Monthly Mixer: Grenadine

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The Monthly Mixer is a new column by M. Quinn Sweeney who writes about crafting cocktails at

That never-expiring bottle on your shelf isn’t really grenadine. That bastard stepchild of the classic cocktail mixer, which comes in a color not found in nature and is comprised almost entirely of sugar, may be ubiquitous but it’s not authentic.

Thanks to the public demand for antioxidants and the year-round growing season in California’s Central Valley, 100% pomegranate juice is now available at every grocery store in that double-bubble bottle, so we can all make our own grenadine the traditional way, by simmering real juice with sugar.


  • 1 16-ounce bottle of Pom (pomegranate juice)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce of vodka


Simmer the juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 2 cups, remove from heat, and stir in the vodka (adding a little alcohol extends the shelf life exponentially without much alteration to the flavor).

Let it cool before pouring back into the original bottle. It will keep in the refrigerator for a month or more.

Uses: Grenadine can be added to ginger ale for a Shirley Temple, cola for a Roy Rogers, or used as an alternative to sugar or other sweeteners in any number of cocktails, as well as in the classic grenadine cocktails linked below.

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