What Is Grenadine?

If you are interested in different types of cocktails and mocktails, you are likely to have encountered a syrup known as grenadine.

This syrup does not contain any alcohol itself, but it is most commonly used in cocktails and mocktails to add some incredible flavor and a pop of color.

What Is Grenadine?

One of the most famous drinks that uses grenadine is a tequila sunrise. However, knowing that it adds color to drinks doesn’t let us know what it is made from or how to use it.

In this quick guide, we will look at what grenadine is made from, what it tastes like, and how to make it at home. 

What Is Grenadine Made From?

The original grenadine syrups were made using a strong base of pomegranate juice. It is this fruit that the syrup gets its name from. The French word for pomegranate is grenade, and grenadine simply means pomegranate syrup essentially. 

If you are making grenadine at home or using more traditional ingredients, all you will need is pomegranate juice, lemon juice, and sugar. This creates the wonderfully unique taste of this brightly colored syrup. 

However, if you are purchasing modern grenadine syrup from a grocery store or a liquor store, it is likely to be made from high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid, and red food coloring.

This combination of ingredients makes store-bought grenadine much sweeter than homemade or traditional versions. It also doesn’t have the delicate tartness that comes from pomegranate.

It will, however, be much richer in color. 

What Does Grenadine Taste Like?

As you may have already guessed, traditional grenadine syrup tastes like pomegranate with a hint of lemon and a touch of sweetness. This is also the flavor combination that you will experience with homemade grenadine syrup. 

However, if you are purchasing grenadine syrup from a grocery store, the taste is going to be very different.

The most obvious difference between traditional or homemade grenadine and store-bought syrup is that the latter will not taste like pomegranate. Instead, it will taste very sweet with a hint of citric acid to take the edge off slightly. 

If you are looking at cocktails that use grenadine syrup to add flavor and color, you will either have to make it yourself or add some extra pomegranate juice to the cocktail to get the right flavor.

Otherwise, you will have a brilliant color to your drink without the right taste. 

How To Use Grenadine Syrup

Now that you know what grenadine is and what it should taste like, you might be wondering how it should be used. Grenadine is a staple of cocktail bars for one very simple reason, it adds sweetness and color. 

There are many tropical or fruity cocktails that require additional sweetness to take the edge off the alcohol. There are also plenty of cocktails that are popular because of their striking and colorful appearance.

For these drinks, grenadine is a priceless addition. 

One of the most popular cocktails that make use of grenadine is the tequila sunrise. Not only does this syrup add extra flavor and a beautiful color to the drink, but it is also responsible for the stunning ombre effect that makes the drink so popular. 

Because grenadine is a syrup, it is heavier than the spirits and juices that are commonly used to make cocktails. This means that when you add it to a cocktail, it will sink to the bottom.

You can disperse the syrup through the drink by stirring it. However, for the tequila sunrise, leaving it at the bottom of the glass is the perfect way to make a memorable drink. 

Grenadine can also be used in a range of mocktails. Cherry limeade and Shirley Temple are two of the most common child-friendly drinks that make use of the beautiful color of this drink. 

Can You Make Grenadine At Home?

The short answer to this question is, yes. It is actually surprisingly easy to whip up grenadine syrup at home.

However, it is important to note that if you are used to grenadine syrup bought from a store, the homemade syrup will not be as vibrantly colored as what you normally get. 

The most basic grenadine recipe to use is 1 part pomegranate juice to 2 parts granulated sugar. These ingredients should be combined in a saucepan and heated.

What Is Grenadine? (1)

As it is heated the sugar will dissolve into the juice to create a syrup. Once all the sugar is dissolved, allow the syrup to cool and decant it into a bottle. 

If you want to give your grenadine more of a bite to it, you can add some lemon juice to taste. This can be done as your syrup is cooling to preserve the flavor of the lemon juice. 

If you want to make your syrup as colorful as the grenadine that you can buy in stores, you can also add a splash of red food coloring to boost the syrup.

Be aware that this can stain the bottle that you store the grenadine in. 

Popular Grenadine Cocktails

Now that you know what grenadine is and how you can make your own at home, you might be looking for some inspiration to use it with. Below are some of the most popular cocktails and mocktails that use grenadine.

Tequila Sunrise: this is one of the most popular cocktails that use grenadine for color. We talked about the role that grenadine plays in the stunning, unique ombre look of this cocktail.

This is a sweet cocktail that can also be served frozen

Shirley Temple: another incredibly popular drink that uses grenadine is the Shirley Temple mocktail. This is a wonderfully refreshing alcohol-free drink that uses grenadine to add a splash of color. 

Roy Rogers: Another amazing grenadine mocktail is the Roy Rogers. This is a drink that uses grenadine more for its flavor than the color that it brings.

This is a super simple drink that combines cola with grenadine for a refreshing summer drink. 

Final Thoughts

Grenadine is a wonderful syrup to have in your cupboards or drink cabinet. It can add color and flavor to cocktails and mocktails to make them even more special.

Best of all, you can easily make it at home whenever you need it. 

Mark Williams
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