Homemade Grenadine

Did you know that real grenadine, the syrupy sweetness that defines a Shirley Temple, is traditionally made from pomegranate juice rather than cherry flavoring (and skips all the preservatives)?  Given that we’re in the midst of pomegranate season right now, making your own homemade grenadine is a fun and relatively easy activity.  It also makes a great gift for friends and family!

Pomegranate seeds

The recipe below makes about 1 cup of grenadine.  I definitely recommend using fresh pomegranates to make this recipe, if they are available, but you can use bottled pomegranate juice too.

1 cup pomegranate juice (if using fresh, you’ll need at least 3 medium pomegranates)
1 cup sugar
½ tsp orange blossom water

If you want to juice your own pomegranates you can do it two ways. Cut the pomegranates in half. If they all look fresh inside with no questionable spots, try juicing each half using a handheld citrus juicer. Crush any unbroken seeds with a spoon or bottom of a jar and then strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.  If any of the pomegranate halves look like there may be some questionable seeds, I recommend seeding the pomegranates by hand (not in water, since you don’t want to leach any juice from the seeds). Once you’ve seeded all the pomegranates, put the seeds in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the blended seeds through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the juice through with the back of the spoon, or squeezing through cheesecloth.  (Note: save the pulp and use it to add fiber to smoothies, or experiment adding it to baked goods!).

Add the juice to a small saucepan and heat on low, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar gradually, stirring constantly, to incorporate completely.  Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved and the juice seems clear (not cloudy).  Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom water (if you aren’t a fan of orange blossom water, you can omit this or add less. It does add a more interesting flavor to the grenadine.). Let cool and then use immediately, or pour into jars and keep in the fridge up to one month.

Use in mixed drinks, or just mix with seltzer water (like the banner photo) for a tasty treat!


Homemade grenadine

Intimidated by pomegranates? Never fear! Check out this post on the various ways to seed a pomegranate.