Grenadine is a non-alcoholic viscous syrup that has a sweet fruity taste. It has a deep red color and works well to sweeten and flavor desserts, cocktail drinks, and other beverages.
Meaning, it is good to have grenadine on hand if you are hosting a cocktail party or just want to have a mocktail on a hot summer day. But make sure not to put too much into your drinks as it has an extreme sweetness.
You can find grenadine in many local stores and supermarkets quite easily. But if you don’t have it on hand or you find its taste too strong most cases you can substitute it with something else.
The best substitute is homemade grenadine but you can also use pomegranate molasses, unsweetened pomegranate juice, cranberry juice cocktail, cocktail cherry juice, raspberry syrup, strawberry daiquiri syrup, or creme de cassis.
This article will help you find the best grenadine alternative for your cocktail or dessert recipe.
Instead of grenadine, you can use many different fruit juices, molasses, or syrups. Go through this list to find the most suitable substitute for you.
1. Homemade grenadine
The best way to substitute store-bought grenadine is to simply make your own at home. It is easier than you might think and you are likely to have the ingredients at home.
The result will be a healthier product than the one you find at stores as you do not have to add so many additives. And I bet it will taste even better.
To make grenadine at home you will need 2 cups of unsweetened pomegranate juice, 2 cups of sugar, and the juice of 1 lemon.
Place them in a pan and stir the mixture on low heat. Then bring the pan to a boil and let the sugar dissolve. When the sugar has dissolved reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for around 15 minutes until you get a thicker consistency. Leave your mixture to cool and then you can put it into the fridge and store it for up to 3 weeks.
For a healthier version instead of pomegranate juice, use pomegranate seeds. First, you have to crush them to release their juice and then you can strain the juice to remove the seeds.
Like that you get a nice pomegranate juice and you can follow the same steps mentioned above to make grenadine. For making 2 cups of pomegranate juice you will need the seeds of around 4 pomegranates.
As you can see it is easy to make homemade grenadine. However, if you prefer to simply buy another ingredient to replace it you can choose from the substitutes below.
2. Pomegranate molasses
Pomegranate molasses is similar to grenadine. It has a sticky syrupy texture and is made by boiling pomegranate juice with sugar and colorants. It is less sweet but still works very well as a substitute.
If you want to compensate for the level of sweetness feel free to add some extra sugar. You can use pomegranate molasses for beverages and ice cream toppings. However, it is also perfect for savory dishes, especially in Middle Eastern cuisine.
3. Unsweetened pomegranate juice
Unsweetened pomegranate juice is a great alternative for people who try to reduce their sugar intake. It does not have any added sugar so you can feel the more natural and fresher taste of pomegranate.
It is a great substitute for most cocktails and desserts. But you will need to add more of it than recommended in your original recipe with grenadine. For every teaspoon of grenadine use two to three teaspoons of pomegranate juice. If you use pomegranate juice for desserts you will need to add less of the other liquids.
4. Cranberry juice cocktail
Cranberry juice cocktail is usually a mix of cranberry juice concentrate, corn syrup, ascorbic acid, and water. As a result, it will be sweeter than cranberry juice that makes it more similar to grenadine.
Of course, the taste will be different because instead of the pomegranate you will get the flavor of cranberries. But it works very well in apple pies, pumpkin bread, orange cakes, and of course, for cocktails. I suggest using only half as much as you would from grenadine to make sure not to overwhelm your desserts with the tart cranberry flavor.
5. Cocktail cherry juice
Even if you can not buy grenadine in your area I am sure you can find cocktail cherry juice. It is normally available at a low price and you can use it to replace grenadine. It is a refreshing juice that has a concentrated cherry flavor with hints of sweetness and sourness.
Although cherry juice has a different flavor from pomegranate juice, it will still bring the bright red color and refreshing sweetness that you would expect from grenadine. You can use cocktail cherry juice to make cocktails like a cherry martini or tart cherry fizz but it is also an amazing ingredient for pies and cupcakes.
