I’m starting to see the fresh pomegranates back in the stores again this week. I do love cutting them open and popping out those garnet-colored seeds to eat. They stain your fingers bright pink, but I really don’t care. They are sweet, but have a slightly tart taste and a crunchy texture. If you turn the juice into a syrup, you have a homemade grenadine to make classic cocktails such as the Jack Rose, the Mistletoe and the El Presidente. Homemade grenadine is tart and sweet and adds a rich red color to any drink.
Pomegranates are used in cuisines throughout Europe and Asia. Many classic Persian dishes call, such as Fesenjan stew, call for Pomegranate molasses, a thicker and darker syrup than grenadine. Grenadine is lighter and is mostly used as a bar syrup. It can also be used as a topping for fresh fruit and ice cream.
In this grenadine recipe, I’ve added pomegranate molasses to add a deeper color and flavor, but also to make the syrup thicker. You can find pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern groceries or markets that specialize in international foods.
For the pomegranate juice, you can certainly crush the fresh seeds and extract your own juice. I just buy the 8 oz container of POM 100% pomegranate juice and use that.
1 cup of pomegranate juice (Pom works fine)
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and pomegranate juice over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved into the juice. Remove immediately from the heat. Pour the warm syrup into a jar and add the pomegranate molasses and vodka. Shake to mix.
This will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Here are a couple of cocktails that you can make with your homemade grenadine.
El Presidente Cocktail
(adapted from Imbibe Magazine)
1 1/2 oz white rum
1 1/2 oz Vermouth Blanc
1 spoonful of Grand Marnier
1/2 spoonful of homemade grenadine
Stir ingredients over cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top of the drink. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Jack Rose Cocktail
2 1/2 oz Applejack
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon homemade grenadine
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake until cold, Strain and pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.