If you’ve ever wondered what the heck grenadine is, how to use it, how long it lasts, and is the ingredient worth keeping around, this is for you!
Okay, let’s get started, shall we?
Imagine you’re at a fair.
There are animals and games of chance, and there’s this fantastic tasting drink being served to keep you cool as a cucumber in the blistering summer heat.
That fruity cocktail is known as grenadine.
You’ve probably seen it in the store, but you’re still wondering: what is grenadine?
Yes, what exactly is it?
Grenadine is an artful addition to some cocktails that adds the perfect pop of tartness and color.
It adds sweetness, but it’s not always as simple as that.
Grenadine is sweet because it has added sugar, but other ingredients such as citrus provide light acidity.
It’s similar to grape juice with its vibrant flavor thanks to the red fruit, pomegranate.
You can even find the stuff floating on top of Shirley Temples and Capri Suns.
And the fact that so many people have to try it yet is a little surprising, but now that you know what it is, maybe you should give it a taste!
It’s a unique drink ingredient, and you may be wondering if grenadine is worth keeping stocked in your bar.
Well, read on to find out what this substance is all about!
You may be familiar with grenadine from its starring role in the Shirley Temple.
But it’s such a versatile ingredient because you can use it in so many other drinks!
So again, what is grenadine?
For starters, it’s a red non-alcoholic delectable syrup with a sweet-tart flavor, commonly used in cocktails and mocktails.
And here’s the thing about grenadine—it’s not just for cocktails and mocktails!
You can also drizzle it onto your coffee, make a snappy salad dressing, or even use it when you’re making dessert.
But, you might be curious where it got its sprightly red color.
Well, it is made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and water.
Grenadine color also varies depending on how much juice is used to make the syrup, but it’s usually a deep red color.
In fact, the original grenadine cocktail recipe was published in 1895, but its popularity grew in the 1920s and 30s.
It also earned its name from the French word for pomegranate, grenade.
Although most companies make their grenadine using artificial coloring, berries or cherries, and corn syrup or sugar, a few still make it using pomegranate juice and sugar.
What does grenadine taste like?
If you’ve ever tried grenadine, you would know that it’s a flavorful and fruity syrup.
But have you ever thought about what grenadine truly tastes like?
A few, especially those unfamiliar with pomegranate, would say that the flavors of grenadine taste like a combination of red candy and medicine.
Actually, its taste is delightfully sweet, with a hint of cherry and raspberry.
Even others find it slightly acidic.
However, some more commonly-available grenadine brands contain zero pomegranate juice while having high levels of fructose corn syrup and artificial food dyes.
These tend to have a flavor that has been compared to cherries and are heavy on the sweet side without much tartness.
Does grenadine have alcohol in it?
Although grenadine syrup is widely used in cocktails, it contains 0% alcohol.
People only mix it with beverages to add some zest and tanginess.
While grenadine is a popular alcohol-free cocktail ingredient in many places, some companies alter it into an alcoholic concoction that contains 3 to 4% ABV.
It’s still pretty low compared to the usual liquor, but cocktail purists might keep away from it.
So make sure to check the ingredients on all of your drinks if you are concerned about your alcohol intake.
Ways to use grenadine
Grenadine flavor is so versatile that it goes way beyond alcoholic beverages.
Sure, it’s a popular choice for mixing up cocktails, and it is featured in many kid-friendly alcoholic-free drinks.
But many savory recipes call for grenadine syrup too.
You can even use it to add some kick to your sweet desserts too!
Here are some alcoholic and alcoholic-free ways to have fun with grenadine:
- Add a splash of grenadine to your mimosa for a refreshing new twist on the traditional brunch drink.
- If you want to take your sweet drink to a more delicious and decadent level, slowly drip grenadine into it.
- Give your caramelized onions an explosion of flavor by sprinkling a small amount of grenadine into the pan.
- Drizzle some pomegranate syrup over a pork roast as a glaze to give the dish an exotic flare.
- Mix in a bit of grenadine syrup to liven up your ice cream recipe.
- Try adding a few teaspoons of grenadine to your cupcake frosting recipe for a fruity touch.
