Are you planning to host a party for your friends and thinking of which cocktails to serve? How about some classics like Singapore Sling and Tequila Sunrise! These cocktails are going to be the life of your party!
But what if you realize you are all out of one important ingredient; Grenadine. Moreover, your nearest grocery store is all out too! If that is the case, this article is surely worth your time. Today, I’ll tell you all about grenadine and its best substitutes.
Now that we talk about it, what actually are good grenadine substitutes? Some of the best grenadine substitutes are pomegranate molasses, raspberry syrup, cranberry juice cocktail, and orgeat syrup.
Before we dive into the best grenadine substitutes, how about discovering grenadine a little further? This will help you better understand its flavor profile and how flavors can be balanced in beverages that use grenadine.
Quick Peek: Grenadine
This section has all the information you need on grenadine. Read further to know all about grenadine, its flavor profile, and also about its nutritional information!
What Is Grenadine?
Grenadine is a thick, red-colored non-alcoholic cocktail syrup made from fresh pomegranates. Originating in France, sweet grenadine was originally made with some pomegranate juice, sugar, and water.
However, the modern variant of grenadine is mostly made with blackcurrant juice with added color and flavorings. Exploring its etymology, the name grenadine comes from the French word ‘grenade,’ which means pomegranate.
Off lately, to cut production costs, most manufacturers have replaced fruit in grenadine with artificial ingredients.
For this reason, it is very important to get grenadine from a reputable supplier that uses pomegranate reduction to make grenadine. Pure grenadine is usually easily available in Middle Eastern stores.
Describing Grenadine: Flavor and Texture
Grenadine is a red syrup with a thick consistency. The flavor of this is sweet and tart, with a taste like that of cherries. However, grenadine has no cherries in it.
Modern Grenadine is pretty sweet, considering it is made with sugar syrup and artificial flavors. Hence, it must be used carefully while adding to beverages.
Uses of Grenadine
Grenadine syrup is primarily used to add flavor to cocktails. Some of the best cocktails made using grenadine are tequila sunrise, Singapore sling, pomegranate margarita, Queen Mary, etc.
Moreover, grenadine is also used as a base in various non-alcoholic beverages, Shirley temple being the most famous of them all.
However, there is a huge misconception that grenadine can be used only as an addition to beverages. Grenadine can also be used in cooking! It can be used as a flavoring agent in various desserts like ice creams, souffle, cheesecakes, and sorbets, to name a few.
Moreover, grenadine is used in making various sauces for pork and lamb. It can be used in savory cooking for basting and marinades.
Grenadine On The Health Radar
Grenadine, being mostly sugar, is very high in calories. A single tablespoon of or approximately 15 grams of grenadine contains around 47 calories.
However, it is important to remember that these calories all come from sugar. Grenadine contains no vital nutrients, vitamins, or minerals. It has no carbohydrates, protein, or fat.
Considering the fact that it only has calories from sugar, grenadine should be used carefully. While adding it to beverages especially, using a few dashes of it usually works. A few spoons of grenadine provide ample sweetness and tart flavor to any beverage.
I think I have provided you with enough information on grenadine along with its uses and nutritional values. However, before we get to the substitutes, I wanted to introduce the best substitute for grenadine first. So, let us quickly explore that first!
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11 Best Grenadine Substitutes
Don’t have the time to make fresh grenadine syrup at home? Do not worry! Here is a list of various other store-bought substitutes that would work perfectly well in place of grenadine.
1. Pomegranate Molasses
Pomegranate molasses is a thick, concentrated reduction of pomegranate juice, just like grenadine. However, there are notable differences between the two. Pomegranate molasses is thicker in consistency and is also less sweet and more tart than grenadine.
Pomegranate molasses would make a great substitute for grenadine as it would give a similar taste profile and color. However, if you want to increase the sweetness of your drink, you could balance it out with some extra sugar. Don’t have pomegranate molasses? Here is a list of pomegranate molasses that you can try.
