Can this stuff be a grenadine substitute?
June 8, 2013 11:14 AM   Subscribe

I would like to make these creepy shots. If I use the juice/syrup from a jar of maraschino cherries instead of buying actual grenadine, will the effect still work?

I assume the taste won't be terribly affected (or will it?), but I would like to know if the "bloody" effect will be the same, or if there will be an issue with the relative viscosity of the liquids.

Just to clarify what stuff I'm trying to substitute for grenadine, I have two jars of maraschino cherries, and I'd like to use the bright red juice/syrup/whatever liquid they are floating in. (That sounds gross, but what can I say? I get a thrill out of stretching a buck!)
posted by honey wheat to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Isn't the grenadine a bit thicker? You could boil down the maraschino cherry juice to the right consistency.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2013

Grenadine is a syrup, so yes, it is thicker. It's also more sugary than plain maraschino cherry juice. You can try it with just the cherry juice but I doubt you'll get the same effect.

If you want to experiment, try making a simple syrup (2 parts sugar to 1 part water) and add your cherry juice. See if it gets the effect you want. If not, Grenadine isn't expensive and I've seen it at pretty much every grocery store in the US (apologies if you're not in the US; I didn't check).
posted by cooker girl at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2013

Grenadine is made from pomegranate. Yes, the taste will be affected if you use maraschino cherry syrup. The only thing these two red liquids have in common is that they're red and liquid.
posted by dobbs at 12:52 PM on June 8, 2013

I would like to know if the "bloody" effect will be the same, or if there will be an issue with the relative viscosity of the liquids.

Weight, not viscosity: you need the red liquid to be heavier than both the bailey's float and the schnapps base so it will sink and cause the "hemorrhage" effect.

I have no idea whether maraschino syrup is heavier or lighter than grenadine, but you could easily test by putting a drop or two in schapps and seeing whether it sinks or floats. If it sinks, you're in good shape. If it floats, go out and buy some grenadine.

(Incidentally, pouring floats takes a bit of practice; you might find it easier to gently spoon the bailey's in than to try to pour it.)

I wouldn't worry at all about the difference in flavor as this does not seem like the sort of drink one drinks for the flavor.
posted by ook at 1:22 PM on June 8, 2013

I would suggest making simple syrup FROM the cherry juice, using it in lieu of water. But I agree with Dobbs, the taste is not the same at all.
posted by looli at 1:43 PM on June 8, 2013

Thanks everybody! I'm not very good at mixology or physics, so I appreciated the help.
posted by honey wheat at 3:14 PM on June 8, 2013

You can cook the cherry syrup to reduce the liquid and increase the thickness. Looks like the point of the drink is creepiness, so the change in taste doesn't seem terribly significant.
posted by theora55 at 4:12 PM on June 8, 2013

The chemistry of this is delicate. For example, if you put a cap full of Bailey's into peppermint (as opposed to peach or strawberry) schnapps, it does not stay in an imiscible separate phase; it diffuses through the entire volume of peppermint schnapps and there's no brain.

Also the visual effect is 95% there with just the Bailey's and the schnapps.
posted by bukvich at 8:25 AM on June 9, 2013

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