Good Eats

Grenadine with a Southern Accent

By Jed PortmanMarch 11, 2013

The past two years have seen the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.’s flagship tonic syrup blow onto bar menus from New York City to New Orleans. It has become the secret ingredient in many a quality G&T, raising demand to the point that founder Brooks Reitz has finally been forced to move packing and shipping operations out of his dining room.

And now, the Charleston, South Carolina-based Reitz is making a move for all-around cocktail dominance with the release of his new Jack Rudy Grenadine.

“When the tonic took off,” he says, “I thought, ‘Okay, I should probably think of something to supplement that.’ Grenadine was the obvious choice.” But developing a quality grenadine was easier said than done. Reitz struggled to source the pomegranate juice that forms the base of the sweet-and-tart syrup.

After months of searching, he found a pomegranate grower in California who uses a specially-designed press to juice the fruits whole. “When you’re juicing the whole pomegranate, you get more of the character, more of the tannin, more of the bitterness,” Reitz says. “You get a fuller expression of the flavor.” To make his grenadine, Reitz seasons the juice with touches of cane sugar, citric acid, and orange flower water.

Popular as Jack Rudy Tonic has been, the grenadine opens new doors for bartenders with its many applications in drinks both boozy and not. (Small-batch Shirley Temples, anyone?). Reitz likes it in a simple gin-based Maiden’s Blush.

Maiden’s Blush

2 oz. gin
¾ oz. Cointreau
¾ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. grenadine

Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, strain, and enjoy.