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Grenadine and Gin

Grenadine and gin cocktail

The first time grenadine and gin were mixed together may have been a fluke, an idea born out of a scantily stocked liquor cabinet. However, since the sweetness of the grenadine nicely cuts the bite of the gin, the pairing, now called a Sea Breeze, spawned a variety of cocktail concoctions with additional flavorings, some of which emerged as national and international favorites.

Gin: Simple and Complex Varieties

Although gin is generally a crystal clear liquor with varying levels of alcohol content by volume (ABV), frequently called the proof in hard liquor, it falls into two distinct legal categories differentiated by additives. Both types must have an ABV of 37.5% in Europe and the United Kingdom and 40% in the United States, or proofs of 75 and 80 respectively.

Distilled vs. Compound Gin

Distilled gin is the purer version and relies on mixing neutral spirits with juniper berries and other plant-based ingredients for flavor. Adding assorted flavorings and colorings substances to the alcohol base after distillation creates compound gin. Distilled gin is generally higher quality than compound gin.

Gin Styles

London dry gin is the most widely consumed type of distilled gin. It has a strong juniper flavor enhanced by citrus flavors like bitter orange peel, lime or lemon. While it may contain other flavorings and additives including herbs and spices, distilling guidelines prohibit the inclusion of sweeteners or colorings to the mixture. Other legal classifications of gin merely refer to their place of origin, like Plymouth gin.

Grenadine: The Evolving Recipe

Other than being red in color and sweet in taste, grenadine syrups have no other ingredient requirements. The slightly viscous additive flavors both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Original Grenadine

The first grenadine was made from pomegranates; grenade is the French word for the seedy red fruit. Pomegranate juice mixed with sugar and heated until the sugar dissolved created the syrup. When pomegranates were unavailable, cherry juice was a common substitute.

Today's Grenadine Ingredients

Today's commercially produced grenadine brands contain a wide range of fruit juices and sugar as well as artificial flavorings. Popular fruit bases include black currants, red currants, raspberries and blackberries. The most popular grenadine brand in the United States is Rose's, which has no natural flavors and consists of high fructose corn syrup mixed with artificial tastes and colors.

Homemade Grenadine

If grenadine is unavailable at stores, making it at home is easy. Add superfine sugar to pure pomegranate juice and simmer for about 15 minutes, adjusting the amount of sugar to taste and to achieve the desired consistency. A simpler method is mixing the sugar and cold juice together and shaking it until the sugar dissolves.

Simple Grenadine and Gin Drinks

Besides the simple and refreshing Sea Breeze, grenadine and gin mixed with other ingredients creates appetizing and attractive cocktails. You can create these drinks in minutes with simple fruits and juices.

Gin Daisy

In a shaker filled halfway with ice cubes combine:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine

Shake well and pour the drink into an old-fashioned glass. Don't forget to garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange slice.

Gin and Sin

Combine all of the following ingredients in a shaker, half-filled with ice cubes and shake well:

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine

Strain the concoction into a glass and enjoy.

Frothy Favorites

Adding an egg white to the cocktail shaker turns a simple cocktail into a special treat with a buzz.

Bird of Paradise Cooler

Add all of these ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • Cracked ice

Strain the drink over ice cubes into a highball glass. Fill with sparkling water and stir.


Shake the ingredients in a shaker, and staring into a sour glass:

  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ounce Triple Sec or other orange liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon grenadine

Last Call

Hundreds of drink recipes include grenadine and gin mixed with simple to exotic components. Create an original cocktail by trying innovative combinations-and have fun taste testing the results.

Grenadine and Gin