2. Raspberry Syrup
Raspberry syrup is a thick reduction made with raspberry juice and sugar. It has a similar sweet and tart flavor. It works as a great substitute for grenadine.
While the flavor of raspberries is different from that of pomegranate, both fruits provide a similar sour taste. In fact, raspberry syrup is more preferred by most people in place of grenadine.
You can swap the two in the same ratio. Raspberry syrup is easily available in supermarkets and liquor stores.
3. Creme de Cassis
Creme de Cassis is a dark, sweet red liquor made from black currants. It has a similar tart flavor to grenadine and would work as a great substitute.
Creme de Cassis is less sweet and has a prominent flavor of black currants. However, it is important to remember that it is alcohol-based. Hence, swapping it for grenadine will increase the alcohol content in your drink.
While using it as a substitute for grenadine, make sure you use half the amount not to increase the alcohol content too much. You can adjust its sweetness by adding some sugar syrup. Here’s how you can make Kir Royale using crème de cassis.
4. Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice
As the name suggests, unsweetened pomegranate juice is raw pomegranate juice without sugar. It has a great sourness and hence can be used as a substitute for grenadine.
Since unsweetened pomegranate juice has no sugar, it might be too sour a substitute for grenadine for some people. However, it will still provide great color to your drink. You could use some sugar syrup in your drink to add to the sweetness.
5. Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Cranberry juice cocktail is a cranberry juice concentrate, sugar, water, and ascorbic acid mixture. It is extremely tart in taste and is easily available in the market.
Cranberry juice cocktail provides a sweet and tart taste, just like grenadine. It also provides the rich, red color that grenadine does.
The only thing is it will have a more prominent flavor of cranberries, as opposed to pomegranate. However, there is still barely any difference in the taste profile. Hence, it would make a great substitute for grenadine. Here is the recipe for Purple Haze drink that you can make with cranberry juice.
6. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup
Strawberry daiquiri syrup is a premixed drink used to make strawberry daiquiris. It is strawberry juice combined with sugar and gives a fruity punch to drinks.
It is very easily available in the market. However, it does have a thicker consistency and is much sweeter than grenadine.
So, if you want to swap grenadine with something sweeter and less tart, strawberry daiquiri syrup would be a great substitute.
7. Cocktail Cherry Juice
Cocktail cherry juice has a refreshing flavor of cherries with hints of sweetness and sourness. It is very readily available in markets and is also not very expensive.
Cocktail cherry juice would give a flavor of cherries rather than pomegranate. However, it still does provide a similar flavor profile. That makes it a great substitute for grenadine.
Moreover, cocktail cherry juice can be used as a substitute not only in drinks but also in various desserts.
8. Orgeat Syrup
Orgeat syrup is another sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water. It has a prominent taste of almonds and is used to flavor various cocktails.
Orgeat syrup does not have the fruity flavor or red color that grenadine does. However, with the addition of some red color and lime juice, it could give a similar taste profile.
So, if you are feeling a bit adventurous or want to try something new, orgeat syrup could make a good substitute for grenadine.
9. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is inexpensive and very easy to find. Moreover, the best part about fruit juice is that you could very well use the one you like best. It will also retain the sourness of grenadine syrup.
However, one downside to using fruit juice is that it is very thin in consistency. But, this can easily be adjusted by adding some honey or maple syrup.
While using fruit juice as a substitute for grenadine, use 85% fruit juice and 15% honey. This will correct the consistency and retain the fruity flavor. Hence, it would make a great substitute for grenadine.
10. Maraschino Cherry Syrup
This is a little unconventional, yes. However, the syrup in which maraschino cherries are preserved can make a great substitute for grenadine. You could simply strain the cherries and use the syrup!
Maraschino cherry syrup, however, is much sweeter than grenadine. It is extremely thick as well. But, the consistency can be thinned down with some water.
