If you start searching for pretty much any cocktail recipe, like an Oppenheim, the chances are that you are going to see among the ingredient labels the slightly worrying word ‘Grenadine.'
While it is a pretty frequent ingredient, most people have no idea what actually goes into making it.
Plus, it is usually super expensive to buy your own; wouldn’t it be good to be able to make your own and not have to worry about buying it every time you need to make one single cocktail?
But how do you actually make homemade grenadine?
What is Grenadine?
The word ‘Grenadine' comes from the French word for pomegranate, Grenade. Dangerous sounding, right?
It is a sugary, syrupy solution that is typically used as an added ingredient to cocktails. Grenadine adds both sweetness and an acidic, bitter kick that helps amp up the flavors in many of your favorite drinks.
In fact, it seems that there are just as many cocktails that don’t even contain alcohol that uses grenadine as there are that are alcoholics. Anyone used to drinking virgin cocktails is likely incredibly familiar with the potent taste of grenadine.
But what is that flavor?
What Flavor is Grenadine?
The actual flavor of grenadine is a bit weird and difficult to pin down exactly. This is because grenadine was originally made using a solution of pomegranate juice mixed with sugar and water.
Nowadays, however, grenadine tends to be made entirely from blackcurrant or some kind of similar substitute, mostly because of its simpler flavor. It is a bit weird, actually, because the flavor profile is now completely different from what it once was – people used to get grenadine expecting pomegranate, but now instead, they only get blackcurrant, but all the recipes are still the same.
Doubly strange is the fact that there isn't any protected classification for the term ‘grenadine,' meaning that basically anything can be called grenadine without facing legal action.
This is why the actual flavor of grenadine tends to vary by so much from brand to brand – every single type of grenadine is made of something different.
The best way to make sure you get something reliable and dependable that you know you can enjoy is to make it yourself.
How to Make Homemade Grenadine
To make your own grenadine, you first need to decide what kind of grenadine you actually want to make.
Even though most grenadines are made from blackcurrant, you can make it from whatever fruit flavor you want.
If you want to make something as close as possible to what you can find on supermarket shelves, then definitely make it from blackcurrant. However, if you are looking for something more traditional in flavor, then you need to find some pomegranate juice.
You can either order this online, or you can make it yourself by crushing up a whole bunch of pomegranate seeds.
Regardless of what kind of fruit juice you choose, simply combine equal parts of fruit juice and sugar by volume.
This will make the most basic version of whatever type of grenadine you choose.
If you really want to make it something special, you can add a few simple additions to help increase the flavor intensity.
Consider putting a few drops of aromatic bitters or some rose water into your mix. This will not only help preserve it a little bit, but it will also take the flavor to a whole new level.
Once you've got your mixture all prepared, simply bottle it up and keep it in the fridge. You can very easily just put it in a small resealable container, but if you really want to be fancy, you can buy one of those kitschy glass bottles with the removable tops and put it in there. It goes perfect in all kinds of surprising places, like a long island iced tea.
With just a few simple ingredients and barely any time, you will have made your very own grenadine syrup for use in all kinds of cocktails.
If you are a non-drinker, you could even put it in regular soft drinks and water, just to amp the flavor of almost anything.