I remember Grenadine
I remember Grenadine from before I was "allowed" to drink, and I remember liking it a lot. It was not too sweet, it had a purity of color in its appearance that was unique, and the flavor was . ..complex.
Then one day many years later I bought some to make some drinks with, at the local store, and when I got home it was just dreadful; it was an overly sweet electric-neon kool-aid artificial hideousness. That sat and withered slowly in my closet until I gave up on grenadine drinks altogether.
I have since discovered that Grenadine *at some point* more or less became "artificial imitation grenadine".
Does the real thing still exist? What is it called? Are there acceptable alternatives that provide the flavor and texture? Help me, please.
Thanking you in advance,
Grenadine came up recently in the Daiquiri thread below and this interesting -- if not practical -- alternative was offered:
"Grenadine is supposedly made from pomegranate juice, but today it's often manufactured from sugar syrup flavored with cherry and raspberry and a bit of vanilla. If you can find pomegranate molasses at a store selling Middle Eastern foods, use that, although I warn you it's hard to get it to dissolve and it gives the drink the look of an ill-tended aquarium."
It's a wonderfully written, evocative article by Wayne Curtis that I recommend reading in its entirety:
but hope for other suggestions.
re: white light
Agreed; really easy to make a simple grenadine from POM. Pour out (drink) part of the bottle. Pour in sugar, to taste (go light here). Close and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Add a bit more if required, until it tastes the way you'd like it to taste. Optionally, add in dashes of orange flower water and/or almond extract for a bit more complexity.
Another option is a cooked version where you can get a more intense (but not as bright) flavor. Reduce the liquid by half over heat, with sugar. Remove from the heat, then add dashes of orange flower water and/or almond extract.
To either one you can add a shot of high-proof liquor (151 rum or gain alcohol) to help prevent premature spoilage. Keep it in the fridge either way, and enjoy. The results are much better than any grenadine you can buy, IMHO.
There is a company called Stirrings that makes a true pomegranate grenadine that is quite good, and not too pricey. Its distributed nationally by Diageo, so you should be able to get it by request, if you don't find it in your local shop.
If you do for some reason want to make your own grenadine, then here are some tips.
Peel pomegranates under water, makes life a lot easier, seeds sink, crud floats.
To extract juice, just put the seeds into a pan with enough water to cover and boil. The heat will cause the seeds to more or less explode. Then you can add sugar and reduce it to where you want it.
OR, you can do as white light recommended and just use the POM Wonderful juice. Much much much easier. Peeling pomegranates is such a pain.
I recently made some homemade Grenadine for use in Jack Rose's. I wrote up two methods for my blog.
My recipe of choice is a hybrid between simply mixing POM and sugar and cooking down the POM to concentrate the flavors. I'm excited for pomegranate season so I can try again with fresh juice.