I'm all hopped up on Tequila.
Stand back, cause another rant is coming...
Get off my lawn ya durn kids ya...
Wait, different rant. Today's rant is high fructose corn syrup. I am disgusted just typing this. HFCS (Less disgusted if I abbreviate High Fructose Corn Syrup for the rest of the rant), is ARTIFICIAL, has all the wrong types of sugar and is a major contributor to the reason America is FAT. It is less expensive to produce than natural fruit juice sugars, so of course the long term issues are ignored in favor of saving a few fractions of pennies. It is also addictive, and it is in everything, from those healthy seeming breakfast bars, to flavored yogurts, to bread, lunch meats and cereals.
In 1975, the juice of the devil was introduced in soft drinks. Since that time, it has appeared in nearly everything. Unless you get "old hippy" in the kitchen and scratch make as much as you can, you will eat HFCS everyday.
Now, we interrupt this rant for a discussion about Grenadine. You've seen it, you've drunk it , even if you don't know it. It's that little bit of bright red mixer that goes in Shirley Temples (for you female virgin drinkers, and Roy Rogers for the boys), lots of tropical drinks (rum punches and the like) and a Tequila Sunrise (which you will hear about when I am done with the discussion and after I finish my rant (soon, I promise).
In French, Grenade means Pomegranate. Really, the weapon grenade is actually named for the fruit pomegranate (which has all those little bits inside, much like a grenade has all those little bits inside). Grenadine the drink mixer was made from the juice of a pomegranate (and sometimes a little extra cherry juice).. It is reduced, sweetened and makes wonderful drinks.
That bottle of stuff you have in your liquor cabinet, Rose's Grenadine, is now made 100% of high fructose corn syrup! No Pomegranates at all.
OK, back to the rant. Pomegranates and pomegranate juice is full of healthy benefits. Antioxidants, and vitamins. Nothing but healthy goodness. 100% opposite of HFCS.
Bah, get out of my tequila sunrise ya darn HFCS ya!
That wasn't so bad was it. And you kept reading because of the promise of a drink recipe.
But first, to heck fire with Rose's brand. Let's make our own.
As much fun as it is to open a Pomegranate, the good folks at Pom Wonderful already make a blend of cherry and pomegranate juices. Perfect to make your own grenadine.
Just open the bottle and pour the whole thing (16 ounces, each bottle of Pom Wonderful has the juice of 4 Pomegranates) into a sauce pan.
Get to a simmer and wait...About 15 minutes. Let it reduce by about half.
You want the Grenadine to be just a tiny amount thick, enough to coat the back of a spoon, but not thick like a syrup.
You could use the reduction as is. But it would be a little tart, and not really authentic grenadine.
To make it authentic (and tasty), remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of extra fine sugar. The difference between a grenadine sauce and a pomegranate molasses is this step. In the molasses, you add the sugar as it reduces, cooking and melting the sugar. In a grenadine, you remove from the heat and mix the sugar in the warm, cooling sauce. The sugar is dissolved, not melted.
Also, I add 1 jigger of vodka (OK, add an ounce and a half, but tossing around a term like jigger makes you sound like a bartender).
Storage. I drink my coffee with a little honey added. SO I have lots of those little bear shaped bottles around. they are great to use to store partial sauces. Like this.Just fill the bear.
I got right at 10 ounces of real authentic GRENADINE!
Because I added the vodka, I am able to store the bottle in the freezer.
That's my bear next to my frosted glass. When my poker buddies are over, the frosted mug makes my beer look great. But honestly, I have a glass of milk in a frosty mug every night before bed... I am older than dirt, and it settles my stomach. Shhhh, it's a secret, don't tell my poker buddies.
But back to the grenadine...
Finally, time for that drink recipe...
But wait... did you notice the floating Pomegranates? Actually, they are suspended in ice. But not just any ice, they are suspended in ice made from Orange juice.
Orange juice is the key ingredient in a tequila sunrise.
If you use ice made from water, eventually, ice melts and the drink gets watered down. Make your ice from the mixer and you have a drink that tastes the same from top to bottom... Good to the last drop!
Just fill an ice tray with orange juice and add a dozen pomegranate arils (the juice sacks that look like seeds) in each compartment, freeze and you are set.
Oh, BTW, reason I store my grenadine in the freezer is the same reason. If you add room temperature grenadine to a cold drink, it changes the temperature. Add grenadine stored in the freezer and you have a cold drink.
OK, finally, here's a tequila sunrise recipe...
6 ounces of Orange Juice
1 jigger (remember, 1 1/2 ounces) of Tequila
1/2 ounce of Grenadine
Fill with ice and Pomegranate Arils
BTW, Pomegranate Screwdriver.. Same recipe just with Vodka in place of the Tequila.