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Making your own grenadine

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Last couple of times I made grenadine at work I actually used Monin Pomegranate which is labelled as a concentrate. The flavor is great and I've found it somewhat easier to work with than POM juice. I've been adding sugar over a double boiler to retain a fresh flavor, which works quite well though takes a bit longer of course. I must say though that my favorite thing about using that stuff over the POM is that it achieves a concentration of color that is impossible with straight pomegranate juice, wether fresh or bottled. So much so that we have had to reformulate several recipes where the syrup is included solely for color--going from a generous barspoon to a scant dash--and still getting a darker color.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I think the Scofflaw is the best showcase of grenadine.

Thanks, Kent. I just mixed up a Scofflaw and am drinking it right now. You're right. Lots of grenadine goodness, while allowing the Rye to shine through.

I also picked up a bottle of Laird's Bonded yesterday and made myself a Jack Rose. Also amazing.

Thanks again to everyone. Neither drink would have been possible without your help.

Dan

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Soooo... I've read through this entire thread and I'm convinced making my own grenadine is a good idea. I have one question though (and I'm kinda surprised that I didn't already find it asked and answered in this thread knowing eGulleters). One common theme to this thread has been people saying how much better and different the homemade stuff is. In other threads I've read on homemade versions of and substitutes for common bar basics, the general opinion seems to be that cocktails designed with the original just aren't quite the same with other versions. Comments like "yes, the cocktail would probably be very good with that but it wouldn't be a (whatever) because it was designed around the flavor of (whatever)" seem to pop up. So my question is: if a cocktail was designed using off-the-shelf grenadine and the homemade stuff is noticeably different, is the resulting cocktail still the same critter it once was? Does it only improve the drink or does it turn it into something else? If off-the-shelf grenadine doesn't scream pomegranate and the homemade stuff does, that seems like an entirely different flavor profile on paper. And no, I'm not doubting the experts. I'm just curious. I'm kinda just diving into the cocktail thing and I have an irritating tendency to explore things deeply once I become interested.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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So my question is: if a cocktail was designed using off-the-shelf grenadine and the homemade stuff is noticeably different, is the resulting cocktail still the same critter it once was? Does it only improve the drink or does it turn it into something else?

Well, I can't say this has been a problem for me, because I don't know of any drinks that I'm fond of that were formulated with/for the modern neon-red "grenadine". It's in scare quotes because that stuff isn't really grenadine at all. By definition, and etymology, grenadine is made from pomegranate. Any classic recipe calling for grenadine would be completely thrown out of whack by most of the off-the-shelf products calling themselves grenadine.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Thank you. That's what I wanted to know. So the cocktails aren't being changed with "real" grenadine, they're being taken back to what they should be and were before the "fake" stuff came along?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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As long as you cook the syrup to the same sugar level and keep roughly the same amount of acidity, homemade grenadine is simply going to add more rich & subtle notes. It would be the same as switching out winter, hothouse tomatoes for vine ripened, organic tomatoes in a salsa.


PS: I am a guy.

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Did everybody use to make their own grenadine? Were there real grenadines available on the market, but now we only have the fake stuff? Why doesn't someone sell real grenadine? It seems stable enough.

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Did everybody use to make their own grenadine? Were there real grenadines available on the market, but now we only have the fake stuff? Why doesn't someone sell real grenadine? It seems stable enough.

Real Grenadine is expensive.


PS: I am a guy.

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Did everybody use to make their own grenadine? Were there real grenadines available on the market, but now we only have the fake stuff? Why doesn't someone sell real grenadine? It seems stable enough.

Real Grenadine is expensive.

...but actually pretty easy to find at specialty grocers (i remember being able to find it at Whole Foods), kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table, and all over the internets. it's not necessarily cheaper to make yourself if you have a good local source, but way more satisfying (plus you can make it to your own taste).

i've had the Stirrings. it was way better than food-colored sugar syrup, but not as good as the stuff i made myself. it was more expensive to buy the pomegranates i had to juice to make my own though (but only by $2-3).


Edited by lostmyshape (log)

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ice wine grenadine via bostonapothecary. along the same idea, but i don't think the fridge will get you anywhere close to concentrated enough.

I just triedb this and think it's a little better than Sam's recipe that I had used before.

I freeze reduced (I'm making this term up) it three times. When you thaw it out half-way, you get out about 75% of the concentrated pomegranate juice. You could stop it then but you'd be throwing away quite a bit of the good stuff. But if you let it thaw out to 75% you can get out about 95% and have a leftover frozen block of almost entirely water. So to get it reduced to one-third the original volume, I had to repeat this process three times. Then I added 2x the volume of sugar to the volume of the concentrated juice.

