Sunday, January 11, 2009


I never really liked the taste of Rose's grenadine. Besides the high fructose corn syrup and obfuscatory list of ingredients, it just doesn't really taste like anything. Since the Sangrita recipe that I chose includes grenadine, I took the opportunity to do some research into what grenadine really is - pomegranate syrup. After reading through several recipes, many of which involved cooking, I decided that I would try something as fresh as I could, but without the hassle of actually trying to juice a real pomegranate (which I'm not ruling out trying in the future).

Enter POM 100% pomegranate juice. Although it is "from concentrate" it only lists as its ingredients pomegranate juice and natural flavors. Also according to the POM website, it:
  • contains no added sugars, preservatives or colors
  • is a good source of potassium
  • is gluten free
  • is flash pasteurized to retain both flavor and nutrients
  • is certified kosher
One recipe suggested equal parts POM and sugar, so I did some math to compare sugar levels. Using a 1:1 juice to sugar ratio yields a syrup with 28g of sugar per oz. Rose's has 21g of sugar per oz. Not exactly what I was looking for, so instead I opted for a 2:1 POM juice to sugar recipe which has 16g of sugar per oz. All you do is add the sugar and shake vigorously until it dissolves.

You are left with a bright, fresh syrup which tastes like pomegranate with the acidic tang and a little bit of tannin from the skins. I tasted the Rose's next. It tastes of cloying candied sweetness, with no real discernible fruit flavor and certainly lacking that crisp acidity you get from the fresh version. It reminds me of the results from my homemade version of Trader Vic's Passion Fruit Nectar.

I made about 6 oz in this first production batch which should make several batches of Sangrita. It will be interesting to use this recipe in some tropical drinks when milder temperatures arrive.

Pomegranate Grenadine
2 part 100% pomegranate juice
1 part cane sugar

Combine ingredients into a glass container and shake vigorously until sugar dissolves. Store in refrigerator. Shelf life TBD.

1 comment:

  1. Update - I have found a commercial brand of Grenadine that I enjoy. That brand is Ferrara and I bought it at the local Italian deli. It's sweetened with sugar and lists "pomegranate extract" as an ingredient. It has bright fruit flavors like one wants in a grenadine.

    I tried Stirrings brand after a rave review in Imbibe magazine and was very disappointed. Insipid stuff.