6. Raspberry syrup
Raspberry syrup is a great substitute as it has the same color and texture as grenadine. So, if you are preparing a cocktail such as Russian Kiss or Gin Daisy where red color is key, this syrup can save you.
Besides the color, it will also give your cocktail the same level of sweetness. Add the same amount of raspberry syrup as the recipe calls for grenadine. Raspberry syrup does not have the tart notes that make grenadine so unique. So, if you would like you can compensate for that by adding a bit of lemon juice.
7. Strawberry daiquiri syrup
Strawberry daiquiri syrup is a mixture of strawberry juice and sugar and a key ingredient in strawberry daiquiris. It gives a nice sweetness and a fruity flavor to your beverages. It is an ideal grenadine substitute for cocktails and even smoothies.
They have the same color but strawberry daiquiri syrup has a much thicker consistency. If it is an issue for you I recommend diluting it with some water before adding it to your drinks.
Again, you will get less tart flavor from strawberry daiquiri syrup than from grenadine but you can balance the taste with some lemon juice.
8. Creme de cassis
Creme de Cassis is a dark liqueur that is mildly sweet and has the taste of blackcurrants. It is not the best substitute for grenadine but if you have nothing else on hand you can give it a try.
But you will have to make a few adjustments if you want your result to be like it was made with grenadine. First, creme de cassis is less sweet so I suggest adding some extra sweeteners.
Also, creme cassis is not syrup but more like a liqueur so it will increase the amount of alcohol in your cocktail. I would recommend using half as much as grenadine.
9. Orgeat syrup
Orgeat syrup is a combo of sugar, almonds, orange blossom water, or rose water. It features a nutty and sweet aroma that makes complex mixed drinks. The best part? It’s easy to find.
However, you can also make your own at home with 2 cups almonds, 4 cups water, 3 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water.
First and foremost, let your almonds soak in water overnight. Then, peel off their skin and mix them with the water. Drain the mix with a cloth and add the sugar. Bring it to a boil. Finally, add the rose water or orange blossom water and let the mix simmer for 1 hour.
This syrup is a sweet substitute but you won’t get the same tart and fruity taste that grenadine provides. Commercial orgeat syrup has 9.5g of sugar in 1 tablespoon. Meaning, it’s close to the sugar content of grenadine syrup, so you can utilize similar quantities.
10. Fruit juice
If you want to keep both the sweetness and color of grenadine but don’t have a problem with a change in consistency, fruit juice is the perfect choice for you. It’s cheap and available in every supermarket. Also, you can combine different juices to make a flavor you like.
The only disadvantage of utilizing fruit juice is that you will lose the thick consistency of grenadine. Thus, we suggest utilizing maple syrup or honey to thicken the texture. You can mix 85% of fruit juice and 15% of honey and get a close match.
Interesting Information About Grenadine
Many popular drinks like Tequila Sunrise or Singapore Sling are made from grenadine. The Queen Marry a popular Northern-American drink is made by mixing beer with grenadine.
It is also often used in bar drinks for children like Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers. However, you want to try grenadine for your desserts you can use it in cheesecakes, cupcakes, ice creams, and more. You can also make savory dishes like pork or lamb sauces from grenadine.
The word grenadine comes from the French word “grenade,” meaning pomegranate. This fruit is the main ingredient of grenadine. And it is what gives the syrup a sweet, tart taste.
Grenadine is made by lowering the combination of pomegranate juice and sugar until you get a dense and syrupy consistency. However, in many stores, grenadine has extra ingredients like artificial colors or corn syrup.
Can I use cranberry juice instead of grenadine?
Yes, you can, but the best is to use a cranberry juice cocktail because it is concentrated so the texture and the taste will be more similar to grenadine.
Can you substitute Triple Sec for grenadine?
Yes, you can, but it will taste quite different. Use only half the amount.
Is grenadine like Campari?
No, Campari is a liqueur that is made from alcohol, herbs, and fruits. It has a bitter taste so it is not a great substitute for grenadine.