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15 Best Substitutes For Grenadine In Cocktails (2023 Edition)

Substitute For Grenadine In Cocktails

Last Updated on July 4, 2023 by Lydia Martin

No grenadine? I got you. Since I like adding it to my favorite cocktails like Tequila Sunrise, I always run out of grenadine syrup and resort to the best grenadine substitutes.

But which do you think is the best substitute for grenadine in cocktails? If you want to savor a sweet and tart flavor drink, below are the best substitutes for grenadine in cocktails.

Top 15 Substitutes For Grenadine (Tried & Tested)

15. Pomegranate Molasses

Boiling Molasses on a Pot

Here’s a choice that’s readily available in many grocery stores or can be prepared at home. In fact, this is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Pomegranate molasses shares the same ingredients as Grenadine Syrup but has a denser texture. It’s one of my go-to substitutes for grenadine that can give (almost) the same flavor.

14. Cocktail Cherry Juice

Glass of Cherry Juice and a Bowl of Cherries

Another excellent replacement for grenadine syrup is cocktail cherry juice, conveniently found in most stores.

This refreshing juice has a sweet taste with a concentrated cherry flavor, which goes well with citrus fruits and a wide range of cocktails.

Specifically, I use this substitute when making a Cherry Martini, a very cherry drink with tart cherry fizz.

13. Maraschino Juice

No extravagant ingredients are necessary for this substitution; it’s simply the juice extracted from the jar of maraschino cherries, which functions excellently as a grenadine substitute.

“Maraschino juice flows, a red and delicious liquid delight.” – Liquor Laboratory

The color closely resembles grenadine, and the tart taste is somewhat similar. Interestingly, some grenadine syrups even utilize cherry juice instead of pomegranate juice.

12. Strawberry Syrup

Bottle of Strawberry Syrup

Despite having a brighter red hue and a sweet flavor, Strawberry Syrup still serves as a suitable grenadine substitute. (Actually, I also sub this with strawberry juice.)

I recommend using this syrup as an alternative, especially if the cocktail recipe calls for the sweeter spectrum, such as a Pineapple Vodka Cocktail or a Mai Tai.

11. Red Grape Juice

Glasses of Red Grape Juice

Red grape juice is a fruit juice produced from red or purple grapes. You can choose between unsweetened or sweetened forms for your cocktail.

I like the balance of sweetness and tartness; its vibrant color makes up for the lost grenadine in cocktails. Notably, it serves as a suitable substitute for grenadine in some cocktails.

10. Cherry Juice

Pouring Bottle of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice gives a fruity taste with a delightful combination of sweetness and tartness, comparable to grenadine.

Though it doesn’t have the syrupy consistency of grenadine, cherry juice is dense and velvety. So I find it a good choice for imparting richness to cocktails as a grenadine substitute.

9. Raspberry Syrup

Raspberry Syrup on a Dispenser

You can acquire some at a liquor [1] store or, alternatively, create your own Raspberry Syrup (or raspberry juice).

I use raspberry syrup as a grenadine substitute whenever I want to imitate the vibrant, rich red color of grenadine.

Besides, the raspberry syrup has a sweet and tart taste, comparable to grenadine syrup.

8. Pomegranate Juice + Simple Syrup

This combo is one of the best substitutes for grenadine. You can craft this at home by combining (2 parts) simple syrup with (1 part) pomegranate juice.

This homemade grenadine substitute provides a vibrant red, sweet, and tart syrup that closely resembles authentic grenadine.

7. Pomegranate Juice

Pouring Bottle of Pomegranate Juice on a Glass

You can use pomegranate juice to replace grenadine. Since grenadine utilizes pomegranate juice, the juice itself is an excellent alternative.

However, it requires unsweetened pomegranate juice.

As mentioned above, you can combine the pomegranate juice with simple syrups to create a concoction resembling grenadine. Or, consider adding some maple syrup [2] to thicken the consistency.

6. Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate

Bottle of Cranberry Juice Cocktail Concentrate

Cranberry juice cocktail concentrate is another fine alternative to grenadine. Cranberry juice concentrate has grenadine syrup qualities but has a slightly different flavor.

This cocktail syrup offers a delightful combination of sweetness and tart cranberry flavor with a luxuriously thick consistency nearly indistinguishable from grenadine syrup.

5. Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice

Unsweetened pomegranate juice is an excellent choice for a bitter alternative to grenadine syrup.

Unsweetened pomegranate juice gives just the right balance of fruitiness and tanginess without being excessively sweet.

So, if you find grenadine syrup overly sweet and want to lessen your sugar intake, this fruit juice is a good alternative.

4. Crème de Cassis Liqueur

Pouring Crème de Cassis Liqueur on a Bottles

Crafted from black currants, Creme de Cassis liqueur exudes a fruity aroma. I prefer using this dark liqueur [3] to substitute grenadine if I want a boozy yet delicious cocktail drink.

So if you want complex mixed drinks, choose creme de cassis over other fruit juices when substituting grenadine.

However, if you desire your outcome to resemble grenadine closely, you must make a few adjustments.

Since Creme de Cassis is less sweet, I recommend incorporating additional sweeteners to achieve your desired level of sweetness.

Note: Some grenadine brand use additives like high fructose corn syrup to add sugar content.

3. Orgeat Syrup

Man Pouring Homemade Orgeat Syrup on a Bottle

Orgeat syrup combines sugar, almonds, and either orange blossom water or orange flower water. Whenever I use this syrup, I enjoy the aroma with nutty and sweet undertones.

While there are store-bought orgeat syrups, you can create your own at home using (2 cups) almonds, (4 cups) water, (3 cups) sugar, and (1 tbsp) orange blossom water.

While this syrup is a sweet alternative, it doesn’t offer the same tangy and fruity flavor as grenadine.

2. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup

Woman Holding Bottle of Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry Daiquiri syrup, a mix of strawberry juice and sugar, imparts pleasant sweetness and a fruity essence to your beverages.

“A cocktail done right can really show your guests that you care.” – Danny Meyer, Restaurateur

But Strawberry Daiquiri syrup has a less tart flavor, but you can still balance the flavors if you add lemon juice. And take note – this syrup has a thicker consistency than grenadine.

1. Homemade Grenadine Syrup

Bottle of Homemade Grenadine Syrup on a Table

The best grenadine substitute I always use is my homemade grenadine syrup. It’s easy to make at home, actually.

Juice the pomegranate seeds (or use pomegranate juice), put over medium heat, and add sugar. Continue heating the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and stir occasionally.

Remove from heat and let it cool before using.

Tip: If you want a healthier alternative, use pomegranate seeds [4] instead of pomegranate juice.

Start by crushing the seeds to extract their juice, and subsequently strain the juice to separate it from the seeds.

This method allows you to harness the vibrant flavor of pomegranate while avoiding processed juice.

FAQs

What is a substitute for grenadine in a Dirty Shirley?

You can substitute grenadine in a Dirty Shirley using cherry juice, maraschino cherry syrup, raspberry syrup, or pomegranate molasses.

Or, you can use any red juice. Just add some lemon juice if you think that tartness is lacking.

What’s a great grenadine substitute in Tequila Sunrise?

A great substitute for grenadine in a Tequila Sunrise cocktail would be pomegranate or Maraschino juice. Both give a similarly rich color and fruity sweetness, complementing the tequila and orange juice in the cocktail.

Can you use Chambord instead of grenadine?

You can use Chambord as a substitute for grenadine in certain cocktails. Chambord is a raspberry liqueur that adds a fruity and slightly tart flavor, similar to grenadine.

Is simple syrup similar to grenadine?

Simple syrup and grenadine are both sweet syrups used in cocktails, but they’re different. Simple syrup is processed by dissolving equal parts of sugar and water together, resulting in a neutral sweetener.

Meanwhile, grenadine is a non-alcoholic bar syrup made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and sometimes lemon juice or other flavorings.

Key Takeaways

Adding grenadine to mixed drinks brings a delightful sweetness, fruitiness, and tartness. If you happen to run out of grenadine syrup, I suggest creating your own by combining and boiling pomegranate juice and sugar.

Alternatively, you can modify the recipes of your preferred cocktails and use the best grenadine substitute alternatives in cocktails accessible to you.

Aside from the homemade grenadine syrup, another best grenadine substitute is pomegranate molasses. But you can explore all the alternative options and use which suits your taste best.

References:

  1. https://kids.britannica.com/students/article/liquor-industry/275494
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/11/pour-it-on-maple-syrup-is-good
  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/liqueur
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318384
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