Great Grenadine!


If you’re like me, the grenadine you grew up adding to cocktails and Shirley Temples is nothing like the real deal. Thinking I was resigned to the artificially colored and flavored brand-that-shall-remain-nameless, I usually skipped over any type of drink that called for grenadine, opting for drinks that weren’t as sweet and syrupy.

This all changed when I actually discovered what grenadine was and how truly simple it is to make.

I could fill up an entire blog about the historial importance of pomegranates, but I wouldn’t know where to start. Suffice it to say that one of the oldest fruits on earth make the absolute best syrup–a taste that lives between tart and sweet, not unlike citrus.

And the recipe? Extract the juice of a pomegranate, add sugar and reduce over heat. That’s it.

(Well, it sounds easy, but wait till you have a case of pomegranates and you’re up to your eyeballs in exploding arils and your forearms are stained hot pink. It takes effort. Now it makes sense why the French and Spanish called it “grenadier” and “Grenada”, and where the world “grenade” came from.)

You can find the juice already bottled, but I swear it just doesn’t taste the same as freshly squeezed/abused/fought-over/pressed/stepped on pomegranate juice. Sure, you’ll save yourself some headache, but you’ll deny yourself pretty pink fingers.

Basic Grenadine Recipe
Because I like the tartness of pomegranates I usually go easy on the sugar, or I omit the sugar completely when making a reduction. This allows me to use my syrup not only in cocktails but as a dressing or marinade for savory recipes. It can also be made with honey.

2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup sugar (or less if you prefer it not so sweet)

Bring juice to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half. Reduce heat and add sugar, stirring constantly until it dissolves, about 2 or 3 minutes. Allow liquid to cool completely and then refrigerate. It should last about 1 week.


Footnote: Because I still have pomegranates I will experiment with different juice extraction methods like a food processor and boiling the arils – I’ll post the results shortly. It will no doubt be cleaner and neater than by hand but will deny me the opportunity to run through the house covered in pom juice screaming as if I have been injured. This drama queen seizes every opportunity for flamboyance.


  1. says

    It is peak pomegranate season in Israel, and everywhere you go you see little men standing over their pump-handled juicers squooshing the heck out of halved grenades. Suggestion – wear rubber/latex gloves… After a few dozen fruit the pink turns to brown and eventually a semi-permanent stain.

  2. says

    Would you believe that till I read this post, I had no idea what grenadine was? I wonder if I can still get pomegranates here in Australia or whether I’ve missed their season…

    And the description of you running around like a pomegranate-juice covered madman sounds interesting. Who knows, the experimentation of juice-extracting techniques may provide a few more chances to do this :)

  3. says

    Yum. I made my own grenadine a few months ago… but I made it from POM juice not the real thing. It was definitely tasty… but I’m sure that fresh from the fruit is even better.

  4. says

    I remember once i googled and found this method for juicing pomegranates. Basically roll the whole fruit around until all the arils burst, you can feel it becomes soft. Then cut a hole in the skin and squeeze out the juice. I tried it and it worked pretty well. Not sure if thats the method you are using now, coz all you said is ‘by hand’. this would probably be less messy too.

  5. says

    Thank you for the recipe and thanks to DEe, as well. I bought some pomegranate juice concentrate recently and cooked pears in it, then reduced it. It was good. but for some reason the taste of the syrup reminded me more of molasses than pomegranates.
    Will have to try will the fresh fruit.

  6. says

    The only time I tried juicing a pomegranate I wore it for days. The resulting pomegrante tangerine sorbet was worth it though.

    I bought some TJ pomegranate vinegar not long ago and I swear it tasted like Robitussin cough syrup. Is that supposed to be pomegrante too?

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