I know, I know…I’m late for a very important date. I typically get my cocktail post out in the morning but I’m living by the ‘better late than never’ mantra today. I went out for cocktails last night instead of making one. Let’s call it research!
Speaking of research, did you know the name ‘grenadine’ comes from the French word grenade which translates for us to pomegranate (I didn’t!). Grenadine was originally prepared from pomegranate juice and sugar, however, the food industry has widely replaced grenadine fruit bases with artificial ingredients. I know I’ve used Rose’s Grenadine syrup for cocktails in years past and most certainly for making Shirley Temple’s for my girls when they were young, but looking at those ingredients now I wonder how they can label their product as grenadine; it’s all high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring and surprise, surprise…not a drop of pomegranate juice in sight!
Realizing I’d never had the real stuff, I decided to make my own a couple of years ago and I’ve been doing so ever since. It lasts for months in the fridge, is relatively inexpensive (given the fact that it costs less to make two cups of it than to buy a single cocktail at a bar or restaurant), and it tastes amazing. When I started making my own, it was during pomegranate season but I don’t let that stop me during other times of the year when you can used purchased juice. The lack of artificial color will result in drinks that are not artificially pink but I’m fine with that; the significant improvement in taste is more than worth it!
With the warmer months upon us I couldn’t help but think of this drink. It has many of the components of a margarita but is finished with some sparkling wine and I love that lighter and yes, fizzier finish!
A refreshing cocktail made with tequila, homemade grenadine syrup and sparkling wine.
- 2 cups pomegranate juice; fresh or bottled.
- 2 cups natural cane sugar
- 5" strip of orange zest
- Salt and sugar to rim the glass; mixed in equal portions
- 2 oz. silver tequila
- 1 oz. Citronge, Cointreau or Gran Marnier
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz. homemade grenadine
- Sparkling white wine - when I'm mixing a cocktail calling for sparkling wine, I typically use a Cava from Spain; not pricey and perfect when mixed with other ingredients.
- Orange or Lime slices for garnish
- Combine the juice, sugar and orange zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer at a low boil for approximately 5 minutes until the mixture become a thicker, syrupy consistency.
- Remove from heat and chill before preparing cocktail.
- Chill two wine, margarita or martini glasses. Rim the edge of each glass with a slice of orange or lime and dip into the salt/sugar mixture.
- Combine the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and grenadine in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain into the iced and salted glasses, and top with 2 oz of sparkling wine.
- Garnish with an orange or a lime slice.