Monday, February 6, 2012


I had been wanting to make real grenadine for a few years now and finally, with the Super Bowl around the corner, I had my chance.  What does one have to do with the other?  Well, a few years ago I started to make Super Bowl themed drinks.  And no, I don't mean, Touchdown Toddies, Miami Margaritas, 4th & Growlers, Sudden Death Shooters, Hail "Bloody" Mary's or Gatorade/Hatorade Punch.  I'm talking about making a drink that has its origins in the 2 competing team's cities or states.  

For this year's Super Bowl, between the Patriots and Giants, I had to wanted to make drinks representing New York & Boston.  New York is a Cocktail Mecca and presented no challenge at all (I'll blog about that drink tomorrow) but Boston I wasn't too keen on.  So I did some research and low and behold, I came across a classic cocktail [from over a century ago] that I've had before and that just so happens to utilize grenadine as one of its key ingredients.  

First things first.  I had to make the grenadine.  Now, normally I would go the extra distance and juice my own pomegranates but since they are out of season and not readily available right now, I made due with bottled high quality 100% pomegranate juice.  

There are 2 known ways to make great homemade grenadine.  I illustrate the hot method below but you can also make it employing a cold process. For the cold process, all you do is take equal parts sugar and pomegranate juice (1:1) in a bottle, and shake vigorously for however long it takes for all of the sugar to dissolve.  The flavor profile will be brighter and fresher tasting Grenadine but not as deep in color.  The version I made is richer, bolder and more intense in flavor and color.  No matter which process you choose, both are sure to be better than anything you buy at the store.            

Take 16 ounces of Pomegranate Juice...

...and pour it into a sauce pot over a low-to-medium flame.

Let it come to a slight simmer...

...and reduce it by half.

After 15 minutes or so, you will end up with about 1 cup of reduced pomegranate juice.

Take a cup of sugar and add it to the pot...

...with the reduction.  Remove the pot from the flame and stir the sugar until it is fully dissolved and incorporated.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Your reduction will be syrupy and should coat the back of a spoon.  If you run your finger across it and a clear path and run-less film is left on the spoon, you know you are ready to use it or store it for later use.  This stuff beats the pants out of that artificially flavored and colored, bottled stuff!

Ready for Cocktails.  This mixture will last up to a month in the fridge and maybe 3 months in the freezer.  Because of the high sugar content, the grenadine will not freeze.  If you want to extend the shelf life of your grenadine, add a couple of tablespoons of vodka or light rum and that will at the very least, double the lifespan of it.


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