While this is a topic that has been covered by pretty much every cocktail blog under the sun, I haven’t yet written about it. Why? Well, for one, I’m lazy and never got around to it. But after having made various versions of grenadine for years at my bars and after doing a little research on the web recently, I’ve wondered if the topic of homemade grenadine couldn’t use a little revisit.
There are a few key problems with a lot of the house-made grenadines out there. The first issue you can see immediately: the color is all wrong. Grenadine isn’t brown, and the good stuff, the real grenadine won’t make your El Presidente look like mud. Grenadine also isn’t pale pink, and it shouldn’t turn your Jack Rose grey. Grenadine is a vibrant shade of magenta, a rich syrup that brightens every cocktail it touches with its sweet, slightly tart, beautifully bright, rich, deep and lightly floral flavors.
A lot of grenadines call for an inordinate amount of work for very little payoff. This recipe is going to take you all of five minutes to prepare and – I promise you – will taste better than anything else you can buy in the stores. Because if there are two things you really need to know about me, it’s the following: I’m lazy and I like stuff that tastes good.
Some recipes are going to tell you you need to remove each individual seed from the pomegranate (a long, painful and finger-stainingly messy process) and either simmer them in water over heat or steep them in water overnight to extract the juice. I’ll tell you what, you want to extract the juice from a pomegranate? Do what I do: cut that puppy open like a grapefruit and press it with your juicer. Done and done. And the resulting juice is far more intense and flavorful than anything you’re going to get from those other methods that employ a bunch of water, believe me.
So now that you’ve got a bunch of fresh pomegranate juice – each full fruit should yield approximately one cup of juice – it’s time to turn it into grenadine. Many of the recipes you’ll see out there are going to tell you to boil the juice until it’s reduced by half, under the guise of concentrating the rich, fresh flavor of the pomegranate. I find this to be an unnecessary, time-consuming process that results in an end product that’s about as delicious as boiled orange juice. My solution is to heat the juice just enough to melt sugar, well below the point of boiling. You’ll still retain the fresh flavor of the pomegranate without having to do all the work of a cold-process grenadine, an ordeal that requires ten minutes of shaking until the sugar is dissolved.
You can do this in a small saucepan, but I just throw it in the microwave for a minute or two, because that’s exactly what microwaves are good for.
Heat your juice up and stir in an equal amount of unbleached sugar. I start with two cups of juice and dissolve two cups of sugar into it, stirring until the mixture is clear. Now what you’ve got is a pomegranate syrup, but not quite yet grenadine. The next step will add the depth of flavor you’re looking for, and for this you’re going to need to make a trip to your local Mediterranean or Latin American market for pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water. I add two ounces of the molasses and a teaspoon of the orange blossom water to my warm mix and stir again until everything is dissolved.
The only step left is to add one ounce of vodka – if you like – this is an optional preservative. If you’re not planning on using your grenadine pretty quickly, like over the span of a month, then add it. But if you’re serving it in a bar and plan on going through it pretty quickly, like I do, then you can just skip it.
Grenadine Print Me
- 2 cups/500 ml fresh pomegranate juice (approximately two large pomegranates) or POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
- 2 cups/500 g sugar
- 2 oz/60 ml pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp/5 ml orange blossom water
- Heat juice slightly, just enough to allow other ingredients to dissolve easily.
- Stir in remaining ingredients, allow to cool, and bottle.
Recipe printed courtesy of jeffreymorgenthaler.com
66 Replies to “How to Make Your Own Grenadine”
I would’ve replied to the previous comment but the ‘Reply’ button wasn’t working.
I used the electric juicer in the end, things got kinda messy: the problem was that it’s not a really big juicer so the plate that strains the solids filled up pretty quickly; I also think the yield could’ve been improved using another method (some of the seeds were still intact).
I tried using the NoPro juicer as well and it actually seemed more efficient and easier to use.
The mechanical method is probably better because it keeps the pressure on the fruit, squeezing all the seeds in between; your mechanical juicer is probably the best tool to do this.
My juice yield was basically a quarter than what it should be: 4 pomegranates made a half-pint; while in your recipe two large fruits should make a full pint (or 500ml). A friend of mine uses a crazy method of separating the seeds from the fruit and then mashing them up and straining, his yield was more appropriate 2 fruits – 500 ml.
I’ll definitely try this recipe again to get it right, maybe when the pomegranates are in season.
