Monday 11 October 2010

My Gripe with Grenadine

My Gripe with Grenadine
(Trying to find that sweet, sweet pomegranate flavour)

I am a fan of classic cocktails and there are quite a few of these that call for the use of Grenadine. A well known example is The Clover Club, and a lesser known one is The New Sheridan Club. So it was with sadness that I recently finished up the first and only bottle of Grenadine that I have ever purchased (I have not yet finished a bottle of Angostura though).

After my immediate melancholy had passed, I regained my composure and went to the local hypermarket to pick up a replacement and, costing just three British Pounds, I thought it a steal. Getting back and fixing my good lady wife a Clover Club, I was taken aback when she thought it tasted like berries. A closer inspection of my new bottle revealed all.

Grenadine is a red, pomegranate-flavoured sugar syrup, but the impostor in my pantry contained "Red Berries", not the seeded apple of choice. At the very next opportunity, I hunted for a version with a pomegranate flavour, but everywhere I turned, I found the flavour of red berries; even the very respectable Monin has succumbed to this main-streaming.

Main-streaming is right; I think it's because the flavour of red berries is more palatable to the average consumer than pomegranate that these companies have steered away from tradition, but in doing so they are leaving a void on the back bar and a jammy Roy Rogers in the glass.

But my story has a happy ending, as I decided to make my own Grenadine and it turns out that the recipe is very simple:
Grenadine Recipe
One part sugar
One part pomegranate juice
Add together in a jar and shake vigorously until all of the sugar is dissolved
(keeping the juice at room temperature before doing this will help).
Add more sugar (about one fifth of the sugar you already added)
Shake again.

Your Grenadine is ready to use.
Keep it in the refrigerator and it should last for at least a month.


  1. Probably pushing it a bit to call the New Sheridan Club cocktail a "classic", given that you only invented it the other day!