Did you know that grenadine is really just pomegranate juice that has been reduced except it’s bottled with a ton of sugar and additional ingredients. I’ve reduced it before to a thicker syrup and used it in place of grenadine in lots of recipes but for this Tequila Sunrise with Homemade Grenadine Syrup I wanted it concentrated a bit but not quite so thick. Adding honey gave it a nice flavor profile but also insured that the weight of the pomegranate juice would insure it would sink to the bottom of the glass and produce the namesake ‘sunrise’ that is so pretty.
The French term for pomegranate, grenade, has given its name to the military but it’s also how pomegranate has also been transposed to grenadine when turned into a syrup. Language…funny sometimes isn’t it? There must be something about that round stubby shape that influenced someone somewhere but I’m just glad we have them so readily available to us over the holidays. I love the juice but I ADORE those little red jewels, the arils inside. Check out my post on how I cut them and extract the seeds. So easy, hardly any mess and I promise will make the idea of working with them so much easier; no more anxiety over red stained everything!
While this might not be heralded as a holiday cocktail normally, I decided that using fresh pomegranate arils took it there. They are not just a pretty little thing either; I LOVE those juicy, crunchy little buggers. I made this Pomegranate and Blood Orange Cocktail a couple of weeks ago and loaded the glasses up with arils because they looked so pretty. I noticed my guests trying to retrieve some from the bottom of their glasses so I made it simple…I gave everyone a spoon. We sat and dug for red pearls and laughed about how ridiculous we all must have looked but it was fun too; they absolutely should not go to waste!
Pomegranates not in season? No worries; just garnish with orange slices and sip all year long! I did squeeze my own orange juice. I had just shopped at Costco and wanted some of those adorable ‘Cutie’ oranges but I knew when I was buying them where half would end up; else that bag would have been way too large for my needs. But use whatever works best for you; especially if you decide to make these for a crowd when ready-made is perfect!
Over the course of the years that I’ve been making cocktails for this blog; the one fun thing I’ve discovered over and over and over? How much better most of them are when made at home. Better quality liquor and super fresh ingredients really do make a difference…try it, you’ll see!
Tequila Sunrise with Fresh Pomegranate
For the Pomegranate and Honey Syrup
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 Tbsp honey
For the Cocktails
- 6 ounces orange juice
- 3 ounces tequila
- 1/2 ounce pomegranate and honey syrup
- Orange slices and pomegranate arils for garnish
To Make the Syrup:
- In a medium saucepan, heat the pomegranate juice to boiling over medium high heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the juice has reduced by half. Reduce the heat, add the honey and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and transfer to a jar or bottle and refrigerate until cool. (Enough for about 6 cocktails).
To Make the Cocktail:
- Fill two rocks glasses with ice and an orange slice. Combine the orange juice and tequila in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake until cold; pour equal amounts into the ice filled glasses. Gently pour the pomegranate and honey syrup evenly around the top of the two glasses. Garnish with pomegranate arils if desired.
For a crowd, you can combine the orange juice and tequila and mix well in a pitcher. Pour the pomegranate and honey syrup separately over the top of the glass before serving.