In the end, the recipe was pretty solid and a good grenadine came out. I just wanted to share my experience with the pomegranate juicing.
Thank you Jeffrey for your wonderful recipes!
I know this recipe from The Bar Book and, yes, before that I did read a lot of BS on how to juice a pomegranate on the web.
I was just wondering: would it be ok if I use an electric juicer?
I remember reading that you wouldn’t want to include the white stuff that’s inside the fruit, would that really be a major issue?
I was thinking of using my regular (NorPro) hand juicer that I use for oranges but I’m not quite sure a pomegranate would fit in there; and, also, I wonder if it would yield a significantly minor quantity of juice.
Totally fine to use an electric juicer. The white pith isn’t super desirable but it’s also not the end of the world if you get a little in there (it’s just kinda astringent and too much astringency in the grenadine is unpleasant). Just use a gentle hand when using the electric and you’ll be just fine.
I made a Mexican Firing Squad once before…once, and one only. I didn’t get it. The (store bought) grenadine added nothing.
Today I made one with this grenadine. I get it. Thank you.
I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for over five years now. I have to say it was worth the wait. Funny thing is with the past year I found a real grenadine and pomegranate molasses. Still the homemade stuff is significantly better. Thanks, Jeffrey, I’m grateful!
Tried this recipe because it seemed doable for someone who spends minimal time in a kitchen. It worked beautifully. (And, my wife said it was interesting to see me “cooking” at the stove.) Delicious. I recently realized that the store-bought “grenadine syrup” is little more than colored corn syrup, which was OK, I guess, for the purpose (tequila sunrises), but didn’t seem very authentic. My batch tastes great but, as another post mentioned, mine is a bit on the dark side; mine doesn’t make my sunrises muddy so much as it just sinks to the bottom and hides. I taste it, but the sunrises aren’t quite as colorful as I might hope. To be fair, it took me so long to buy the grenadine molasses and orange blossom water that the POM juice I bought had quite a few months on it when I finally got around to trying this recipe. I’ll try again soon with some fresher juice.
Just a quick note to say I’ve been making my own grenadine using your recipe for years – perfect every time. I’m lazy so use POM rather than squeezing my own, but it turns out beautifully. I only recently read your second book, Drinking Distilled and will be mass ordering it as a gift for all my nephews, nieces and associated young friends. Best thing I’ve ever read with how to drink sensibly outlined without wowserism. Nice work!
So glad to hear that, Jenness! Thank you!
I’m using POM, and Morena organic cane sugar. Maybe I cooked it for too long.
BTW, your book is really fantastic!! Amateur here, but it taught me soo much!
Hmmm, perhaps you cooked it too long. You just want to heat it up enough that the sugar dissolves, no longer.
I followed this recipe, the taste is delicious, but the color is somehow not leaving the drinks red. Drinks made with this end up being muddy. Maybe it’s the pomegranate molasses I used; is it supposed to be brown?
Pomegranate molasses is definitely brown, but the final product should be bright red. You’re either not using fresh pomegranate juice or POM Wonderful, sugar that is too high in molasses content, or you’re cooking it for too long. I’d check those three things.
I realize this post is quite old and I may not get a reply, but I am flummoxed by the “unbleached sugar” specification. Are we looking for an unrefined sugar like piloncillo (I’m thinking the flavor would be too strong and the color would be off?) or a raw sugar like turbinado or demerara? Or maybe plain-ol’ cane sugar would be just fine? I’m just not familiar with “unbleached” and don’t know what flavor profile I’m looking for. Thanks!
You’re totally right, it was so long ago and I was using this sort of tan-colored sugar from my local natural foods store that they labeled as “unbleached”. I’ve since come to find out that doesn’t seem to be a real thing – I assume it was white sugar with some molasses (though much less than, say, brown sugar) added back in for color. I’ve been using plain white granulated sugar in my grenadine for the past decade and it’s perfect. Thanks for noticing this.
Depending on your juicer and your pomegranate you may get best results if you press more than once, moving the half around between presses – the ones I had were fairly large so I got the most juice by doing one press a little to the left of center and one a little to the right – if I lined it up perfectly I ended up with a ring of totally unpressed seeds around the outside. So look at your juicer and your fruit and figure out how to squish as much of it as possible within reason.
(I only have tried with a press-style juicer, which you can control the pressure on so you don’t squish too much out of the pith.)
