The History of Grenadine Use in Cocktails: Literature Review
Cocktail Menu: Winter Drinks at AQ in San Francisco

The History of Grenadine Use in Cocktails: Theories and Conclusions

After reviewing the literature of grenadine in cocktails, I have a few observations. 

Grenadine Use Was Probably Influenced by Europe

 We know that pomegranates had been grown in the US since the 1700s, and that they were grown commercially before 1917. But as far as I can see, grenadine as a cocktail ingredient really came from Europe. They were certainly more familiar with it there (and we'll see in a future post how this figured into an important court case about whether grenadine needed to contain pomegranate at all). 

From a journal called The Chautauquan, a monthly magazine in 1894, we read about grenadine in Paris. 

"But on the other hand numbers of perfectly respectable ladies bourgeoises and mothers of families are seen at the little tables drinking and thoroughly enjoying the hours of interlude between work and dinner.

Sometimes they bring their children with them and meet the father at some cafe on his way home and the little ones climb over the chairs and sip grenadine (pomegranate) or currant juice while the elders will take their bitters or absinthe. The latter is the customary drink before dinner of fully one third of the adult population of Paris."

Of course, France and London are a lot closer to the Middle East where pomegranates were first found. 

BarianaThe French cocktail book Barianna (1896) is where we see a spike in grenadine drinks, including the Bosom Caresser with grenadine instead of raspberry syrup. 

We also see the Pousse Cafe (French Style) in one book from 1895 that includes grenadine, while the "American" and "New Orleans" style of the drink includes raspberry syrup. 

The Monkey Gland we first see published in a London cocktail book, and then it is posted as being "The new cocktail in Paris" in 1923. 

This being said, we'll see in a future post that someone was making grenadine in New York in the late 1800s. So American bartenders may have been using a local or an imported version of grenadine. 

  Pile of grenadine seeds_tn

Some Cocktails Evolved from Using Other Syrup to Grenadine

  •  The Bosom Caresser began with raspberry syrup and changed to grenadine. 
  • The Clover Club and Clover Leaf began with raspberry syrup but quickly evolved to "raspberry or grenadine".
  • The Knickerbocker, onthe other hand, retained raspberry syrup throughout recipes. 
  • Daisies, originally sours with orange cordial added to them, became drinks made with grenadine. Looking through these books that seemed to happen around 1910 when grenadine became popular. 

The First Popular Drinks to be Made with Grenadine

Seem to be the:

  • Jack Rose, probably from New York
  • Monkey Gland from London 
  • Ward Eight from Boston



PomegranateProjectSquareLogoFor the month of December I'll be looking at the pomegranate and its use in cocktails, including in grenadine and in PAMA pomegranate liqueur, the sponsor of the project. Check out the information developed just for bartenders at


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