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eje

Making your own grenadine

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Oh wow. I made a batch of grenadine last night using a 1:1.5 mix of POM and granulated sugar, shaken vigorously while I watched TV.  I added a dash of vanilla and OFW for a little added flavor.

Then tasted...

...dear God this stuff is good. Totally different from the stuff off the shelf in the grocery store. Now the question is, how do I use it?  I'm picturing maybe a champagne cocktail with pomegranate liquer (I have a bottle of the stuff that I haven't been able to figure out a use for)....or maybe the Jack Rose that someone mentioned downthread.

I've been loving the Scoff Law, which I believe is from the Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (at least according to this blog post) by Ted Haigh - I found the recipe on cocktaildb.com, and later googled it.

I've been making mine as somewhat of a bastardization, with the following ingredients:

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz grenadine

1 oz whiskey (it calls for Canadian, any rye would work, it was also tasty with Tenesee whiskey)

1 oz parts dry vermouth (I use Noilly Prat)

1 dash of orange bitters (Regan's for me)

Shake and strain. It really highlights the flavor of the grenadine for me, and regardless it's extremely delicious and drinkable, while being moderately complex.

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Oh wow. I made a batch of grenadine last night using a 1:1.5 mix of POM and granulated sugar, shaken vigorously while I watched TV.  I added a dash of vanilla and OFW for a little added flavor.

Then tasted...

...dear God this stuff is good. Totally different from the stuff off the shelf in the grocery store. Now the question is, how do I use it?  I'm picturing maybe a champagne cocktail with pomegranate liquer (I have a bottle of the stuff that I haven't been able to figure out a use for)....or maybe the Jack Rose that someone mentioned downthread.

I've been loving the Scoff Law, which I believe is from the Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails (at least according to this blog post) by Ted Haigh - I found the recipe on cocktaildb.com, and later googled it.

I've been making mine as somewhat of a bastardization, with the following ingredients:

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz grenadine

1 oz whiskey (it calls for Canadian, any rye would work, it was also tasty with Tenesee whiskey)

1 oz parts dry vermouth (I use Noilly Prat)

1 dash of orange bitters (Regan's for me)

Shake and strain. It really highlights the flavor of the grenadine for me, and regardless it's extremely delicious and drinkable, while being moderately complex.

Will try this and report back :raz:

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Made a quick batch this evening, use a melange of the advice above:

1/2 cup Pomegranate Concentrate (Lakewood Organic, found in the Whole Foods juice aisle. This is 100% pomegranate juice, not diluted in any way.)

1/2 cup Superfine Sugar

-1/4 cup Water (it was looking a bit thick)

-1/4 oz Orange Flower Water

A few drops Vanilla Extract

I shook this like mad, but my choice of container was too small for the job (fridge real estate is at a premium with each additional syrup I make...need to invest in a refrigerated component for the bar area), so I ended up putting it in a double boiler with the burner set pretty low for several minutes, and things came together.

I hadn't seen any pictures up thread, so I'm not quite sure what this is supposed to look like. Here's my result:

gallery_62365_6687_67221.jpg

Color, very dark purple. Taste, really like the addition of OFW, but I may have overdone it with the vanilla, even with just a few drops...or maybe I just don't like the vanilla in there.

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What is the etymology of grenadine? I found this bit of research on Mark Sexauer's blog.

I recall reading a similar explanation either here on eGullet or on some other blog that was more elegantly worded and had an illustration or two. Does anyone know what I'm referring to?

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Lakewood Pomegranate concentrate is exactly what I was referring to upthread. That's the stuff. I bet that worked really well...

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What is the etymology of grenadine?

"Grenade" is French for pomegranate. Or the little thing that explodes and is shaped like a pomegranate.

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I've been making my own lately from the Cortas brand molasses. This stuff has quite a bit of sediment, so I fine mesh strain the end product a few times. There's another brand that I bought in New York, can't remember the name, but it had a bit of burlap on the bottle top, that doesn't have sediment but also seemed quite a bit more expensive.

For what it's worth, I highly recommend going to a good bar and asking to try their grenadine so you can get the taste down. My first batch ended up being much sweeter and syrupy-er than the one I had Dutch Kills (BTW, they make from syrup, not juice).

