Grenadine Substitutes: 9 Excellent Alternatives for Cocktails

If you’re a cocktail lover, you probably always have a bottle of grenadine somewhere in the house. What can you substitute for grenadine when you find out you’re out of syrup? Hold on, don’t give up on your cocktail just yet.

Although grenadine seems to be the only syrup that gives you the desired taste, you’ll be surprised that there are other syrups and juice that can substitute for grenadine. Continue reading to see other syrups that should be on your grocery list.

What Is Grenadine?

Grenadine is a sweet syrup with a pomegranate base. It is a mixture of pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice to give a sweet and tart taste. Some grenadine syrups contain fructose, citric acid, food coloring, and corn syrup.

Generally, grenadine syrup is added to cocktails like tequila sunrise and hurricane to sweeten them. But it also helps to brighten the color of tropical and fruity cocktails. Although you can add this syrup to alcoholic drinks and slushies, it is non-alcoholic and it is not restricted to alcoholic drinks.

This non-alcoholic syrup makes a good sweetness boost for non-alcoholic drinks like Shirley Temple and cherry limeade. In addition, you should know that grenadine syrup is very sweet. One shot of the syrup is enough to sweeten and brighten up a cocktail or mocktail.

Grenadine Substitutes

1. Pomegranate Molasses

For people looking to reduce their sugar intake but occasionally drink a glass of cocktail or mocktail, pomegranate molasses are the best grenadine substitute. It is less sugary but much thicker than grenadine.

Just like grenadine syrup, pomegranate molasses lends a fruity tartness and color boost to your cocktail or mocktail. Moreover, it is a great substitute for children who won’t stop at one Shirley Temple. In addition, pomegranate molasses could be quite cheaper than grenadine syrup.

2. Raspberry Syrup

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Another grenadine substitute is raspberry syrup. Raspberry syrup is not as thick as pomegranate molasses, but it is just as thick as grenadine. It is also just as red and sweet; however, it doesn’t have the tartness of grenadine.

As the name implies, the raspberry syrup is made from raspberries, sugar, and water. And if you desire a blend of sweetness and tartness, you can add a dash of lemon juice. Additionally, the raspberry syrup is not only for sweetening drinks, you can also add it to desserts for a sugar and flavor boost.

3. Cassis Liqueur

Cassis liqueur or creme de Cassis is made by macerating black currants. It has a fruity and tart taste that makes it a great substitute for grenadine. Most importantly, you should know that Cassis liqueur has alcohol content. Therefore, you shouldn’t add it to non-alcoholic drinks or mocktails for children.

In addition, as an alcoholic liqueur, you’ll have to be more calculative when you add cassis liqueur to your drinks. Reduce other alcoholic additives by about 25%, otherwise, your drink will end up being too strong.

4. Fruit Juice

Fruit juices are also good substitutes for grenadine. However, because of the consistency of juices, you may not have the thick consistency of grenadine. Fruit juice is probably the most affordable and readily available grenadine substitute.

If you must have the thickness grenadine will give, you can add honey to the fruit juice. 15% honey to 85% fruit juice will give your drink a balance.

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5. Maraschino Cherry Juice

Maraschino juice seems to be the next closest substitute for grenadine after pomegranate molasses. The juice is a cocktail of cherries that has a milder flavor than grenadine. Maraschino juice can help boost the taste and color of cherry martinis and tart cherry fizz cocktails.

Furthermore, the maraschino cherry cocktail is a healthy alternative to grenadine. It can help boost immunity and increase resilience against inflammation. In addition, maraschino juice best replaces grenadine syrup in drinks that contain melons, citrus fruits, and stone fruits.

6. Cranberry Juice Cocktail

Cranberry juice cocktail is a concentrate of cranberry juice, corn syrup, ascorbic acid, and water. In some recipes, sugar is used in place of corn syrup. This cocktail is just as sweet as grenadine and should be used in moderation. It is also a balance of sweet and tart.