Grenadine is a delicious ingredient that can be used in creative ways.
If you’re a foodie and use your creative imagination, you can surely concoct some culinary magic that’ll bring this syrup to a higher level.
Are you a fan of cocktails? If so, get some grenadine cocktail inspiration from this epic list!
How to store grenadine?
It is time to talk about storing grenadine.
You might think that grenadine is a simple syrup that needs normal storage conditions.
Well, you’re right, but there are still some important things to consider.
If your grenadine bottle is unopened, feel free to keep it anywhere in the kitchen—a pantry or cabinet works just fine.
The main thing is to keep the bottle away from direct heat, sunlight, or other sources that can break down the flavor compounds in the syrup and cause them to turn bad.
Once the bottle is opened, however, you need to be more careful.
Make sure the cap seals tightly to prevent air from contacting the syrup because air speeds up spoilage.
Then keep it in a cool place or a refrigerator if you want it to last more than a couple of months.
But really, no matter how you store it, we doubt this delicious syrup will last very long before it’s all gone!
How long does grenadine last?
If you’re a frequent buyer or planning to buy some grenadine, you probably want to know its shelf life before making a purchase.
I mean, what’s the good in buying grenadine syrup if it only lasts a few days or weeks in the fridge, right?
The good news is that grenadine is high in sugar and acid.
So, it spoils after quite a long time.
But, the quality may decrease over time.
You also have to know that grenadine comes in many forms: fresh, homemade, commercial products with varying ingredients, preservatives, and even alcoholic options.
And the shelf life of the different types varies.
The best way to find out how long it will last is by checking the “best before” date stamped on the label.
If you keep it unopened and in good storage conditions, it usually lasts up to a year after its expiration date.
Meanwhile, an opened bottle can last up to 2 to 3 months at room temperature with its cap on, or 1 to 2 months if a pump is used.
Homemade grenadine is a different story since it’s made of fresh pomegranate juice (and often lacks preservatives).
That means it won’t stay fresh for very long after opening.
In general, homemade grenadine will last up to 3 weeks to 1 month in the refrigerator when properly stored.
Do I need to refrigerate grenadine?
When it comes to keeping grenadine for the long haul, you might think that putting it in the fridge can help it last longer.
However, you might also wonder if there’s any valid reason to put your grenadine in a cooling unit or if keeping it on the shelf is just as good.
The truth is that you can store your grenadine either way, and it will be just fine until you’re ready to use it.
And it’s unnecessary to refrigerate opened grenadine, but doing so can lengthen its shelf life by up to 4 times more than that kept on the shelf.
Also, storing your grenadine in the fridge can avoid flavor deterioration.
By doing this, you can enjoy your syrup for several more months than if you left it at room temperature.
A quick tip: If you know you will use the syrup within a month or two, keeping it in the pantry is okay.
But, if it will take you a few months to finish the bottle, the refrigerator is the better option.
What is grenadine made out of?
For those who desire a little something sweet, grenadine syrup might be the perfect way to satisfy that craving.
It’s pretty light on the sugars, yet it still brings enough sweetness to add balance to a cocktail.
Grenadine is just simply one of the best mixers for making Shirley Temples, Tequila Sunrises, and Roy Rogers.
But where did this mixer come from?
The earliest recipe for grenadine syrup calls for pomegranate juice as its base and a sweet-tart mixture that you can make yourself with sugar and lemon juice.
Also, homemade grenadine is often made with fruit juices.
This means it has a richer flavor than store-bought grenadine syrup, which is usually made with high-fructose corn syrup and citric acid.
Commercially produced grenadine syrup tends to be extra sweet and has a more vivid red color due to artificial food coloring.
Grenadine is most commonly thought of as a cocktail ingredient, but it can really be used in many different ways.
It will only depend on your tastes and preferences for the types of cocktails that you like to make more than anything.
And if you want to try grenadine in your drinks, it’s best to start by using small amounts until you figure out just how much you like before moving on to larger portions.
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips and tricks on how to use grenadine.
So, give it a try the next time you’re out at the bar or hosting a party at home.