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Everything You Need to Know About a Splash of Grenadine (#4 Will Blow Your Mind)

When you think about some of your favorite cocktails and spirits, there is a whole other menu of ingredients that also emerge as popular favorites. For example, grenadine is a cocktail contributor known for elevating all kinds of iconic beverage flavors and tastes. But what do we really know about this ruby-red additive? And is what else should you know about that perfect splash of grenadine? 

It turns out that there’s a lot more to grenadine than you might think. And today, we’ll demystify what it is, where it comes from, and all the brilliant ways it contributes to some of the most legendary cocktails and drinks. 

1. What Is Grenadine, Anyway?

Starting with the basics, let’s dive into what grenadine is. It’s defined as a non-alcoholic or low-alcohol syrup, typically used to make mixed drinks and boost flavors. In its purest form, grenadine is derived from pomegranate juice. And the term grenadine hails from the French word for pomegranate or “grenade.” Today’s grenadine comes in a variety of fruit blends, including red currant, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, and elderberry. 

2. What Does a Splash of Grenadine Taste Like?

Because grenadine can be found today in a variety of flavors, you can expect a few different tastes. In general, however, grenadine is loaded with sweeteners and sugar; it is, after all, a syrup additive. So, you can expect a hyper-sweet taste if sampling it raw. And when added to your favorite cocktail or blended with your favorite spirit, a splash of grenadine can chaperone in both sweet and tart tastes.

3. What’s the History Behind Grenadine?

Grenadine comes from a long and rich cocktail-related and bartending history. It’s reported that the first mention of grenadine at all was in 1895. By the 1920s and 1930s, grenadine was a wildly popular ingredient for all the best cocktails and mocktails of the time. In fact, there were over 100 different drinks that called for the red, delicious additive. 

4. Can You Make Your Own Grenadine?

Yes! Before submitting any of your favorite cocktails to a store-bought grenadine, try your hand at concocting your own grenadine. It’s the best way to see how grenadine was intended to support, elevate, and fortify certain drinks. And while there are a variety of methods for making your own, here’s a fairly simple recipe to follow.


Start with your fruit of choice. But at least try your hand at one batch of the authentic grenadine with pomegranate. 

  • 2/3 cup fresh squeezed pomegranate juice (8 ounces pomegranate seeds or 2 medium pomegranates)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Start by making your pomegranate juice, using a mesh strainer or muddler to separate the juice from the fruit itself. You can put all the seeds in a cocktail shaker and mash until all the juices are free.
  2. Simmer your juice and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until all the sugar has dissolved. Once smooth, usually after one to two minutes, remove from heat to cool.
  3. Once the syrup has cooled completely, your grenadine is ready for mixing and use. Store in the refrigerator immediately.

Tips for Making Grenadine

  • Remember, your grenadine will offer peak freshness if you use fresh juices and not the bottled versions. Squeeze your own pomegranate, if you can, for the best experience.
  • Simmer your juices and sugars together gently. Don’t rush the process.
  • Store your finished grenadine in the fridge for up to three weeks. Adding one tablespoon of brandy or vodka will help fortify it for even longer.

5. How to Buy the Right Grenadine

If you decide it’s easier and more convenient to buy your grenadine, don’t fret. There are plenty of award-winning, top-notch brands of grenadine on today’s shelves. Of course, you can find lesser-known varieties for cheap, too. But to preserve the integrity of the cocktails you’re making, we recommend sticking with the top grenadine brands. Here are six of them, often considered to be the best of the best. 

Liber & Co. Real Grenadine – Pomegranate juice, pure cane sugar, and orange blossom water are the primary ingredients. And this grenadine brand is likely the most iconic recipe for grenadine, earning it first chair behind most bars. 

BG Reynolds Lush Grenadine – Pomegranate juice, pure cane sugar, and dried hibiscus come together for this brand’s grenadine offering. There are lots of currants and blackberry in this blend, so be mindful before overloading your cocktail. It’s a bit pricier, too, but enjoyable.

Fix Tart Cherry Grenadine – This grenadine brand is made with tart cherries and cane sugar. It’s probably the least “grenadine-like” grenadine out there. So, if you’re looking for a “grenadine light” experience, this is your go-to brand. Be careful to sample before using this one in your Tequila Sunrise. It might not fit the bill.

Rose’s Grenadine – This grenadine brand might be the one you recognize most. It is high fructose corn syrup with both natural and artificial flavors and colors. Surprisingly, it’s light in flavor, with predominant notes of cherry, even some cotton candy, and spiced apples. This is your mocktail go-to for the littles every time. 

Barsmith Grenadine – This grenadine brand offers just cane sugar syrup with unspecified natural flavors and vegetable-based (natural) coloring. This is your bargain variety grenadine, albeit with a touch of class. It’s a lighter pink, too, and gently herbal. And there’s nothing wrong with how it tastes.

Torani Grenadine – You’ll encounter this blend of pure cane sugar, natural flavors, and a touch of artificial color on the store shelf, too. Its bright red syrup looks the part, but it is all sugar. Be careful not to use this grenadine brand with any already sweetened cocktails, as it might be sugar overload. 

6. The Most Popular Cocktails Calling for a Splash of Grenadine

You can experiment with all kinds of cocktail creations using grenadine. But if you need a better sense of what it can do for any new drink, consider whipping up some of these more popular cocktails, already brilliantly calling for the ruby-red splash of grenadine.

