You’ve probably heard of Grenadine in numerous cocktail recipes, even tasting it in your favorite drinks! In fact, there’s such a thing as Grenadine cocktails, the perfect refreshment for a hot summer’s day by the pool.
But even as much as we want some Grenadine on hand in the kitchen, we realize that this ingredient may be harder to get than expected. What happens if you’re ready for a killer cocktail only to find out you don’t have the secret ingredient?
What can be used instead of grenadine? You compromise, of course! There are fantastic Grenadine replacement that still capture that pomegranate flavor you want.
Check out our list of what other ingredients you can use in place of Grenadine syrup below:
What Can I Use Instead of Grenadine?
If you couldn’t find Grenadine syrup in your grocery store or have no time to go out to buy some, try any of these alternatives you can see in the kitchen:
1. Homemade Grenadine
Yes, you can make your own Grenadine, though it’s not the best option if you want a quick fix. However, if you have more time and want access to a lot of Grenadine in the future, consider making your own without any artificial flavoring and colorants.
- 1 large or 2 medium pomegranates
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- Extras like 1 teaspoon lemon juice, orange extract, fresh mint, or what you prefer (optional)
– HOW TO MAKE GRENADINE –
- When using fresh pomegranate seeds, crush the seeds to release the juices. After crushing the seeds, strain the juice and dispose of the seeds.
- Mix the pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer until you get a thick, syrup-like consistency.
- After the mixture thickens, please remove it from the heat, adding your desired additional ingredients.
- Let the syrup cool completely, then transfer it to a glass jar, refrigerating it to store and use.
2. Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice – A Healthy Replacement
One of the best and healthy substitutes for Grenadine syrup is unsweetened pomegranate juice!
It works well if you find Grenadine syrup too sweet for your taste, and it has a host of health benefits to reap.
If you’re not a fan of Grenadine’s sweetness, opt for unsweetened pomegranate juice, which you must refrigerate at all times to keep the juice from spoiling.
Pomegranate juice has a thinner consistency than syrups like Grenadine, and it doesn’t have the concentrated pomegranate flavor.
Tip: You can fix this by adding more juice or changing the recipe ratios.
When selecting between brands of unsweetened pomegranate juice, opt for fresh juice without any artificial flavors or colorings.
As for the consistency issue, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to cocktails. You can add less of the main ingredient and add more juice.
But in terms of desserts, substitution may be an issue since baked products and desserts need exact ratios. You’ll need to add more pomegranate juice to capture Grenadine’s flavor, though more liquid can throw off your recipe’s texture.
It’s possible to fix it by mixing two parts simple syrup and 1 part pomegranate juice, but you may not have enough pomegranate flavor.
Because of that, we recommend using unsweetened pomegranate juice for cocktails rather than desserts or baked goods.
3. Lemon Juice / Lime Juice
Another good replacement is lime or lemon juice, which you most likely have at home!
Lemon juice/lime juice will not add any of the sweetness or fragrance of pomegranate, but you’ll have the tanginess.
That said, it has a different consistency from Grenadine syrup and may be too sour for one’s liking.
We prefer using this more for drinks, though it’s best to add simple syrup or other sugars for a sweeter taste.
4. Pomegranate Molasses (Editor’s Choice)
Pomegranate molasses is our top choice we recommend if you’re looking for a suitable grenadine substitute.
It’s a rich and tangy reduction of pomegranate juice, a vital part of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Molasses’ sticky and syrupy consistency comes from boiling pomegranate fruit juice with colorants and sugar. Note that, compared to regular molasses, pomegranate molasses aren’t made of sugarcane but fresh pomegranates.
The sugar and juice mixture is reduced more than Grenadine syrup, producing a very thick and dark red liquid. This makes the ingredient very similar to Grenadine syrup, only a bit tarter and more bitter.
Since it’s made of pomegranates, you can easily interchange this molasses with Grenadine syrup. However, take note that molasses is less sweet and brings out the pomegranate flavor more prominently, so you may want to add a bit of sugar or simple syrup to capture the Grenadine flavor you want.
If you don’t like how much thicker pomegranate molasses are, you can add a bit of water to thin it down a bit.
Use this as a good replacement for grenadine in drinks, sauces, or desserts, using equal amounts. Besides using it as a Grenadine alternative, you can mix pomegranate molasses with soda water or top on ice cream.
5. Raspberry Syrup
Raspberry syrup is another ingredient we prefer.
It’s a bright red and sugary syrup, adding sweet and tangy flavors to your drinks or dishes.
This syrup might be more accessible in many parts of the world compared to Grenadine syrup, making it a suitable alternative.
If you plan on using raspberry syrup, you can use equal amounts to substitute Grenadine since they have the same consistency. However, note that raspberry syrup has an entirely different flavor profile, though they have the same bright red color for visual appeal.
Raspberry syrup and Grenadine syrup have fruity, floral, and sweet notes, though they are made of different fruits, hence the different tastes.
That said, it’s still a great option if you want to experiment with any new flavor combos.
We love raspberry syrup in desserts or iced teas and lemonades, though you can also use it in baked goods, sauces, marinades, and cocktails!