Anyway, I’m going to try this and then I’m going to horrify everyone by using it to make a Shirley Temple. (Due to medication I can only have alcohol in limited amounts so I like to play with non-alcoholic drinks too so when everyone else is having something tasty and I’ve already had my alcohol for the week, I can have something more interesting than popping open a can of Coke.)
As I’m a Simple Man & also very lazy this recipe appealed to me, I even simplified it even more using 100% Pomegranate juice from the store,placing that & sugar & orange peel into a skillet heating slowly to dissolve then adding the molasses( had just recently brought some not knowing how I would use it), I will also add the vodka because why not an extra kick, also planning to add some red food colouring to get that bright red colour
I realize that this is a post which originated 6-7 years ago, but that does not, in any way, invalidate Jeffrey’s guidance. In reading through the earlier comments, I saw a lot of “looks good, looks easy, so I’ll try it”. I wanted to report that I followed Jeffrey’s instructions without deviation (using POM instead of squeezing my own fruit; uber lazy) and the results were spectacular. If you follow his instructions you will never buy grenadine again. This is orders of magnitude better than anything you can buy, and it makes a huge difference in whatever cocktail you are mixing/shaking (mine went into the scofflaw). Thanks Jeffrey for an easy-to-make and completely superior recipe to anything one can purchase.
I tried this w fresh pressed pomegranates,pith free (which does make the recipe take much longer than 5 minutes but as I read from a comment above its worth the effort) but I resulted w a bit less than 2 cups, so I adjusted the sugar to keep the 1:1 ratio.
I substituted the orange blossom water for orange bitters and added a few dashes of rose water. Also substituted the molasses for agave syrup to use what I had on hand.
The result was MARVELOUS – thanks for sharing your quick technique- nuked it just over a minute, and everything else incorporated very easily!
I need to try this version. In mine I use 8oz Pomwonderful, 8oz Morena sugar, and three barspoons of Hibiscus tincture. It has a nice ruby colour, great taste with a hint of the floral from the hibiscus.
Sublime flavor, and it excels in a Jack Rose and Ward 8. Any other suggestions for cocktails? Would try Have a Heart but I have no Punsch…am I missing something?
I made a batch last year with the juicer and agree that the pith makes the juice unpleasantly tannic. This year I separated the arils in a pot of water (the arils sink and the pith floats) and juiced the arils in a hand-crank food mill. I also strained the final product through a fine chinois and this batch is wonderful. The extra effort to get pith-free juice is worth it.
Best. Grenadine. Recipe. Ever.
I’ve used this in Jack Rose cocktails, in Have a Heart cocktails, and Gawd knows what else. Stupendous.
Cold infusion: Use the iSi Gourmet Whip Plus to infuse the hibiscus flowers into the freshly pressed pomegranate juice. Then proceed with the sugar and molasses.
As for the juice press, this has the potential of also pressing the pith/membrane making the juice bitter. Removing seeds (arils) and gently pressing in a chinois or even a zip-lock bag will produce a cleaner product. Giving the juice ample time to rest after pressing will allow the fine sediment to fall out and the end result will be a deep red clear juice.
I just made some of this for a Christmas present! My only complaint was entirely my fault: I used a juicer attachment on a magic bullet. Don’t do that. Get a legitimate juicer.
I planned on doubling the recipe, but it turns out my four pomegranates yielded a bit less than two cups of juice. When I make this again I might try to see if I can find cheap pomegranate juice at the market where I got the molasses and orange blossom water, so I don’t have to do the juicing myself.
Just made this and it is wonderful. I used my juicer attachment for my food processor and found the pom. molasses and blossom water at my local Whole Foods store. It took me less than half an hour with clean up to make this. Thank you for your time on this recipe. Happy Cocktails!
I made this today but instead of orange blossom water, I used rose water. It has a nice floral under tone. Thanks for the recipe.
Just made this! So good.
Excellent recipe. I made 2 modifications.
I used Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom for preservative & I steeped 2 Hibiscus tea bags for 5 minutes as the mixture cooled. The tea adds more vibrant color and also cleans up the finish, while the vodka gives a bit more depth to the flavor profile. CHEERS!
Hust used this method to make grenadine, and it turned out great! I might use your ginger beer recipe once I get the equipment! Thanks from this poor grad student for some economical and fun things to make.
I came here because I wanted to make a Grenade, not Grenadine! >.> (Curses his dyslexia as he closes this random grenade recipe)
I made mine 6 months ago and used some last week – it still tasted and smelled great.
