grenadine substitute

What Can I Substitute for Grenadine?

Getting ready to mix your favorite cocktails but can’t find any grenadine? Don’t panic! You can still enjoy your summer party cocktails by substituting grenadine with a variety of other options.

Cocktails are all about bringing fun and color to the party. Experiment with different substitutes to find your favorite mix, and you’ll never be short on your favorite party drink again, with or without grenadine.

In this guide, we’ll help you choose the best grenadine substitute depending on your preferences. Some alternative options will have a similar syrupy consistency but slightly different flavor. Others will taste the same, but the consistency will differ.

The substitute for grenadine you choose will depend on whether you want to match the flavor or get the right consistency.

What is Grenadine?

Known mostly for its use in alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, grenadine is a bittersweet syrup with a deep red color. Originally it was made from pomegranate juice with added sugar and water to form the syrup.

Many grenadine manufacturers however produce commercial varieties of the original product, which is made from blackcurrant juice combined with artificial flavorings and colorants.

Due to its sweetness, grenadine should be used in small amounts. For a well-balanced flavor, one shot per cocktail is enough.

The most popular cocktails that include grenadine are Tequila Sunrise/Caribbean Sunrise, Pomegranate Margarita, Singapore Sling, Marilyn Monroe Cocktail, or a Gin Daisy. Non-alcoholic cocktails that popularly contain grenadine are the Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers.

Grenadine syrup is however not only used in cocktails, but can be used in desserts and even savory cooking. Dessert applications include pomegranate ice cream, cheesecake, grenadine cupcakes, and soufflé.

The syrup is mostly used in marinades, bastings, lamb, and pork sauce accompaniments, or poaching liquid in savory cooking.

Best Grenadine Syrup Replacement

#1. Homemade Grenadine Syrup

If you have some time on your hands, making your own grenadine syrup can turn out even better than the commercial variety. You can make a large batch that will last a few months and avoid artificial colorants or flavorings usually present in syrups.

Another bonus of making it yourself is that you can control the sweetness level and customize the flavor to your liking.

Things to remember when making your own grenadine syrup:

  1. If you use fresh pomegranates that you juice yourself, you will need a lot, since they don’t yield much juice. You will however get the best flavor from using the fresh fruit.
  1. If you opt for pomegranate juice, go with an unsweetened version. You will be adding sugar to the juice to get the right consistency. Adding sugar to already sweetened juice will yield an unpleasantly sweet concentrate.
  1. Reducing boxed juice will take longer than using freshly squeezed pomegranate juice since the mass-produced variety has a watered-down consistency.
  1. The recommended recipe ratio is one cup of granulated sugar for every cup of pomegranate juice. Adjust this according to your taste. You can also add a few drops of lemon juice, fresh mint, or orange to customize the flavor.

To make your syrup combine the pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer the mixture until it reaches a thick consistency. The time it takes to reduce will depend on the quantity and quality of your ingredients.

Once thick, remove the syrup from heat and add any additional ingredients like lemon juice or mint. Allow the syrup to cool completely before pouring it into a glass jar for refrigeration.

#2. Pomegranate Molasses

Unlike regular molasses, which is made from sugar cane, pomegranate molasses is made from pomegranates. The juice and sugar are reduced to a dark red liquid, thicker than grenadine. The thick syrup is slightly more tart and bitter but makes a great substitute in most applications.

The pomegranate flavor is prominent, so consider adding some simple syrup to achieve the same sweetness and consistency as grenadine. Water can also be used to thin out the consistency without adding any sweetness.

Pomegranate molasses can be used instead of grenadine in drinks, desserts, and sauces. Thin it out first if having the exact consistency is important.

Substitute quantity: Once the molasses has been thinned out to the desired consistency, substitute it in equal quantities.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Citrus, apple, banana, avocado, coconut, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, mint, parsley, coriander, almond, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, white chocolate, and honey.

#3. Raspberry Syrup

Raspberry syrup is easier to find than pomegranate molasses and usually available at baking-, liquor-, or general grocery stores. It has a similar consistency and bright red color to grenadine. Although both syrups have sweet, floral, and fruity notes, the taste is somewhat different.

If you are looking to experiment with different flavors, this is the ideal substitute since you don’t have to worry about a varying consistency. However, if you are looking for an exact flavor match, give the raspberry syrup a skip.

The syrup is best used in sweet and fruity cocktails and baking but can also be used in savory applications like marinades and sauces.

