Grenadine is often mistaken for cherry juice. Wrong! Grenadine, a red syrup originally made from pomegranate juice, cherry juice and sugar. In fact, grenadine actually comes from the French word, “grenade” which means pomegranate. In most bars nowadays, grenadine consists almost entirely of a high-fructose corn syrup base. Grenadine is used to make drinks like “cherry” cokes, pink lemonades, shirley temples and tequila sunrises. Now, if someone asks you what grenadine is, you can tell them the correct answer. It isn’t really just cherry juice. It’s actually pomegranate juice AND cherry juice with a bunch of sugar.
You can easily make your own non-alcoholic grenadine syrup at home with the following recipe:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 2-1/4 pounds pomegranates
- 1 pint water
- Sugar, see instructions
- Red food coloring, optional
Separate the pomegranate seeds from the membranes and skin. In a heavy saucepan, cover pomegranate seeds with 1 pint of water and simmer, stirring until juice sacs release their juice, about 5 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth-layered sieve into a bowl, pressing the juice from the seeds. Discard seeds.
Measure the strained pomegranate juice and add an equal amount of sugar. Pour into saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add food coloring, if using. Pour into a decorative stoppered bottle.
Use grenadine syrup in children’s drinks like Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers, in alcoholic cocktails, desserts, marinades, and other general recipes. There are over 500 alcoholic drinks that contain grenadine, but the most well known is probably the Tequila Sunrise which is made from orange juice, a shot of tequila and grenadine. When mixed properly, the grenadine sinks to the bottom of the tall glass providing the fiery red portion of the sunrise.