While a common ingredient in cocktails, grenadine these days is most often found in the shape of a Rose’s bottle on the shelf at your local liquor store for some outrageous sum (hint: you can replicate the product easily simply by adding red food coloring to a far cheaper bottle of corn syrup). Its origins were not always so ignoble, however; once upon a time, the stuff was made from pomegranate juice. Indeed, if you’ll excuse the quick bit of language pedantry, grenadine’s name comes from the French grenada; our term for its source fruit likely comes from their pomme-grenada, “seeded apple”.
One could argue that, given the extremely small amounts generally used in a given cocktail, grenadine suffers no particular loss from its gradual cheapening into what is effectively red syrup. The Rebel Bartender, however, being a bit of a snob, suggests that you make your own classic grenadine – it’s surprisingly easy, and lends a vibrant color to whatever infusion you happen to adulterate it with.
1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
Put juice in saucepan and heat on medium for a minute or two; whisk in sugar. Continue whisking until thoroughly dissolved, then cool and funnel into clean container of your choice. Cover and refrigerate; should keep for at least a month.
Photo of Rose’s Grenadine stolen from BevMo’s website.