Compared to the previous batch I made using Sam's recipe, it tastes brighter, and has more of the pure pomegranate essence, but I'm not sure if it's a really scientific comparison as the previous batch is three months old and the proportions may have been slightly different.

I wonder if you can make other syrups this way too. Take any fruit juice, freeze reduce it a few times, then add a bunch of sugar. Maybe pineapple juice would be worth trying?

Real Grenadine is expensive.

For the 1.25 liters of grenadine I just made, I spent $6.25 on the juice and sugar.

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So I used the information in this thread to make a grenadine-style syrup using chokecherry juice I had in the freezer instead of pomegranate. I realize that means it's not grenadine but it is similar in every way other than the base flavor. Any ideas for some cocktails using this syrup?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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For pineapple, I think frozen, concentrated pineapple juice is essentially that. Unless you're juicing pineapples yourself, Dole is going to be much better at concentrating than you are.


PS: I am a guy.

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ice wine grenadine via bostonapothecary. along the same idea, but i don't think the fridge will get you anywhere close to concentrated enough.

I just triedb this and think it's a little better than Sam's recipe that I had used before.

I freeze reduced (I'm making this term up) it three times. When you thaw it out half-way, you get out about 75% of the concentrated pomegranate juice. You could stop it then but you'd be throwing away quite a bit of the good stuff. But if you let it thaw out to 75% you can get out about 95% and have a leftover frozen block of almost entirely water. So to get it reduced to one-third the original volume, I had to repeat this process three times. Then I added 2x the volume of sugar to the volume of the concentrated juice.

Compared to the previous batch I made using Sam's recipe, it tastes brighter, and has more of the pure pomegranate essence, but I'm not sure if it's a really scientific comparison as the previous batch is three months old and the proportions may have been slightly different.

I wonder if you can make other syrups this way too. Take any fruit juice, freeze reduce it a few times, then add a bunch of sugar. Maybe pineapple juice would be worth trying?

Real Grenadine is expensive.

For the 1.25 liters of grenadine I just made, I spent $6.25 on the juice and sugar.

when its too concentrated i feel like it can over shadow some of the nuances of the gin. i also swear by the refractometer for syrups. you can get your perfectly desired sugar content every time really quickly. i bought mine for $20.

i've been using the same process on pineapples with great success. but to juice them, i use a ratcheting wine maker's basket press. the juice runs really clean and you barely have to run it through a sieve. the press also does a good job of juicing without introducing too much oxygen and it does large quantities. i only concentrate a percentage of the juice to make it only slightly larger than life and then i sugar to 400g/l.

my freezer has a nice library of the concentrates that i marry into stuff i juice fresh when i'm ready for the syrup.


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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Bumping this thread back up to discuss alternative "grenadine" flavors. By definition, obviously true grenadine must be made from pomegranate juice, however I recently tasted a cranberry "grenadine" a bartending colleague of mine made and it was delicious. Got me to thinking about the myriad possibilities there could be if we expanded the boundaries just a bit. I bought two liters of black currant juice today and some fresh kaffir lime leaves. I'll be making that sometime in the next couple of days and I'll post back with the results. I'm thinking gin drinks for sure if it tastes as I've envisioned it...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Wouldn't it be more clear to call it just a cranberry syrup?

On another note, not all pomegranates are the same. Here in Shanghai I can only get these crappy pink pomegranates which produce pink juice. The flavor is not nearly as good as the usual red stuff.

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Yes it would. But "house made Black Currant-Kaffir Lime 'Grenadine'" reads a lot sexier on a cocktail menu.


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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We just featured a bunch of recipes from Ted Haigh's book, and he recommends raspberry syrup as common grenadine substitute from back in the day. Just cover some raspberries with rich simple syrup overnight, then strain.

Works great in the Blinker and Japalac, not so well in a Jack Rose. Just posted a punch with it, which is very nice. It's a syrup well worth giving a spin.

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It's pomegranate season. Hand-reamed 7 cups of juice today for ice wine grenadine. Boy did I wish I had an Orange-X.