We highly recommend using raspberry syrup in sweet recipes with very fruity flavors, such as those containing berries, citrus, stone fruits, or rhubarb. Nuts, caramel, and chocolate flavors also work well with the raspberry.
But if you’re after exact flavor substitutions, it’s best to try other substitutes.
6. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup
Strawberry Daiquiri syrup is an established ingredient made for… You guessed it, strawberry daiquiris.
We included this on the list since it’s effortless to find, far easier than Grenadine syrup and some of these substitutes on here.
This syrup has a thicker consistency and tastes different than pomegranate and Grenadine syrup. Furthermore, it’s a tad sweeter and less tart, so you’ll have an interesting substitute if you want to experiment.
This syrup is an excellent to replace grenadine because it goes with almost any recipe, from sweet to savory dishes, and of course, in drinks.
It pairs well with various spices, fruits, nuts, and flavors like caramel and chocolate.
You can use an equal 1:1 ratio when substituting Grenadine syrup with strawberry daiquiri syrup, adding more to adjust the flavors as needed.
7. Creme de Cassis
Creme de cassis is an excellent Grenadine syrup substitute, though it’s an alcoholic drink. It’s a sweet and dark red liqueur with a rich blackcurrant flavor and ethanol flare.
This liqueur is less sweet than Grenadine, with more fragrant, richer, and deeper flavors. The consistency is thinner than Grenadine syrup as it’s a liqueur, so you may need to alter the recipe ratio and measurements.
When using crème de cassis as a substitute, only use half the amount the recipe calls for, then work your way up if desired.
You can use this liqueur with various fruits, mainly tropical fruits like mangoes, bananas, nectarines, or watermelons.
However, keep away from recipes loaded with chocolate, nuts, or spices. However, you can use this liqueur with creamy ingredients, vanilla, honey, or caramel.
We usually serve this liqueur as a frappe or after-dinner liqueur.
You should try drizzling over baked goods and ice cream for that fruity tinge!
Learn more: The Best Creme de cassis Substitutes List
8. Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Also known as cranberry juice concentrate, this ingredient gives you the blend of cranberry, sweet, and tart flavors, which has everything that Grenadine syrup has, with just a slight difference in fruits.
You get the sweetness, tartness, syrupy consistency, and red color!
It’s very similar to raspberry syrup, so expect different flavor profiles compared to Grenadine.
Cranberries have a tarter flavor compared to raspberries and Grenadine, and while you have floral and fruity flavor notes, the main flavor structure remains different.
The Cranberry juice cocktail combines the taste of cranberry juice with apples and pears, which are the flavors we’re trying to capture!
Use a bit of the concentrate in recipes if you like the hint of cranberry in your drinks or dishes.
This has the sweetness and just a bit of a sourish hint because of the addition of spirits.
You can add a few drops in desserts like cheesecakes, muffins, or pies to achieve a tangy burst.
To be more exact, cranberry juice pairs amazingly with dishes or drinks with citrus flavors, autumn spices, pumpkins, squashes, quinces, apples, and pears.
You can also use cocktail cranberry juice, most in fruit punches, slushes, or as a base for kid-friendly cranberry soda, mixing the cranberry juice cocktail with sparkling water.
Another product you can consider trying is cocktail cherry juice.
It tastes similar to cranberry with the same syrupy consistency but a bit sweeter.
Grenadine Fun Facts
Want to learn more about Grenadine? Here are some facts to learn about this well-known cocktail ingredient:
- Grenadine originated from France, initially made of pomegranate juice, water, and sugar. Today, it’s not commercially made of blackcurrant juice mixed with artificial coloring and flavoring. That’s why it’s crucial to get Grenadine from a reputable brand that uses pomegranate reductions, which you can find in Middle Eastern food stores.
- The term “Grenadine” originates from the French word “grenade,” meaning pomegranate.
- Grenadine is extremely popular as a cocktail syrup. You can find it in alcoholic drinks like the Tequila Sunrise, Singapore Sling, Marilyn Monroe Cocktail, Gin Daisy, or Pomegranate Margarita. You can also use it in mocktails like the Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers. (*)
- You don’t only use Grenadine in drinks, but as a flavoring in many desserts like pomegranate ice cream, Grenadine cheesecakes, cupcakes, or even souffles. For savory purposes, one can also use Grenadine, like basting syrups, poaching liquid, marinade, or sauces.
- This syrup is extremely sweet, so you must be wary when using Grenadine in your recipes or any other concentrated syrup, for the matter. For cocktails, you’ll only need a shot for well-balanced flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hold up! We’ve got more in store for you about Grenadine and its substitutes. Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about how to replace Grenadine well.
Wrapping It Up
When you’re out of Grenadine or couldn’t find anything in the supermarket, you’ll be surprised with just how many substitutes for grenadine out there are for it.
With these other ingredients, you can easily find them at home. You won’t have to skip recipes or completely alter the flavor of your food or drinks.
We hope you found ingredients that suits your needs. Try from our list and see how well it does in your cocktails or dishes now!