I keep it in a smallish glass bottle in the fridge, and when it gets low enough I move into into a new smaller clean glass bottle.
My wife and I were wondering how long is the shell life of the grenadine?
It’s the same thing – just a matter of translation. An orange blossom IS an orange flower, it’s just that different importers have the same product name translated different ways.
Hey, just wondering is there a difference between Orange Flower Water and Orange BLOSSOM Water.
The Blossom Water is at my local supermarket, so was unsure if it’s the same product or not.
OK, that was ridiculously easy, one might even say “simple.” The kicker is the pomegranate molasses, which is obscenely good on its own.
I had previously used the reduction method and not only was it time-consuming, the resulting syrup was much too thick, especially since I was keeping it in the fridge. I feel a Picon Punch coming on.
For Portland-area shoppers, I found the ingredients at Barbur World Foods, which may be my new home.
Stirrings makes a real grenadine with pure sugar (not HFCS). I think it has a good flavor to it.
I like a small drizzle in a good vodka for a simple cocktail.
I wouldn’t mind trying the fresh recipe here though. Sounds very good and I love making bar fixings fresh (fresh sour mix is killer).
I gave this recipe a try with mixed results (and a whole lot of mess!) I used my Krups juicer and (3) whole poms resulted in barely (1) cup of juice. The mess was ridiculous. My microwave took 4 minutes to dissolve all the sugar. It ended up bubbling over and left a sticky pom-a-mess all over the interior. The end product was quite delicious, but in the future I’ll do (3) things:
1) Buy POM juice from the supermarket instead of juicing fresh poms.
2) Dissolve the sugar on the stove in a saucepan.
3) Use less Orange Blossom Water. That stuff is uber-fragrant and a little goes a long long way.
I made this recipe just now it it came out as advertised – delicious and attractive. I had only one old pomegranate in the fridge that yielded only half a cup of juice, but the math was easy and the results superb.
I mixed up two Scofflaws (from Dr Cocktail book) for my wife and myself, one with Rose’s and one with this recipe. We dumped the Rose’s one and shared the one with the new Grenadine!
Rocky – what sort of mess have you made of a project as simple as grenadine? The solutions you have should be bright and pretty – if not, then you’ve done something very, very wrong. I fear, not only for you, my friend, but for the people of Seattle, Washington.
Good luck, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Have three batches cooling right now, one made with syrup, and two made with concentrate of different dilutions. We’ll see how they taste. They’re definitely not pretty though.
I’m going to try making a batch this weekend. I’m considering using a pomegranate concentrate from GNC called Jensen. I figure I can add enough water and simple syrup to get the flavor I want. Has anyone tried using concentrate instead of juice? Also, has anyone tried using agave syrup instead of sugar?
Jeffrey thank you very much for the instructions to prepare granandina.
I made 2 bottles
My clients in Buenos Aires, are very happy.
Greatly improves all cocktails containing granandine.
In my opinion you’re the best teacher of bartenders on the planet.
Happy New Year
I realize I’m preaching to the choir here, but if you don’t want to make your own, you can still do way better than buying imitation grenadine at your local liquor store. I use Rieme but almost anything from France will do. You’ll probably have to mail order from Amazon or other good importer.
Same goes for Orgeat and almost any syrup you can think of.
Thanks Jeffrey, this looks good. Now tell me, in your Jack Rose, lemon or lime?
The Scrappy’s Grenadine is darn good. Nice and bright, good viscosity, and I think it’s made cold process.
Hard to Get.
I made some tasty pomegranite molasses while trying to reverse engineer the scrappys, but it never came together; so I reduced it down and was pleased with this recipe as a molasses
1 quart fresh pomegranite juice
1.25 quart (or so) sugar
1.25 oz allspice dram
1 375 ml bottle korean pomegranite wine
(see below url)
4 oz stirrings blood orange bitters.
Heat on high until boiling. reduce heat to medium. let reduce for about a half hour (until the bubbles start to climb up the inside of the pan.
mixture will be concentrated and viscous after cooling.
Works great in a la floridita!
Yes i will definetily try the juicing,its brilliant and no..i`m not using the hibiscus just for color and if you haven`t tried it i recommend it warmly because it adds a crisp tropical floral flavour that is just hands down lovely.
I believe i may end up using both the juice and the hibiscus.
