Best Grenadine Substitute

Don’t have this bright red syrup on hand? Here’s the best grenadine substitute to use when you’re mixing up cocktails.

Making a cocktail that calls for grenadine and don’t have it? Don’t worry, there are few options that work for this cocktail syrup! Grenadine is a bright red, sweet tart syrup used in cocktails. People mistakenly think it’s cherry, but it’s actually made out of pomegranate juice! (The name comes from the French word for pomegranate, grenade.) Grenadine is used in lots of popular drinks: famously in a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple and the vibrant Tequila Sunrise.

All out of grenadine, or can’t find it at the store? Here’s the best grenadine substitute.

Best grenadine substitute

1. Homemade grenadine

The best grenadine substitute? Make homemade grenadine syrup! You can make grenadine at home using fresh juice from pomegranate seeds. This results in a brilliant hot pink color that’s naturally made from scratch. How to do it? Scroll down to the recipe below.

2. Pomegranate juice + simple syrup

Another great grenadine substitute? Pomegranate juice and simple syrup. Mix together 2 parts simple syrup and 1 part pomegranate juice. It makes a sweet, bright red syrup that’s very similar to the real thing. Another option if you happen to have it or want to make it? Pomegranate molasses.

3. Raspberry syrup

Another grenadine substitute? Raspberry syrup. This cocktail syrup is bright red and beautifully sweet. You’ll also get the flavor of berries, but there’s no harm in that! You can buy raspberry syrup at a liquor store or make Homemade Raspberry Syrup using fresh or frozen raspberries and sugar.

4. Cranberry syrup

Don’t have raspberries? Another alternative to grenadine is cranberry syrup, another bright red, sweet tart homemade syrup. Make this Cranberry Simple Syrup recipe with fresh or frozen cranberries.

5. Maraschino juice (from cocktail cherry jar)

A final grenadine substitute to use in a pinch? Maraschino juice from a jar of cocktail cherries! It’s more mild in flavor than grenadine, but it works and brings in that signature color. See how it works in this Fresh Cherry Limeade.

Related recipes

Here are some grenadine recipes to try:


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Here’s how to make grenadine syrup, that brilliant red syrup for making cocktails! It’s all natural and easy to make using pomegranate juice.

  1. Make the pomegranate juice: If using whole pomegranates, remove the seeds (see instructions above). Place the pomegranate seeds in a cocktail shaker (or tall glass) and mash with a muddler or wooden spoon until all the juices have been released. Then pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup.
  2. Add the pomegranate juice and sugar to a small saucepan heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  3. Cool and stir in the lemon juice. Pour into a sealed container and refrigerate up to three weeks. For a longer storage time, add 1 tablespoon vodka or brandy to fortify the syrup.


*You can also use bottled pomegranate juice, but the color won’t be as vibrant. 

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Grenadine substitute