A major difference between cranberry juice cocktails and grenadine is the cranberries in the former and pomegranate in the latter. And this switch, once in a while, definitely won’t be bad. Additionally, cranberry juice concentrate gives drinks the red color boost just as grenadine does.

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7. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is purely pomegranate. This grenadine substitute is perfect for cocktail and mocktail lovers who are looking to reduce their sugar intake. To use pomegranate juice in place of grenadine, use about three tablespoons of pomegranate juice for one tablespoon of grenadine.

In addition, if you’re adding pomegranate juice to homemade desserts, you’ll have to reduce the number of other liquids in the recipe. Also, as a juice, pomegranate juice will not give your drink the thick consistency it’ll have if you added grenadine.

8. Orgeat Almond Syrup

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Orgeat almond syrup is a blend of almonds, rose water or orange blossom water, and sugar. If you like to give your drinks a complex taste, substitute grenadine syrup with orgeat almond syrup. Orgeat syrup has a sweet and nutty flavor but it is not as fruity as grenadine.

However, if you must keep the fruity taste of grenadine, you can add citrus fruits or cherries.

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9. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup

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Strawberry daiquiri is thicker and sweeter than grenadine. Unlike grenadine syrup, this syrup gives you more sweetness than tartness. Its fruity flavor makes it a great grenadine substitute for smoothies and cocktails. Strawberry daiquiri is a mix of pure strawberry juice and sugar.

Furthermore, the syrup was specifically made for strawberry daiquiris, but it also pairs well with fruits, spices, nuts, caramel, and chocolate. If you find the thickness of strawberry daiquiri overwhelming, you can dilute it water before adding it to your drink.

Why Does Grenadine Need Substitutes?

You need to get grenadine substitutes because like every commodity, stores may run out of supply. You may also run out of supply and be in urgent need of syrup.

Moreover, grenadine syrup is a very sweet syrup. Excess sugar intake can be quite harmful to your bowels and nervous system. Once in a while, go with a less sugary substitute for grenadine.

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How to Make A Homemade Grenadine Syrup

Follow this recipe to make grenadine syrup at home. This recipe makes three cups of grenadine syrup.


  • 2 ½  cups of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice or two medium-sized pomegranates
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • If you’re using pomegranates, remove the seeds and gather them in a bowl that can withstand the pressure of mashing
  • Use a wooden spoon to mash the seeds until you have extracted all the juice in them
  • Afterward, heat the juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat
  • While the juice and sugar heat, stir the mixture. When you’re sure that the sugar has dissolved, take the pan down from the stove
  • Allow the mixture to cool a little before you pour the lemon juice  and leave the mixture to cool
  • If you want to keep the syrup for a longer period, add a tablespoon of vodka
  • Thereafter, store your homemade grenadine syrup in a glass jar or bottle and close it tightly


What is the difference between grenadine and pomegranate syrup?

The difference between pomegranate and grenadine syrup is that the former has a tart (sharp) taste while the latter is rather sweet and a little tart. Moreover, grenadine syrup is made from pomegranate.

Can you use maple syrup instead of grenadine?

Yes, you can. Add maple syrup to a fruit juice when you need a grenadine substitute. Make a mixture of 15% maple syrup and 85% fruit juice so you don’t lose the syrup consistency.

Is maraschino syrup the same as grenadine?

No, it is not. Maraschino syrup is made from maraschino cherries while grenadine syrup is made from pomegranates or flavored as pomegranates. Moreover, maraschino juice has a milder flavor than grenadine syrup.


If you have always relied on grenadine, you can expand your grocery list now. This is not to say you should ditch grenadine. But getting a bottle of any of these syrups won’t hurt.

On the day when you run out of grenadine or you can’t find any at the store, you can make do with any of these grenadine substitutes. Also, you can make your grenadine syrup at home, the best substitute, to have an endless supply of syrup.

Thanks for reading.

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