excellent homemade cocktail mixers, and the following is my first post.]

That never-expiring bottle on your shelf isn’t really grenadine. That bastard stepchild of the classic cocktail mixer, which comes in a color not found in nature and is comprised almost entirely of sugar, may be ubiquitous but it’s not authentic.

Thanks to the public demand for antioxidants and the year-round growing season in California’s Central Valley, 100% pomegranate juice is now available at every grocery store in that double-bubble bottle, so we can all make our own grenadine the traditional way, by simmering real juice with sugar.

Grenadine Recipe:

1 16-ounce bottle of Pom (pomegranate juice)

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 ounce of vodka

Simmer the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 2 cups, remove from heat, and stir in the vodka (adding a little alcohol extends the shelf life exponentially without much alteration to the flavor).

Let it cool before pouring back into the original bottle. It will keep in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Uses: grenadine can be added to ginger ale for a Shirley Temple, cola for a Roy Rogers, or used as an alternative to sugar or other sweeteners in any number of cocktails, as well as in the classic grenadine cocktails linked below.

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