Grenadine was also part of the original non-alcoholic ingredient of the Sea Breeze cocktail along with gin when it was first introduced by Jack Bender in the 1920s. Eventually, the gin and grenadine was replaced by vodka, although the fruit drink of grapefruit juice and cranberry juice remained a part of the drink. It is unknown when the vodka began replacing the gin and grenadine.
The food industry, however, has widely replaced grenadine fruit bases with artificial ingredients. The Mott’s brand “Rose’s”, by far the most common grenadine brand in the United States, is now formulated entirely out of a high-fructose corn syrup base, containing no actual pomegranate.
- 2 pomegranates, medium-large*
- 2 1/2 Cups sugar
- 1/2 Cup water
- *When choosing pomegranates, reject any with a brownish area on the blossom end; such discoloration indicates the beginning of spoilage and off-flavor. Cut pomegranates open crosswise and pry out the fleshy crimson seeds (the red part is actually the pulpy envelope around a seed), using the tip of a blunt knife.
- Be careful not to include any fragments of the cottony white pulp in which the seeds are embedded, as it is bitter. You should have about two cups of seeds. Using a food processor or blender, chop the seeds with the sugar and water just long enough to make a rough puree. Don't attempt to make a smooth mixture; it's necessary only to break open the pulpy membranes. Pour the puree into an earthenware or glass bowl; cover it with a cloth. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, stirring it daily. If the weather is extremely hot, refrigerate the puree after 24 hours.
- Line a sieve with dampened, very fine nylon net or two layers of dampened fine cheesecloth and set it over a saucepan of stainless-steel or other nonreactive material. Filter the pomegranate syrup into the pot, allowing it to drip without pressing on the pulp. This will take a few hours; you can speed matters up by tying the cheesecloth lining of the sieve into a bag and suspending it above the pot after the initial flow of juice has slowed down.
- When all the juice has dripped through, discard the seedy pulp. Bring the syrup to a bare simmer (180 degrees F) over medium-low heat, then reduce the heat to very low and scald the syrup, using a candy/jelly thermometer and watching to be sure you keep the temperature below 200 degrees F, for 3 minutes.
- Skim off any foam, then funnel the syrup into a sterilized, dry bottle. Let the syrup cool, then cap or cork the bottle (use a new cork only) and store it in the refrigerator. To seal the syrup for pantry storage, funnel it into hot, clean half-pint canning jars. Seal with new two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions. Following the method for a boiling-water bath, but keeping the water at simmering temperature (190 F), process the jars for 15 minutes. Cool, label, and store. canning, in the pantry for at least a year.