I also suspect that after i`ve used my juicer (why didn´t i think about that before???) i will not turn back to the underwater seed picking.
great recipe… just used your grenadine post in a gin daisy tonight…. got a double thumbs up from the customer, thank you. also i would like to note i was working a private event in SF and someone asked me for a great gin drink… i made them a richmond gimlet (yes i dropped your name along with my smile when i served it) and the bartender next to me asked what was that and i said “a richmond gimlet” and he (marco dionysos) said nice work jeffrey… thought you would like that.
Jeffrey – what a super simple recipe for a great result, 1 pyrex, 1 spoon – no mess no fuss.
thanks for sharing!
For those of you who can’t find pomegranate molasses or want to make your own, here’s Alton Brown’s recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/grilled-leg-of-lamb-with-pomegranate-molasses-recipe/index.html
It takes a long time but is a little bit better than the bottled stuff.
I was always against this pomegranate water maceration method – but this sounds like a plan.
Though – does the orange flower water not distract from the taste of the grenadine?
Now I have to get this kind of juicers [I don’t think that rotary juicers are working?] and have to compare the the [European] Monin Pomegranate syrup. This is pretty good staff as well – and I can be even lazier…
How long would it last with the vodka?
I’m the only one who drinks around here, so I’m always keeping track of stuff like that…
I tried using pomegranate molasses previously (actually the brand you have pictured)but it left my grenadine an unattractive brownish color, even with a small amount. Did I have a bad batch?
For now I’m using Ferrara (best commercial brand I’ve found) or cold process with POM.
Awesome recipe. In terms of technique, if you’ve got one of those little battery operated milk frothers then try the cold-process using that little guy to mix it all up. No method is easier that I’ve found. And the frother can cocktail multitask and give you an amazing “dry shake” for any fizz or sour you are adding egg whites to.
Nice recipe, nice method!
It got me thinking, where am I going to find this molasses. All the stores around me are south American stores and I have never heard about it here in Brazil :)~
Tiare and Janice – The hibiscus is a nice idea, but if you’re mainly using it for color then I think you’re headed down the wrong path. The color of pomegranate juice is rich and vibrant when it hasn’t been boiled. Try the juicer trick, I promise great results.
Thanks for another great post. I’m another one of those who takes all the seeds out, although I use Tiare’s trick of steeping the seeds with hibiscus flowers to make the grenadine ruby red. Its really pretty. Never thought to try orange flower water.
Thanks for the specific locations! I’ll be sure to put those to use ASAP.
Thanks for that, man. I was never too impressed with my own attempts at homemade grenadine. This is definitely on my to-do bar list.
Hands down brilliant.I`m one of those cocktailbloggers using the picking-out-the-seed-under-water method;-)and ok, its just for my homebar so its ok but if it can be easier the better because i`m lazy too.
Second, i use dried hibiscus flowers to get that deep red color and fresh tropical taste and its fabulous, i have never turned back after that,but..your using of orange flower water and pomegranate molasses intrigues me and i luckily have those things in my fridge right now and as a matter of fact, my grenadine is finished too, so you have now given me a chance to try out a new interesting way to make one of my favorite ingredients and i thank you.
Basically the same recipe i use, but I like to use the POM/Cherry juice that they make. I haven’t seen a really good grenadine in the stores, but I saw that Scrappy’s is making one now. Has anyone tried it?
I know you can find pomegranate molasses at Foti Deli on E Burnside or the little grocery attached to Ya Hala out at SE Stark around 80th. However, like Jeffrey said, almost any Mediterranean or Latin American grocery will have it.
Lazy is best!
I always wondered about the removing the seeds bit and all that jazz. When I was messing with pomegranates at Yakuza the juicer worked just beautifully to get a metric shit ton of juice out the fruit.
Where in Portland can I source the molasses?
Great recipe Jeff. I’m definitely making this for New Year’s. I love the simplicity….Right up my alley.
and about the pomegranates…..
Just last week I learned how to properly prepare to eat a pomegranate. Turns out I was doing it all wrong.
1. Cut fruit in half.
2. Pound the outside of halfed fruit, with a knife or something, and seeds will easily fall out.
Well, I thought it was simple. Y’all might of known that already…..but since my cable network doesn’t broadcast the Muslim Grandmother’s advice channel, I didn’t know it.
A cool alternative to reducing with heat is freeze-concentrating:
Probably a bit labor intensive for a bar, but quite fine for home use.
Nice and simple. I like it!
Now to find some pomegranate molasses…