What is Grenadine? History, Uses, and Types

Everything you need to know about the sweet pomegranate syrup

Grenadine is a popular non-alcoholic bar syrup that is used in various cocktails and mocktails.

Its deep red color and sweet-tart flavor make it a perfect addition to any drink. The name “grenadine” is derived from the French word “grenade,” which means pomegranate, one of the main ingredients used to make the syrup.

Originally, grenadine was made by mixing pomegranate juice with sugar and lemon juice. However, homemade grenadine syrup has become increasingly popular among cocktail enthusiasts who prefer a more natural and authentic flavor.

Despite its popularity, many people are still unfamiliar with what grenadine is and how it is used.

This article aims to provide a clear and concise explanation of grenadine, including its history, ingredients, and uses in various cocktails and mocktails.

What is Grenadine

Grenadine is a sweet and tart non-alcoholic syrup that is commonly used in cocktails and mocktails.

It is a deep red color and has a distinct fruity flavor. Grenadine is traditionally made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, although some commercial varieties may contain artificial flavors and colors.

History of Grenadine

The origin of grenadine is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the Middle East or the Mediterranean region.

The name “grenadine” comes from the French word for pomegranate, which was originally used as the base ingredient for the syrup. Grenadine became popular in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s, when it was used in classic cocktails like the Tequila Sunrise and the Shirley Temple.

Ingredients of Grenadine

The three main ingredients of homemade grenadine syrup are pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice.

Pomegranate juice is the primary flavor component, while sugar is used to sweeten the syrup and lemon juice is added to balance the sweetness with tartness.

Some commercial varieties of grenadine may also contain other fruit juices, artificial flavors, and colors.

Production of Grenadine

To make homemade grenadine syrup, the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice are combined in a saucepan and brought to a boil.

The mixture is then simmered for about 20 minutes until it has thickened and reduced in volume. Once the syrup has cooled, it can be stored in a jar or bottle in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Commercial varieties of grenadine are typically made using a similar process, but may also include other ingredients and additives.

Uses of Grenadine

In Cocktails

Grenadine is a popular ingredient in many cocktails, especially those with a tropical or fruity flavor.

Tequila sunrise margarita cocktail in different glasses with ice

It is commonly used to add a sweet and tangy taste to drinks and give them a bright red color. Some of the most popular cocktails that use grenadine include Tequila Sunrise, Hurricane, and Bahama Mama.

Grenadine is also used in classic cocktails such as El Presidente, Mary Pickford, and Singapore Sling.

In Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Grenadine is not just limited to alcoholic beverages; it is also a popular choice for mixing up mocktails.

glasses with shirley temple drink

It can be used to add a sweet and tangy flavor to non-alcoholic drinks such as lemonade, iced tea, and soda.

Grenadine is also a common ingredient in Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic cocktail made with ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry.

In Food Recipes

Grenadine can be used in food recipes to add a unique flavor and color to dishes.

It is commonly used in desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, and ice cream. Grenadine is also used in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Some recipes that use grenadine include Pomegranate Glazed Salmon, Grenadine Glazed Carrots, and Pomegranate Molasses Chicken.

Variations of Grenadine

Grenadine syrup is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of cocktails, mocktails, and desserts.

While the classic grenadine is made with pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, there are several variations of grenadine available in the market today.

Here are some of the most popular variations of grenadine:

Fruit-Flavored Grenadine

Fruit-flavored grenadine is a popular variation of grenadine that adds a fruity twist to the classic recipe.

This type of grenadine is made by adding fruit extracts or concentrates to the traditional grenadine recipe. Some popular fruit-flavored grenadines include raspberry, strawberry, and cherry grenadine. Fruit-flavored grenadines are perfect for adding a burst of fruity flavor to cocktails and mocktails.

Alcoholic Grenadine

Alcoholic grenadine is a variation of grenadine that contains a small amount of alcohol.

While traditional grenadine is non-alcoholic, some brands offer alcoholic grenadine that contains 3 to 4% ABV.

This type of grenadine is perfect for adding a boozy kick to cocktails and mocktails. However, it’s important to note that alcoholic grenadine should be used in moderation.

Non-Alcoholic Grenadine

Non-alcoholic grenadine is the traditional and most widely used variation of grenadine.

It is made with pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice and contains no alcohol.

Non-alcoholic grenadine is perfect for adding a sweet and tangy flavor to cocktails and mocktails without the boozy kick. It can also be used as a topping or an ingredient in desserts.


Grenadine is a popular bar syrup that is used in many cocktails.

It is traditionally made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, which gives it a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors. Although it is known for its deep red color, grenadine is non-alcoholic and contains no alcohol content.

While grenadine is a staple in many bars and restaurants, it is also easy to make at home.

By following a simple recipe of pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice, anyone can make their own grenadine syrup and add it to their favorite drinks.

Overall, grenadine is a versatile ingredient that can be used to add flavor, color, and sweetness to a variety of cocktails.

Whether you are a professional bartender or a home mixologist, grenadine is a must-have ingredient that should be a part of your bar or kitchen arsenal.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Lauren McKenna

Lauren is a soon to be Temple University graduate. Her love of travel has introduced her to food and drinks from all over the world. She provides MyBartender with a global view of all things alcohol.

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