23 minutes, plus chilling time
Along with raspberry syrup, grenadine is one of the two “red stuff” sweeteners you’ll find in classic cocktails time and time again. And while they’ve constantly replaced one another in drinks throughout the years, today they’re best thought of as two sides of the same coin. Where raspberry syrup is summery, bright, and ethereal, pomegranate-based grenadine is winter nectar, full of depth and richness. Each—now both standard year-round in most cocktail bars—brings its own particular charm to whatever season you happen to be mixing in.
This grenadine recipe is the basic version I generally use whenever I’m making the syrup for myself. It’s simple and relatively quick and makes a wonderful Jack Rose, the hallmark grenadine cocktail in my mind. Since pomegranate juice is widely available these days—a bottled version like POM works fine here—this recipe can be made year-round. But during fresh pomegranate season, I like to make the most of extra-bright and tangy freshly juiced pomegranate (or add in a half cup of fresh pomegranate seeds to the blender after cooking the store-bought juice in a pinch, then strain and combine 1 part liquid with 2 parts demerara sugar as below). Made with bottled juice, your grenadine will last about 1 month in the fridge; the fresher version lasts 2 weeks in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer.
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Makes about 2 cups
Cook 1 cup pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over low heat for 15 minutes. Do not let boil.
Pour warm pomegranate juice into a blender and add 2 cups demerara sugar. Add 2 drops orange blossom water and express the oils from 4 large orange twists directly into the blender; discard twists. Blend until sugar is thoroughly dissolved, approximately 5 minutes. Test with a spoon—syrup should not be grainy.
Transfer mixture to a resealable glass jar and refrigerate until chilled.
Do Ahead: Homemade grenadine made with store-bought pomegranate juice will keep 1 month chilled; made with fresh juice, it will last 2 weeks chilled. Both versions can be frozen for several months.
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No need to heat the pomegranate juice. The heat from the blender motor will do the trick