When most of us think of grenadine syrup, memories of childhood Shirley Temples and other super-sweet drinks come to mind. But the syrup we have come to know (which is mainly a mix of corn syrup and Red No. 40) is worlds apart from the original recipe, and what some small brands are bottling today. Find out more about grenadine, plus a recipe for how to make your own, and one of our favorite cocktails after the jump.
Surprisingly, real grenadine is made from pomegranate juice -- a fairly sophisticated ingredient that can really enhance modern cocktails, as well as Prohibition-era classics and tiki favorites. It's much darker than it's super-sweet counterparts, and has a much more complex flavor. There are many small batch grenadines which can be found in specialty food stores or online, such as Employees Only (we used this staff favorite in our Fall Fizz, recipe below, we love the blend's unique spiciness), Stirrings, and Sonoma Syrup. Try experimenting with grenadine in cocktails, and even your kitchen in different sauces, meat dishes, and dressings.
These syrups can be a bit pricy, but the good news is, grenadine is actually very simple to make at home. To make your own grenadine syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 2 cups pomegranate juice in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Try adding rose or orange water for a unique flavor profile, or even experimenting with different spices such as cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice, and black peppercorns. Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
The Fall Fizz:
In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine 2 ounces bourbon, 1 teaspoon homemade grenadine, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and top with ginger ale. Garnish with an apple slice. Makes 1 drink.