Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Grenadine syrup is a staple in many cocktails like Mimosas, Tequila Sunrise, and Shirley Temple. But what does grenadine taste like?
At some point, I also got curious about the actual grenadine flavor. So, I took the time to do a taste test, and here’s my take. Keep reading.
What’s The Flavor Of Grenadine?
The taste and flavor of grenadine are comparable to pomegranate juice with a sweet and tart flavor – be it commercial grenadine or traditional ones. This bright red syrup has a rich flavor.
Although grenadine is a pomegranate-based syrup, the classic grenadine syrup has a more fruity twist and is quite sweeter than pomegranate juice.
Does It Taste Good?
Grenadine syrups taste good. It’s sweet, tart, and subtly acidic since it’s made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice.
“Taste Grenadine’s magic, a burst of sweetness in every sip.” – Liquor Laboratory
Some grenadine adds other fruit juices like pineapple juice, lime juice, and orange juice for a more fruity flavor.
Actually, grenadine syrup tastes good with alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic drinks, and drink mixers like iced tea, club soda, etc., making for popular grenadine cocktails like Tequila Sunrise.
Is Grenadine Syrup A Sweet Alcohol?
Grenadine is not a sweet alcoholic beverage. Rather, it’s a non-alcoholic syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar, resembling a refreshing fruit punch.
Although it has a sweet taste, it’s tangy, balancing the overall flavor profile.
Does It Have Sugar?
Yes, real grenadine typically contains sugar, made by mixing pomegranate juice with sugar syrup. The sugar syrup is added to enhance the sweetness and balance the tangy flavor of the fruit juice.
If I want to control the sweetness, I make grenadine syrup at home, following my favorite recipes’ instructions, depending on the sweetness I want.
The homemade version is always my recommended grenadine instead of buying it at grocery stores.
What Tastes Similar To Grenadine?
If you wonder, “What does grenadine taste like?” You’ll probably answer sweet and tart. I can compare its flavor with the cherry, particularly notes of maraschino cherries.
It has similar notes to cocktail cherry juice or cherry syrup, with almost the same liquid color.
But, while both syrups share a similar sweetness, grenadine imparts the taste of pomegranates rather than cherries. Additionally, grenadine possesses a more pronounced tartness in comparison to cherry syrup.
Grenadine would taste like bubblegum if used in a cocktail drink with a bubble gum flavor, like Bubblegum Vodka, Bubblegum Daiquiri, and Bubblegum Martini.
But on its own, grenadine syrup can’t be compared to the taste of bubble gum.
Compared to the taste of raspberry, grenadine has a similar profile since they both have sweet and tart notes. Actually, I use raspberry syrups as substitutes whenever I run out of grenadine to use.
What Is Grenadine Used For?
Grenadine is commonly used as a non-alcoholic drink mixer for classic cocktails and mocktails, like Tequila Sunrise and Shirley Temple.
The usual way of using grenadine involves combining one part of the grenadine syrup with three parts water and ice cubes. This makes an ideal addition to various cocktail recipes, resembling the preparation of an iced tea.
I sometimes use grenadine instead of raspberry vinaigrette dressing to enhance my fruit salad. I do this whenever I want fruity flavors without the inclusion of additional sweeteners like honey.
I recommend this for anyone following specific dietary restrictions or preferences.
Quick Fact: The term “grenadine” comes from the French word “grenade,” which means “pomegranate.”
What Does Grenadine Do For A Drink?
Grenadine serves multiple purposes in a drink. It adds a touch of sweetness, enhances the overall flavor profile, and provides a vibrant red color.
It balances the tartness of citrus juices, creating layered effects, and contributes to visually appealing cocktails.
If you mix grenadine with other ingredients like lemon-lime soda and ginger ale , you can enjoy a fresh flavor.
- Dry Martini Flavor Profile
- Martini Cocktail Flavor Profile
- Sweet Vermouth Flavor Profile
- Absinthe Flavor Profile
5 Grenadine Substitutes
1. Pomegranate Molasses
An alternative option to grenadine taste is to replace it with pomegranate molasses. It has a luscious, thick, tangy, and syrupy consistency.
This is an ideal sub if you want less sweet drinks.
2. Homemade Grenadine
If you’re like me, who likes everything under control, homemade grenadine is preferable compared to store-bought ones that sometimes taste like cough syrup. Anyway, homemade grenadine is easy to make.
Just extract the juice of pomegranate seeds from your tall glass/cocktail shaker, then use a fine mesh strainer to strain the liquid. Over medium heat, put the strained juice and sugar in a small saucepan.
Stir and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool. Now, add a teaspoon of lime juice to complete your syrup.
Note: You can also add orange blossom water  to the recipe.
3. Cherry Juice
Also known as cocktail cherry juice or Maraschino juice, I like this versatile liquid as an alternative to grenadine since it gives the same vibe.
Although cherry juices have less pronounced sweetness than grenadine taste, it carries their unique cherry flavor. And despite being milder in taste, it remains a commendable substitute option.
4. Pomegranate Juice
You can use pomegranate juice as a sub for the grenadine taste. Just combine 1 part pomegranate with two parts sugar syrup.
The outcome will be a vivid red syrup with quite a similar taste to what would grenadine taste like.
5. Raspberry Syrup
This alternative option is a high fructose corn syrup. It boasts a similar vibrant red hue that adds visual appeal to cocktails.
“The cocktails were fizzy and pink toward the top, then became a dark red at the bottom of the glass.” – Amy E. Reichert, Author
Grenadine and raspberry syrups also have comparable sweetness, though the latter’s flavor leans towards raspberry rather than pomegranate.
Does grenadine need to be refrigerated?
No, you don’t need to refrigerate grenadine. It’s optional. But if chilled, grenadine maintains its familiar sweet and tart flavors, ensuring its taste remains consistent regardless of temperature.
Does grenadine have health benefits?
Grenadine doesn’t have health benefits, but it doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. It primarily consists of sugar and is used for sweetening cocktails, making it unsuitable as a health tonic or drink.
Nonetheless, it poses no inherent danger or harm to those who consume it.
So, what does grenadine taste like? Basically, it has a tart and sweet flavor with a distinct pomegranate juice flavor that’s almost similar to cherries.
Grenadine is a popular bar syrup commonly used to add flavor to cocktails, and I like it best in a Shirley Temple, Singapore Sling, or Tequila Sunrise.
While there are store-bought ones, you can easily make this sweetener at home. Besides, you can use alternatives, like pomegranate and cherry juice (which are my go-to replacements).