Substitute quantity: Substitute in equal quantities as the consistency is the same

Pairs well with the following flavors: Apricot, plum, peach, blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, rhubarb, citrus, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, thyme, most nuts, caramel, chocolate, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla

#4. Cranberry Concentrate

Cranberry concentrate is very much like raspberry syrup. It has a similar consistency to grenadine and raspberry syrup, but the flavor is more tart. Also known as cranberry juice cocktail, the syrup pairs well with autumn flavors in sweet and savory dishes.

Substitute quantity: Substitute in equal amounts. Keep in mind that the flavor profile will be more tart.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Apples, pears oranges, pumpkin, squash, nuts, honey, maple, vanilla, quince, and autumn spices including allspice, cinnamon, star anise and cloves.

#5. Maraschino Cherry Syrup

If you have maraschino cherries in the pantry already, simply use the syrup they are packed in as a grenadine syrup substitute. Best yet, you get to use the cherries as cocktail garnishes.

The syrup has a cherry juice undertone and is very sweet. If you need to dilute the consistency slightly, add a little water to the mix.

The syrup is best used in cocktails and sweet dishes or accompanied with creamy ingredients such as crème fraiche or mascarpone to set off the sweetness.

Substitute quantity: Substitute in equal amounts. If the syrup is very thick and you need to dilute it, add a little water, mix well, and then substitute the grenadine measure for measure with the diluted maraschino cherry syrup.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Apricot, plum, peach, orange, lemon, melon, coconut, autumn spices, herbs such as sage, coriander, and thyme, nuts, caramel, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, crème fraiche, and mascarpone.

#6. Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice

Unsweetened pomegranate juice is a great alternative if you do not like overly sweet cocktails. It does not have the same consistency nor flavor intensity. When using unsweetened pomegranate juice as a substitute for grenadine syrup, keep the following in mind:

Freshly made pomegranate juice will have a better flavor than juices with artificial flavorants.

Due to its thinner consistency and less intense flavor, you will need to swap out some of the neutral liquid in your cocktail for more juice. Instead of adding mostly soda water or lemonade, add a smaller amount of these liquids and use more pomegranate juice instead.

The juice will not be suitable as a substitute in desserts. The thinner consistency will throw your ratios off and can drastically change the texture of your dish. We recommended sticking to drinks only for this one.

Substitute quantity: Adjust the ratios in your drink to accommodate the thinner consistency and less concentrated taste.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Citrus, apple, banana, avocado, coconut, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, turmeric, mint, parsley, coriander, almond, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, white chocolate, and honey.

#7. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup

If you love sweet flavors, strawberry daiquiri syrup is the option for you. It is sweet, fruity, easy to come by, and has already been formulated specifically for cocktails. Although it has a slightly thicker consistency and a much sweeter flavor than grenadine, the syrup is also suitable for use in desserts such as cupcakes, cheesecakes, tarts, and fruity syrups making it a versatile option.

Substitute quantity: Substitute measure for measure, keeping in mind that you may have a slightly sweeter end result.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Citrus, apple, banana, coconut, cinnamon, mint, parsley, almond, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, chocolate, caramel, crème fraiche, and mascarpone.

#8. Crème de Cassis

Crème de cassis is an alcoholic blackcurrant liqueur often used in mixed drinks. It is less sweet and has a thinner consistency than that of grenadine but boasts a rich, deep, fragrant taste. It pairs well with tropical fruits and is best not paired with recipes containing spices, nuts, and chocolate.

Substitute quantity: Use half the amount of crème de cassis for grenadine required. If your recipe calls for 2 shots of grenadine, use only one shot of crème de cassis and adjust it accordingly from there.

Pairs well with the following flavors: Tropical fruits, watermelon, banana, mango, citrus, berries, stone fruit, caramel, vanilla, honey, mascarpone, and crème fraiche.


FAQs 

Conclusion

Although popularly known for its use in cocktails, grenadine can also be used in desserts and some savory marinades and sauces. If you’re all out of grenadine there are a number of substitutes you can use. Choose the best substitute according to flavor or consistency as per your recipe requirements. 

Using a thinner (or thicker) liquid can throw off your recipe’s texture and taste. To get the closest texture and flavor match in one, make your own grenadine, bottle it, and you’ll have no excuse to miss out on a cocktail again.

*Image by rinzz.hotmail.com/depositphotos

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