Hibiscus Grenadine

What happens if you throw in a handful of dried hibiscus flowers into homemade bright grenadine? – it turns to teh awesome….

When you make homemade grenadine it usually gets paler in color than the commercial variants, but with the dried hibiscus flowers added this isn`t the case anymore, the hibiscus flowers inparts a blood red color. And on top of that they also add a very fresh crisp and floral tropical flavor.

It was my friend Chris Stanley from Rookie libations who first told me about adding dried hibiscus flowers to the grenadine, and i will be forever grateful.

Commercial grenadine cannot compare to homemade and its worth the little effort to make it yourself, it doesn`t take long time either. But you need to have fresh pomegranates and these are fairly expensive, but for home use 1 large pomegranate makes about 1L grenadine.

But the measures are a bit approximate but this is a forgiving recipe, it´s not like baking where everything has to be exact, sometimes i use one large pomegranate (if it´s huge) and sometimes i use two if they are a bit smaller.

Same thing with the flowers, i throw in “a handful” and it always works like a charm..


So here is how to make it:

Get 1-2 large pomegranates, check that they are of good quality. To easiest separate the seeds from the bitter membrane, just cut the pomegranate in quarters and brake loose the seeds under water in a bowl.

The seeds will sink and the membrane float.

In a pot make a simple syrup by adding 1:1 sugar and water, and add the pomegranate seeds and a good handful of dried hibiscus flowers. I find my hibiscus flowers in a health shop. Then lightly boil this for about 5 min, then simmer for another 10 min before taking off the heat and set aside to cool.

Leave to cool and set for 1-2 hrs to really get the flavors out.

Then strain and bottle in a clean bottle and keep the grenadine in the fridge. I dont know how long it lasts before it go bad as I always use it up fairly quick, but I would guess 1-2 months. To get a really bright red color its best to use white or light colored sugar.

See what a bright red color you get because you combine both pomegranate seeds and hibiscus flowers…and it´s all natural.

As I`m very fond of raw sugars and not so much like the refined white sugar I use a raw cane sugar that is called oxfam and it has a very lightly tinted white/goldish color which doesnt darken the final grenadine color.

Here is one of my favorite drinks containing grenadine and which becomes even tastier with hibiscus grenadine.

PORT LIGHT By trader Vic – page 66 in Grog Log

1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
3 tsp grenadine
1 oz Bourbon

Blend with 1 cup crushed ice for 5 sek and pour into collins glass or nautical tumbler.Add more crushed ice to fill.

Here is Trader Vic`s Port Light from Trader Vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook

In a blender with 1 scoop shave ice:
2 tsp honey
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Mynor’s Passion Fruit Nectar
1 egg white
2oz Bourbon

Blend and pour into Port Light glass, or a red tumbler with cracked ice. Decorate with fresh mint. The same drink using scotch instead of bourbon is called Starboard Light.

The Port Light and Starboard Light cocktails were originally served in special glass “Marine Tumblers” – the red glass for the Port and the green glass for the Starboard.

10 Replies to “Hibiscus Grenadine”

  1. when i make my hibiscus grenadine i use about 1.1 ratio with a bit of extra sugar.I get 1L or even a bit more so i use about 6dl sugar to 4 water, but its not so scientifically, so my measures are a bit approximate.

    Then i throw in a handful of the dried hibiscus flowers. They give a deep red color and a fresh and a bit fruity tropical flavor that also enchances the flavor of the grenadine and the whole thing gets a deep fruity grenadine flavor with a fresh tropical touch.

    I don´t make any other grenadine than this hibiscus grenadine anymore;-)

  2. One liter grenadine from one pomegranate sounds optimistic. I get about 8-10cl of juice from one pomegranate, I guess it depends how much sugar and water you add but you will be diluting the pomegranate flavor. How much sugar and water are you adding to get 1 liter?

    I remember I made about 500ml of grenadine out of 2 pomegranates using bunnyhug’s method and the taste was great. Thank you for the tip of the shop for hibiscus, I’ll try it sometime. The thing I’m not quite sure about is whether to use 2:1 or 1:1 sugar/water for grenadine.

    Everyone seem to be using a different ratio depending on which recipe you look at. Maybe something in between like 1.5:1 would be good.

  3. What you may do is buying just one pomegranate, and sometimes you find them cheaper in some oriental shops. With one you can make 1 litre of nice grenadine and if you go to Ortagardens healthshop on Odengatan and get yourself a bag of dried hibiscusflowers and add a handful you will have a wonderful deep red grenadine which is a genuine grenadine too.

    As for using cranberries, the idea is interesting but it won´t result in any grenadine as grenadine is pomegranates but you will rather get a cranberry syrup. These are 2 different things…

    If i were you i would go for the one pomegranate and hibiscus grenadine and after all, 1L will last you over a month so in the long term it wouldn´t be that expensive seen to that you would get a quality product that you would really enjoy.
    The rule of thumb is always, the better ingredients, the better cocktails.

  4. Well in your defense the recipe in Grog Log has 3 tsp grenadine written too. The Grog Log Port Light is a new favorite for me, a bit surprising since I’m not very fond of bourbon. A really tasty light drink.

    I just made a new batch of normal grenadine today where I boiled 1 part sugar and 1 part fresh pomegranate juice together but I found that the tart fresh part of the pomegranate was lost compared to using the Bunnyhugs method 3 for example.

    The colour was still a nice dark red, but the taste was significantly worse. The question is though if the taste difference is detectable in the drinks using grenadine. I couldn’t really tell the difference in the Port Light I mixed. And damn, those pomegranates are expensive! Two medium sized ones cost me about 40 SEK.

    It’s a shame that the pomegranate juices you buy in stores are brown instead of red, because the taste is the same as fresh pomegranates but it costs less. I’m considering trying to make grenadine from cranberry juice instead, because it has the nice red colour and the taste is rather similar to pomegranate. It should work pretty well imho.

  5. Heh..3 tsp grenadine and not 0.5 oz..that you can blame on me..;-) The Grog Log PortLight is one of my favorite cocktails and i think its tastier than Vics, but that is not saying i think Vics isn´t tasty. I find Vics very tasty and sometimes i add a whole egg, not just the white and the drink gets a wonderful light yellow color. Actually that should be my easter cocktail..

  6. Is it just me or is the Grog Log recipe much tastier than the “original”? I find that the extra ounce booze sort of kills the drink. Also, I find it interesting that the recipe says 3 tsp grenadine which is actually exactly 0.5 oz. Never understood why certain recipes just throw teaspoons in there when they can be written as ounces.

  7. Vidiot – I haven`t done that but you will most likely get a bit more flavor out if you do that.I´ll do it next time;-)

    Rick – POM i know is said to be probably the best pomegranate juice but i haven`t tried it as its not sold here. But i have tried many other pomegranate juices from the middle eastern countries.

    I strongly believe that the real fruit is always the best, so if you want to make this grenadine i suggest you get, if you can, 2 pomegranates.If you want to use the POM i would suggest you reduce it first.


  8. Tiare,

    I’ve always just used POM (100% pomegranate juice)… how much better do you think the flavor is using actual pomegranates?

  9. This sounds great. Do you crush or otherwise break up the actual pomegranate seeds when you make the grenadine?

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