This is an adult soda or aperitif that is perfect for sipping during the holidays as a counterpoint to rich and heavy food. Truly it could be served any time of year if a very light cocktail is desired. It's sweet but not saccharine, and has a bitter edge that makes it nicely refreshing. It reminds me of a Shirley Temple, but all grown-up! Aperol makes it less boozy than Campari (about 1% vs. 2% alcohol by volume in the final cocktail); either works well. For a non-alcoholic version, freshly pressed pink grapefruit juice would be a perfect substitute. I prefer an added hit of bitters in mine, but let your tastebuds decide for you. Cheers!
Note: Thanks to Ryan Magarian, co-creator of Aviation Gin and bartender/mixologist extraordinaire for telling me how he makes grenadine. —hardlikearmour
Test Kitchen Notes
In spite of the fact that I coerced a juvenile (my 11-year-old daughter, Eliza) to assist in the shake, shake, shaking of the homemade grenadine, I must report that this is a wholly sophisticated adult sipper. The color -- supplied by both the sugared-up pomegranate juice and the Campari -- is as festive on a cold holiday evening as it would be on a hot summer's one. The drink starts out refreshing, is sweet in the middle, and ends with that distinctly Italian bitter finish. Eliza had a straight Shirley Temple and I had a second one of these. —cheese1227
Combine soda water, Aperol or Campari, grenadine, and lime juice in a 2-cup glass measure. Stir gently to mix. Taste and add orange bitters or an extra splash of soda water if desired. Divide between 2 glasses, each with a few cubes of ice. Serve each with a lime wheel for garnish if you're feeling fancy.
Simplest Homemade Grenadine
Combine pomegranate juice with sugar in a pint jar or other container with a tight fitting lid. Shake, shake, shake, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a bottle if desired. Refrigerate. Makes about 1 1/3 cups grenadine. Keeps at least 1 week refrigerated.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.