Has anyone tried the Routin grenadine? There's some praise for it online:

Comment by Courgette on Cocktail Chronicles:

I’m wild about the “Grenade” syrup made by Routin 1883, a French firm. I’d read about it somewhere, and tracked it down at a coffee wholesaler here in Minneapolis. Having tried (and detested) Rose’s and Fee’s (which I’d harassed a local liquor store into bringing in), I was astonished by the depth and richness of the flavor. The only problem with this stuff is that you want to eat it with a spoon.

I had tried making my own grenadine, like many of the folks above– using the “hot” method. I cooked it way too long, and not only was it very thick, it (naturally) had a caramelized flavor– not at all the right quality for what we want grenadine for!

Having discovered Routin, though, I wouldn’t go back to homemade, and I never thought I’d say that about any foodstuff.

Science of Drink:

Actually few days ago I buy two Routin syrups - Lime and Grenadine. The Routin Grenadine is no so common grenadine. It is “Mixed berries” grenadine :) This syrup use … fruit juices (lemon, blackcurrant, strawberry, elderberry, raspberry, redcurrant)… How marvellous a coincidence!

...

Monkey Gland cocktail with Routin Mixed berries Grenadine is astonishing, amizing cocktail. It has very unusual taste. Heavenly fair cocktail!

Their orgeat is awesome, so I have high hopes for this. But it might be all moot because it's not on their website, though there's a Cocktail Pomegranate which might be the same thing.

Sonoma Syrup is recommended by Dr. Cocktail and Art of Drink:

Palate:

Sweet with a strong flavour of real pomegranate. The flavours are much deeper than traditional grenadines.

Notes:

This is a very good grenadine with a more balanced sweet and sour characteristic. The only problem is that the colour doesn't work to well in orange juice based drinks, since the colour turns the drink brownish. Best used in drinks where grenadine plays a minor role, not a Tequila Sunrise.

The ingredients don't look that great to me, with all the ascorbic and citric acid:

Pomegranate juice from concentrate, cane sugar, water, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), citric acid, vanilla extract.

Their website says it's only 30% juice. Why mess with that when the homemade I make is about 70% molasses?

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Some further thoughts on grenadine:

I have tasted just about all the commercially made grenadines out there, and none compares to a well-constucted homemade grenadine.

I do not care for the thin 1:1 sugar-to-pomegranate juice "grenadine" that many bars use. It doesn't have the right intensity of flavor or saturation to my taste. There are several grenadine cocktails (e.g., Monkey Gland) that my wife loves at home but abhors every time she has had it in a bar -- and we're talking about the very best cocktail bars out there. Eventually it came down to the fact that the ones made with 1:1 "grenadine" were not very good, and my homemade grenadine represented a major step up. Sorry guys!

I do not think that pomegranate molasses, either full strength, diluted or combined with pomegranate juice makes a good substitute for grenadine -- and that's what it is: a substitute, not the real thing. Pomegranate molasses is too "cooked," it has too much molasses character, it has far too much acidity, and it doesn't have that slight tannic backbone. I'm not saying that drinks made with pomegranate molasses aren't good -- they are good. But if you taste them side-by-side against a drink made with a good grenadine, they're different. More to the point, pomegranate molasses doesn't work well in many of the iconic grenadine drinks (again, see the Monkey Gland).

The best grenadine, in my opinion, has a touch of orange flower water and a touch of vanilla.

The best grenadine, in my opinion, is both cooked and fresh. It should include 4- or 6-fold reduced pomegranate juice for intensity of flavor and jammy savor; and it should be thinned out to around 3:1 or 2:1 (sugar-to-liquid by volume) with uncooked pomegranate juice for the top note of fresh brighness.

I do think it's best to do the reduction yourself. For my last batch of grenadine I started off with a bottle of some fancy organic "pomegranate juice concentrate." It's not as good as when I do the reduction myself.

I include some gum arabic in my grenadine because it's usually a touch north of 2:1, and the gum arabic prevents recrystalization of the sugar. The extra silkyness, emulsification and head retention doesn't hurt either.

There is no such thing, in my book, as a "mixed berry grenadine." That's like calling something a "mixed fruit apple pie."

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Thanks for the low-down, Sam. Can you specify what you consider the optimal ratio of 4-6X reduced pomegranate juice:fresh pomegranate juice:sugar? Do you recommend white sugar, or something more unrefined?

