Homemade Grenadine and Cheater Pomagritas for the Holidays

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell
how to make pomegranate margaritas

Learn how to make homemade grenadine syrup and Pomagritas  One batch and you’ll never cheat on a margarita with a green store mix again. We’re cheaters.  Would we lie?

Somewhere in time grenadine, or pomegranate syrup, became that sickly-sweet red dyed syrup hiding behind the bar and reserved for Shirley Temples for the underage drinker. Parents who need a few moments to enjoy adult beverages know the Shirley to be the best distraction for a hungry child.

Grenadine’s only flavor is red (like Gatorade, its flavor is the color) and its sole purpose to turn things red. Even maraschino cherries taste like red (plus a little umami). Bright red syrup does come in handy during the holidays so you must make your own with a real pomegranate. It’s a cinch.

Fresh pomegranate being the current rage, your holiday guests will instantly spot you as in-the-know trendy food and drink types. But it’s not so cool as to keep them from later inviting you to their homes out of feelings of intimidation and insecurity. Homemade grenadine has actual fruit flavor which adds more than just color to your holiday beverages.

Here’s how to make it:  first make a batch of simple syrup, then add the seeds of the pomegranate.  The clear syrup turns a gorgeous red. Avoid a riot and strain the seeds from the syrup for Shirley Temples, but leave the seeds in the grenadine to add to all kinds of cocktails. Do strain it if you plan to keep it in the fridge for a more than a few days.

Damn, those Cheater Pomagritas sure were good the other night.  Our pals certainly found them delicious and liberating. Now, how about a spoonful in a glass of Cava, Prosecco, or any reasonably priced sparkling wine?  Call it a Pomegranate Royale.

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