Edited by vice (log)

 

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So the first batch of Kaffir Lime-Black Currant "grenadine" is done and is delicious, if I do say so myself. 6 fresh Kaffir lime leaves were bruised and shredded and added to 1.5 liters of black currant juice which was simmered to half volume and then I added 2 quarts of sugar. I then added about 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses for viscosity and it didn't seem to interfere with the currant flavor at all. The remaining .5 liter of black currant juice was shaken up via "cold method" and added at the end. Once the mixture cooled I added about .5 Tablespoon of Rose flower water and stirred to combine. All was strained through a fine mesh strainer. 2 oz. of vodka was added to the entire batch for preservative. 2 liters of juice + sugar yielded about 2.5 quarts of finished product with the other additions included. I'm using this in a cocktail I'll be serving at the Philadelphia Whiskey Festival November 10. The local Hendricks Gin reps asked me to come up with an original cocktail so here's what I'll be serving.

2 oz. Hendricks

1 oz. Kaffir Lime-Black Currant "Grenadine"

1 oz. fresh lime juice

.5 oz. Dolin dry vermouth

Shaken and strained over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with 1.5 oz. ginger ale. Stir and serve.

Cocktail needs a clever name. If anyone has any bright ideas I'm all ears. Since this is the whiskey festival I suspect this cocktail will be a popular "palate cleanser" for palates fatigued of too many single malt scotches and high end single barrel bourbons. It'll be like having the sorbet stand at a chili tasting.... :rolleyes:


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Bumping this thread back up to discuss alternative "grenadine" flavors.

I posted a while back that I'd used the information I found here to make a grenadine-esque syrup from local chokecherries. Being somewhat a beginner in the cocktail world, I mentioned that I could use some help with ideas for using it in a cocktail. I assumed from the lack of responses that maybe it was a bad idea. I'm feeling less silly about it now that an expert is playing with different flavors in this thread. :biggrin: I canned all of the syrup I made so it wouldn't have to be tossed before I got around to finding a use for it. Maybe I'll crack one open and see what I can come up with. I thought about replacing the cherry brandy in a Blood and Sand with it, just to get a feel for what it's like in a familiar environment. Is that a good way to start playing with something? Any ideas would still be welcome.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Aren't chokeberries awfully similar to black currants?? I seem to recall seeing chokeberry jam and black currant jam looking fairly interchangeable in the preserve aisle at the Eastern European markets.

My inspiration was totally set off by my colleague doing his cranberry "grenadine" experiment and having me taste it. You know how the mind can start to wander when a seed is planted. At least mine does. And once I have an idea I'm a bit like a dog with a bone. Have to make it happen. Right. Now. While it's fresh in my mind. Hence the relatively quick turnaround on the black currant/Kaffir lime inspiration. Once the idea came to me (while I was out driving around doing errands on my day off) I basically made a few calls to locate my essential ingredients, picked them up that same afternoon and then started boiling down the juice as soon as I got home. If I don't do that, the ideas get lost. I'm not organized enough to carry a journal and write stuff down. I can't keep track of the slips of paper I do have stuff written down on.

Swapping flavors is always a good place to start experimentation, I've found. Try the chokeberry syrup in the Blood & Sand or perhaps instead of raspberry syrup or standard pomegranate grenadine in another classic cocktail recipe.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Re Cranberries, I had some leftover cranberries last year at holiday time, and I thought the syrup from them would work. It was thicker than what I think of as grenadine, and had some flavor from the orange zest and walnuts. I put it in a brandy sour of sorts.

I think there is a lot of potential in cranberries because they are inherently sour (unlike pomegranates). Therefore a "grenadine" could be made that would be a souring agent, to use in lieu of citrus. Actually, tamarind also comes to mind for this.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Re Cranberries, I had some leftover cranberries last year at holiday time, and I thought the syrup from them would work. It was thicker than what I think of as grenadine, and had some flavor from the orange zest and walnuts. I put it in a brandy sour of sorts.

I think there is a lot of potential in cranberries because they are inherently sour (unlike pomegranates). Therefore a "grenadine" could be made that would be a souring agent, to use in lieu of citrus. Actually, tamarind also comes to mind for this.

I didn't work on it very long, so it's quite possible that one could work around this, but my experience working with cranberries is that they are more tannic than tart (though they certainly are tart) and that's a dimension that isn't often found in cocktails. Not to say that you can't make it work, I just got bored with it quickly and abandoned the project.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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I just picked up a bottle of Sadaf (read: Persian) pomegranate concentrate - it's just the juice at 8x the strength. It says to dilute it 7:1 water:concentrate. I did that, and it tastes just like eating a pomegrante, tart, astringent, and not very sweet. (So, authentic, anyway!)

How would I turn this into a syrup? I have some 2:1 simple, would it be 7 parts of that to 1 of the concentrate?

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