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Their orgeat is awesome, so I have high hopes for this. But it might be all moot because it's not on their website

Actually, it IS on that website, under "P" for Pomegranate. The picture that comes up when you click on it shows the bottle with the French word "Grenade".

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Thanks for the low-down, Sam. Can you specify what you consider the optimal ratio of 4-6X reduced pomegranate juice:fresh pomegranate juice:sugar? Do you recommend white sugar, or something more unrefined?

I usually use light cane sugar for a little added roundness, but have done well with refined white sugar as well. IMO you don't want molasses flavors from less refined sugar to muddy the purity of the grenadine.

My usual procedure is something like this: First I'll make a 1:1 sweetened pomegranate juice with 1 cup each of sugar and juice, which goes into the refrigerator to chill; then I'll reduce down 5-6 cups of pomegranate juice to 1 cup; then I'll put in a touch of gum arabic; then I'll melt in 4 cups of sugar; then I'll set that aside to cool a bit; as the hot product cools and thickens, I'll start to mix in the chilled sweetened pomegranate juice little by little just in the minimum amounts required to prevent the cooked mixture from solidifying as it cools; I try to hold back around half of the chilled mixture until after the cooked mixture has come to room temperature, then I mix in the remainder of the chilled mixture; after this I add orange flower water and vanilla extract to taste; then I decant the grenadine into washed bottles that I have rinsed out with high proof alcohol and, for the bottles I don't plan to use right away, I float around a half-inch of vodka on top of the syrup (it stays stratified until you shake up the bottle due to the thickness of the syrup).

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That sounds like a wicked recipe.

Question about storage: If one were to make this in bulk (using Sam's recipe, or one of the others above) could one freeze this and expect it to keep well? I'd like to be able to use grenadine in N/A drinks too, if possible, which precludes adding vodka for shelf-life. Better, if possible, to store ten delis down in the basement freezer and thaw as necessary. Will freezing ruin the flavor?

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The vodka is overkill, really, when you consider how saturated the syrup turns out.

Also, one thing to consider: If you are bottling a pint of grenadine and you're floating no more than a half-ounce of 100 proof vodka over the top1, the alcoholic content of the grenadine is too low to be meaningful. And, considering that one is unlikely to use more than perhaps a half-ounce of grenadine in a serving, the alcohol content of any drink made with it is too small to be meaningful to anyone who doesn't have strict dogmatic reasons for avoiding even a molecule of ethanol. Think about it this way: vanilla extract has far more alcohol in it, so if you would use a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a nonalcoholic drink, you should feel fine about using a half-ounce of grenadine.

1. the trick is to fill the bottle until the grenadine starts to come up the neck of the bottle, that way there is very little exposed surface area.

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What's the reason for the orange flower water and vanilla? Is there some evidence that adding them makes the syrup more like some original or "authentic" grenadine syrup, or do those who add them simply like the flavor?

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What's the reason for the orange flower water and vanilla? Is there some evidence that adding them makes the syrup more like some original or "authentic" grenadine syrup, or do those who add them simply like the flavor?

Both reasons. I don't think that grenadine is simply pomegranate syrup. That would be "sirop de grenade" (much the same way we have "sirop de citron" and so on). Rather, I think that minor amounts of other flavorings such as orange flower water and vanilla are traditional. It also tastes better and works better in cocktails.

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Your point about vanilla extract is well taken.

I work in a restaurant that allows children and I'm hesitant to even add the bitters that some of our N/A drinks call for when I know it's going out to a child. Or to call them N/A, for that matter: I was once berated by a recovering alcoholic who accidentally ingested bitters in one of our N/A drinks (it was on the menu but he didn't see it).

This would be all solved with appropriate labeling and some common sense, of course, but I am still curious: do you think that freezing grenadine would be too detrimental to the flavor to be worthwhile?

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I'm surprised by the appearance of vanilla, too; it somehow doesn't make sense to me. Does that particular ingredient appear in any historical sources?

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do you think that freezing grenadine would be too detrimental to the flavor to be worthwhile?

Freeze away. I don't see how it would make a difference. Although it may not freeze (too much sugar content).

I'm surprised by the appearance of vanilla, too; it somehow doesn't make sense to me. Does that particular ingredient appear in any historical sources?

I can't say that I remember, exactly. But we've unearthed some pretty old bottles of natural grenadine among my grandparents' belongings (where I also found a 50 year old bottle of Strega, etc.) and it had a vanilla note.