There are hints of maraschino cherry flavor in this syrup, giving a slight sourness. Maybe not the best, but this could still make a good substitute for grenadine. Here is the recipe for Sonic cherry limeade for you.
11. The Best Grenadine Substitute – DIY Grenadine
Yes, homemade grenadine syrup is a thing! Moreover, homemade grenadine is much better than store-bought grenadine, as you can decide the amount of sugar you would like to add to your homemade syrup.
One downside to making your syrup is that it may take longer. However, if you have some time on your hand, consider making it yourself. A large batch of homemade grenadine syrup will last you at least a few months.
Let us look at the ingredients and method of making homemade grenadine syrup.
Ingredients Needed To Make DIY Grenadine
You will essentially need only two ingredients – pomegranates and sugar. However, if you live where pomegranates aren’t easily available, you could use pomegranate juice. Pomegranate juice will also save you the time of cutting and crushing fresh pomegranates.
However, one important thing to remember while using pomegranate juice is that it contains some sugar. So, you might have to reduce the amount of sugar you add to the syrup recipe. But, if you want to stick to a more authentic taste, fresh pomegranate works best!
Use 1 cup of granulated sugar for every one cup of pomegranate juice, whether store-bought or freshly squeezed. This will give your syrup a thick consistency. Moreover, you can add other ingredients like lemon juice, mint, orange juice, etc., to add to the flavor of your grenadine.
Method To Make DIY Grenadine
Making grenadine at home is very simple. Here are the steps :
- Crush fresh pomegranate to extract as much juice as possible.
- Mix the juice with sugar in a saucepan and simmer until it reaches a thick, syrup-like consistency.
A few important things to remember here are that it will take longer to make grenadine with store-bought pomegranate syrup. This is because the consistency of a store-bought juice is extremely watered down.
Also, granulated sugar is the best sugar to use. It helps thicken the mixture quickly. So, if you decide to use any other form of sugar, do remember that it will take longer for the syrup to thicken.
Was that list of substitutes helpful for you? I am sure that even if it was, your mind might still be confused about which substitute would taste best. Hence, I have broken it down further for you as per suitability, availability, and flavor profile.
Most Suitable: Pomegranate molasses would make the most suitable substitute for grenadine due to a similar taste profile.
Easily Available: The most easily available substitute for grenadine would be fruit juice.
Best Flavor Profile: Homemade grenadine syrup would have the best flavor profile when used to substitute for grenadine.
- Pomegranate Molasses
- Raspberry Syrup
- Creme de Cassis
- Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice
- Cranberry Juice Cocktail
- Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup
- Cocktail Cherry Juice
- Orgeat Syrup
- Fruit Juice
- Maraschino Cherry Syrup
- DIY Grenadine
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
I hope this article has helped you find the best substitute for grenadine syrup. Most of the substitutes given in the list above would work extremely well. However, my suggestion for the best substitute would definitely be homemade grenadine syrup.
Homemade grenadine syrup will definitely have the best flavor profile and no preservatives. It will for sure add the zing you need to your drinks. The best part is that you get to control the amount of sugar you would like to add.
If you try the recipe for homemade grenadine syrup, do let me know how it turned out in the comments! Until then, enjoy your refreshing cocktails!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Is grenadine made with pomegranate or cherry?
Grenadine is made with pomegranate.
Is grenadine the same as pomegranate syrup?
Yes, they are essentially the same thing.
Can grenadine be found in grocery stores?
Yes, grenadine can easily be found in the mixers section at grocery stores.
Is grenadine expensive?
Grenadine made with pure pomegranate juice can sometimes be a little pricey.
Does grenadine have to be refrigerated?
While refrigeration isn’t necessary, it will however retain the quality for a much longer time.
Can you freeze grenadine?
Yes, grenadine can be frozen.
How long does unopened grenadine last for?
If stored well, unopened grenadine can last for upto 2 years.