Tequila Sunrise with a Splash of Grenadine

Invented in the 1970s, this is likely the most popular cocktail that calls for grenadine. Combining your preferred tequila, orange juice, and the red hue of a subtle grenadine is the perfect end to a hot summer afternoon.

Shirley Temple

Dating back to the 1930s, the Shirley Temple is the most popular non-alcoholic option and grenadine classic. Combine your chosen ginger ale, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of grenadine, and voila! 

The Clover Club Cocktail

Going all the way back to 1908, you’ll find this tangy cocktail is a grenadine pillar, too. It’s bright pink, combining gin and your choice of grenadine. Top it off with egg-white foam.

The Roy Rogers

While its specific origin dates are open to interpretation, this drink hails from the 1940s and 1950s as the namesake of the iconic on-screen cowboy legend. It combines cola and a splash of grenadine, much like the Shirley Temple, as a mocktail.

Hurricane and a Splash of Grenadine

This New Orleans special blend is another 1940s staple that calls for a splash of grenadine. It usually consists of light and dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, passion fruit syrup, and, of course, grenadine. It’s a cousin to the classic daiquiri.

Singapore Sling

Dating back to 1915, the classic “sling” is a mix of liqueur or brandy, water, and a sweetening agent. Today, however, there are a slew of variations with all kinds of unique blends. With gin, Angostura bitters, pineapple juice, and grenadine find your own perfect cocktail version.

El Presidente

This Cuban slow-sipper is another fun cocktail to sample. It’s been around since the 1920s and offers a culturally Cuban twist on the Manhattan. Using rum instead, you can mix in a Grand Marnier, Blanc vermouth, and a splash of grenadine for a perfect after-dinner treat.

The Zombie and a Splash of Grenadine

Don’t the name fool you; there’s nothing “dead” about this cocktail. It calls for ten ingredients to make it spectacular and uber-potent. It was invented as a tropical, knock-your-socks-off drink back in 1934 by Donn Beach at a Hollywood-based restaurant. Check out this laundry list of Zombie ingredients, including grenadine:

  • White Run
  • Spiced Rum
  • Dark Rum
  • Passion Fruit Syrup
  • Orange Bitters
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Fresh Lime Juice
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 151 Rum
  • Grenadine

The Jack Rose

Dating back to the 1920s, the Jack Rose made its appearance in “The Sun Also Rises,” the Ernest Hemmingway classic. This gem of a cocktail combines applejack, grenadine, and either lemon or lime juice.

The Classic Scofflaw and a Splash of Grenadine

When you mix two ounces of bourbon or rye whiskey with one ounce of dry vermouth, one-quarter ounce of freshly squeezed lemon, two dashes of grenadine, and one dash of bitters, you get the Classic Scofflaw. This cocktail of grenadine dates back to 1927 but continues to be a favorite sipper!

7. Other Non-Drink Ways to Love a Splash of Grenadine

Grenadine has uses beyond the traditional cocktail or mocktail. Try using it in the kitchen in other ways, especially if you’re looking to bring a splash of grenadine with its sweet, tart, and red color to your recipes!

  • Add a splash of grenadine to liven mimosas.
  • Try adding it to tea for a sweet hue.
  • Bring an explosion of flavor to caramelized onions with a sprinkle of grenadine.
  • Add grenadine to liven up a bowl of ice cream.
  • Glaze your pork roast with a hint of pomegranate grenadine.
  • Stir it into your cupcake icing for a fruity boost.

8. Grenadine FAQs

In addition to all the grenadine knowledge shared above, here are a few of the most frequently asked grenadine questions. 

Can you get sick with too much grenadine?

Yes. Because grenadine is almost entirely made of sugar, too much can lead to gastrointestinal distress. So, it’s best to keep it on hand as a cocktail additive and not consume it directly or in excess.

What’s really different between Triple Sec and Grenadine?

Aside from the flavor differences, with Triple Sec being an orange-flavored liqueur and grenadine being a pomegranate or red fruit-based syrup, the alcoholic components vary, as well. Triple Sec does contain alcohol, while traditional grenadine does not.

Is honey a good grenadine cocktail substitute?

Yes! You can always use honey to sweeten your favorite cocktails in lieu of or in addition to any grenadine brand.

What’s the difference between grenadine and simple syrups?

Grenadine is the water and sugar base but introduces pomegranate or fruit juice. Simple syrups rely on sugar and water only.

What’s real grenadine?

When you hear the term “real grenadine,” it refers to the original form of grenadine, a derivative of pomegranate. If it’s another fruit, like cherry, elderberry, or strawberry, some won’t consider it to be real grenadine.

What is the purpose of grenadine?

Depending on the cocktail or mocktail you’re preparing, grenadine essentially brings elements of both sweetness and tartness. Many use grenadine as a coloring agent to improve the looks and aesthetics of a fresh drink, too.

Can you put grenadine in your coffee?

Yes! Surprisingly, grenadine brings fruity sweetness to your morning brew. But it’s best if you use a homemade version that you’ve sweetened yourself, in lieu of a premade grenadine brand.

Now that you’re confident in knowing everything there is to possibly know about grenadine, all you have to do is decide which favorite cocktail to enjoy it with, and cheers! As you explore new spirits and brews, let Distillery Nearby be your tour guide!

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