Grenadine is a staple ingredient used in many cocktails, including the Tequila Sunrise, the Jack Rose and, of course, the Shirley Temple. Store-bought versions are the easiest way to go, but while much of what’s available now is full of corn syrup and food coloring, grenadine was originally made with pomegranate juice. Put in a tiny bit of work, and you can produce a homemade pomegranate grenadine that is guaranteed to be much more delicious than anything you can buy in a bottle.
This recipe comes from Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the Portland, Oregon, bartender and writer who has impacted countless drinkers with his grenadine formula and reimagined take on the Amaretto Sour. The chief ingredients are pomegranates (or pomegranate juice) and sugar, plus a dash of pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water. Mix a batch in a few minutes, and you’ll have rich, flavorful, deep-red grenadine on hand to doctor your cocktails for weeks.
Morgenthaler makes the grenadine by heating equal parts juice and sugar similar to how you make simple syrup. The finished product keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for about one month, but you can extend its shelf life by adding a small dose of booze. Morgenthaler likes to fortify his grenadine with one ounce of vodka, which acts as a preservative. Include the vodka if you do not plan on using your new grenadine supply within a month, but if you’re a power user or enlisting it behind a bar, you can leave it out.
- 2 large pomegranates (or 2 cups pomegranate juice)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 ounces pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- 1 ounce vodka (optional)
Cut the pomegranates in half and juice using a citrus press. (This should yield about 2 cups of juice.) Or use two cups high-quality bottled pomegranate juice.
Pour the juice into a large glass, measuring cup or other microwave-safe container and microwave at full power for 1 to 2 minutes until warm.
Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add pomegranate molasses and orange blossom water and stir to combine.
Allow to cool, then bottle. Add an optional ounce of vodka as a preservative.