Edited by slkinsey (log)

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Thanks for the recipe, Sam. I'll definitely try it out. Some day, I'd like to just have a taste of your grenadine so I can calibrate mine against it.

Which vanilla do you use?

Which pomegranate juice? POM? Do you think they're all the same?

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Yea, I use POM. Just because it's convenient and a known quantity. A lot of the more "foodie" pomegranate juice around here is cloudy, and I don't like the looks of it. Once you reduce it 6-fold, is there a difference? i doubt it. Maybe, though.

No idea what vanilla I use. Massey double strength, probably.

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Just made a batch of grenadine for the restaurant. Two bottles of 100% pomegranate juice from the Asian market, 2 quart containers of sugar, 1/2 a bottle of pomegranate molasses, about 1.5 Tbs. of Orange Flower water. One bottle cooked down to half volume with 1 quart sugar dissolved and the pomegranate molasses added while still hot. One bottle shaken to death until the other quart of sugar was dissolved. Mixed the two batches and added the orange flower water. Allowed to cool overnight. Not as viscous as I might have hoped, but it makes a pretty killer Jack Rose, my personal yardstick for whether it's worth anything. It made a mighty tasty Picon Punch too. Folks that have never tried real grenadine are always surprised that it doesn't taste like the juice from the maraschino cherry jar, or the neon Red Dye #5 colored stuff they've seen behind the bar before. And let us thank the Heavens for that... :wink:

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[...] then I'll put in a touch of gum arabic; then I'll melt in 4 cups of sugar[...]

How much gum arabic are we talking here? Looking at the recipe for gomme syrup in Imbibe!, which calls for 1 lb. of gum arabic, I always assumed you needed a lot to get the emulsification and texturing properties. Is that assumption incorrect?

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Yes, that assumption is incorrect. That recipe in Imbibe!, by the way, probably makes two liters of highly saturated gomme syrup.

I'd probably put around 20 grams of gum arabic in the recipe I give above.

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Your point about vanilla extract is well taken.

I work in a restaurant that allows children and I'm hesitant to even add the bitters that some of our N/A drinks call for when I know it's going out to a child. Or to call them N/A, for that matter: I was once berated by a recovering alcoholic who accidentally ingested bitters in one of our N/A drinks (it was on the menu but he didn't see it).

I had the same issue with a non-alcohol drinker and bitters. I really don't want to challenge someone's drinking preferences, but does a couple dashes of bitters really fire an alcoholic's trigger? Do they not eat vanilla custard, ice cream, or various other desserts with extract in them? Do they not eat tomato sauce at an Italian restaurant? Wine in sauce, even when cooked down, does not lose all of its alcohol. Doesn't anything naturally fermented have some alcohol as well? Kombucha, soy sauce, etc.

I add brandy to my orgeat, but the resulting alcohol percentage is .5%, and I know of several restaurants that use it in n/a drinks for children. I just can't see it being any more alcoholic than vanilla ice cream, or something like that. Can anyone weigh in with more details?

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I had the same issue with a non-alcohol drinker and bitters. I really don't want to challenge someone's drinking preferences, but does a couple dashes of bitters really fire an alcoholic's trigger? Do they not eat vanilla custard, ice cream, or various other desserts with extract in them? Do they not eat tomato sauce at an Italian restaurant? Wine in sauce, even when cooked down, does not lose all of its alcohol. Doesn't anything naturally fermented have some alcohol as well? Kombucha, soy sauce, etc.

I add brandy to my orgeat, but the resulting alcohol percentage is .5%, and I know of several restaurants that use it in n/a drinks for children. I just can't see it being any more alcoholic than vanilla ice cream, or something like that. Can anyone weigh in with more details?

Funnily, I was wondering about this recently too.

Someone asked if we could make a "virgin pina colada".

My initial response was no, as we don't have coconut cream.

But then someone else suggested we could make something similar with orgeat.

Seemed like an OK idea, but then I wondered whether the orgeat had Brandy.

Which got me to wondering about flavorings, bitters, etc. and whether they are OK in non-alcoholic drinks.

Generally, I interpret "virgin" drinks literally, and only allow myself to use juices and syrups I know don't contain any alcohol. Am I being too strict on myself?


Edited by eje (log)

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