Grenadine is a syrup made from pomegranate and lemon juice and sugar. It gets its name from the French word for pomegranate, which is grenade (it’s granada in Spanish in case you were curious). Grenadine has a vibrant color and is both sweet and tart, which makes it a perfect condiment to have on hand for a variety of applications.
To make grenadine you’ll need:
- a large skillet or heavy saucepan
- good quality pomegranate juice, preferably unsweetened
- lemon juice
- a small funnel
- a jar or bottle to store the grenadine
How to prepare grenadine:
- Grenadine will store for a long time in the fridge, but it loses the nice color after a while. It’s best to make small batches. One or two 16 ounce bottles of pomegranate juice will yield plenty for most households.
- Measure the pomegranate juice into a large skillet. For every cup of juice, add the desired amount of sugar. (One half cup of sugar per cup of pomegranate juice seems to give a nice flavor. When I tried adding more sugar I got a very thick product that tasted good, but was hard to work with.)
- Heat until just at a simmer. Allow the sugar to dissolve completely and the liquid to reduce about 1/3 in volume. The time involved will vary depending on the amount of juice, the size of the skillet and the heat. When it’s ready, the grenadine should coat the back of the spoon but not be super thick.
- Stir in the juice of half a lemon. Turn off the heat. Taste the grenadine (allow to cool first!) and add more lemon juice if desired.
- When cool, transfer to a bottle for storage.
How to use grenadine:
Use as a sauce for desserts, especially sponge or pound cakes like the revani shown in one of the photos above. It can also be drizzled over fruit or yogurt (or both) for a quick treat.
When making appetizers grenadine can be used instead of a balsamic glaze for a sweet/tart touch.
Grenadine can also be used as the base for a salad dressing (more on that later).
It’s widely used in Levantine and Mediterranean cooking as in this chicken and bulgur salad recipe from Bon Appetit. Here’s a chance to experiment with some new flavors. Use in recipes which call for pomegranate molasses.
The most popular use in the West is for adult beverages. You’ll find a nice selection of beautifully photographed grenadine cocktails (and a lot more!) at Kitchen Riffs.
For non-alcoholic beverages use grenadine to flavor herbal teas instead of sugar or honey, or go old school with a Shirley Temple (grenadine and ginger ale or lemon lime soda, garnished with a maraschino cherry) or Roy Rogers (grenadine and cola, garnished with a maraschino cherry).
I hope I’ve convinced you of the culinary possibilities when you make your own grenadine. If you have other suggestions and recipes, please tell us about it in the comments!
Photo credit: Pomegranate Pixabay