Is Grenadine Gluten Free? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Is Grenadine Gluten Free

You sit down at the bar and decide you want to order a cocktail to get a head start on your weekend or simply relax after a long day of work. But wait – the cocktail that looks most appealing includes an ingredient called grenadine, which seems to be a thick and syrupy sweetener. Since many sweeteners and syrups include gluten or gluten-related ingredients, you have to ask: is grenadine gluten-free?

Grenadine is gluten-free. Grenadine is ultimately a very simple cocktail mixer made with water, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and artificial dyes. None of these contain wheat or gluten. The best healthier gluten-free alternatives to traditional Grenadine are Just Pomegranate Syrup, Stirrings Authentic Grenadine, Teisseire Sugar-Free Grenadine Syrup, and SweetLeaf Monk Fruit Strawberry Guava.

That said, it’s still a good idea to check the ingredient list of any grenadine brand you choose to try. Let’s take a closer look at grenadine as a cocktail mixer and explore its most common ingredients so you can know for sure that it’s safe for your gluten-free diet.

Grenadine’s Origins and Major Ingredients

No matter the brand or the exact ingredient composition, grenadine is a non-alcoholic bar syrup you can usually identify at a glance; just look for the syrup with the deep red color. It’s one of the most popular cocktail ingredients, so folks on a gluten-free diet or with gluten sensitivity should know ahead of time whether they can add it to their drinks of choice.

Fortunately, grenadine is essentially just sugar, water, and pomegranate juice; that’s the most basic formula you can mix together. In fact, grenadine comes from a French word – “grenade” – which just means pomegranate!

But some companies try to reinvent the grenadine formula from time to time. Because of this, you might find grenadine from certain manufacturers that has a primary flavor profile based on blackcurrant juice or other fruit juices.

Still, “real” grenadine is just pomegranate juice mixed with water and any other juices you might want to add. Many manufacturers today replace natural fruit bases with artificial ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and citric acid. Citric acid and the other ingredients are also usually gluten-free and vegan friendly, though. So if a particular grenadine uses primarily synthetic ingredients, it’s not necessarily bad for your diet.

All in all, most grenadine is gluten-free. We think you’d be hard-pressed to find a grenadine recipe that did include gluten for some reason!

Ingredients to Watch Out For

When determining whether a given grenadine brand is gluten-free, you’ll want to specifically watch out for so-called “bulking agents”. In a nutshell, bulking agents are additives that some manufacturers give to certain foods or beverages to change their textures and consistencies. The majority of bulking agents are either gluten or related to gluten since gluten is an effective binding agent in bread.

That said, not all bulking agents are gluten or related to gluten. If a product’s ingredient list simply says “bulking agent” your best bet is to research the company behind the product to determine whether that bulking agent is gluten or not.

Even though you should watch out for bulking agents, keep in mind that grenadine doesn’t usually have any. Compared to coffee liqueurs and similar cocktail ingredients like Kahlúa, grenadine is much more likely to be gluten-free than not.

What kinds of cocktails are most popular to enjoy with Grenadine?

It depends on your taste preferences, but grenadine is often used for classic and modern cocktails alike. Some of the most popular cocktails that include grenadine are:

  • The Queen Mary, a cocktail involving beer and grenadine
  • The Singapore Sling, a sling cocktail based with gin
  • The Zombie, a Tiki cocktail with a rum base
  • The Tequila Sunrise, a tequila cocktail with orange juice and grenadine

Since grenadine is almost always gluten-free, feel free to try it yourself and come up with some unique cocktail recipes you enjoy!

Grenadine Nutritional Information

There are tons of different grenadine brands you can check out, but we’ll break down the ingredients and nutrition info for one of the most popular and affordable grenadine syrups you can purchase: Rose’s Grenadine. Keep in mind that the ingredients and nutrition info for each grenadine syrup will vary slightly. However, most grenadine is gluten-free unless the manufacturer includes a strange ingredient for one reason or another.

Rose’s Grenadine Syrup

Its ingredients are:

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Water
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Red 40
  • Natural and artificial flavors
  • Blue 1

Nutrition facts (per 2 tablespoons):

  • 80 cal
  • 10 mg sodium
  • 20 g carbohydrates or 7% DV
  • 20 g sugar

Healthy Gluten-Free Alternatives to Grenadine

While standard grenadine doesn’t usually have gluten or gluten-related ingredients, most grenadine offerings aren’t particularly healthy, either. That said, there are healthy and still gluten-free alternatives to standard grenadine you can and should check out.

These offerings are great choices if you want to stick to a specific diet or simply avoid putting too much fat or sugar into your body when it’s not necessary. Let’s break down a couple of these alternatives one by one.

Stirrings Authentic Grenadine

Stirrings Authentic Natural Grenadine Cocktail Mixer - 12 ounce bottles | Pack of (6) Stirrings is one of the oldest manufacturers of grenadine in the world, so it’s no surprise that they offer one of the syrup’s best examples. It’s a particularly good grenadine for combining with tequila; in fact, there’s a tequila beverage recipe on the front of every bottle!

Its ingredients are:

  • Water
  • Cane sugar
  • Pomegranate juice from concentrate
  • Citric acid
  • Pomegranate flavor
  • Fruit and vegetable juice for color

Nutrition facts (per 1 fluid ounce):

  • 45 cal
  • 11 g carbohydrates or 4% DV
  • 11 g sugar

Just Pomegranate Syrup

Just Pomegranate Syrup : Organic Pomegranate Molasses | One 8.8 OZ Squeeze Bottle I Low-Glycemic, Vegan, Paleo Next up is this healthier than average pomegranate syrup from Just Date Syrup, a brand often found in marketplaces like Thrive Market. This is a particularly good grenadine syrup to check out since it is organic, gluten-free, and certified vegan. Even better, you can use this with paleo diets. Even though it uses some non-traditional ingredients, it’s still a fantastic grenadine syrup for any cocktail beverage you can think of.

Its ingredients are:

  • Organic pomegranate
  • Medjool date

Nutrition facts (per 0.6 ounces):

  • 50 cal
  • 12 g carbohydrates or 4% DV
  • 11 g sugar
  • 155 mg potassium or 4% DV

Teisseire Sugar-Free Grenadine Syrup

Teisseire Sugar-Free French Syrup for Drinks, Pancakes or Waffles Tin 20.3 fl.oz Grenadine If you’d prefer your grenadine syrup to be as tasty as ever but without added sugar, Teisseire has you covered. This unique brand includes gluten-free grenadine syrups and other additives, none of which include gluten or gluten-related ingredients. So you can try out this sugar-free grenadine syrup or any of their other offerings without having to worry about upsetting your stomach.

Its ingredients are:

  • Water
  • Fruit juices from concentrate
  • Bulking agent
  • Polydextrose
  • Citric acid
  • Flavorings
  • Sucralose
  • Xanthan gum
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Steviol glycosides

Nutrition facts (per 6.8 fluid ounces):

  • 42 cal
  • 3 g sugar
  • 1 g carbohydrates
  • 01 g sodium

Although this gluten-free alternative to grenadine does include a bulking agent, Teisseire has said that each of their syrups is gluten-free. We trust the company, but it’s up to you to determine whether this qualifies as a true gluten-free grenadine pick.

SweetLeaf Monk Fruit Strawberry Guava

SweetLeaf Organic Monk Fruit Liquid, Water Enhancer, Strawberry Guava, 1.7 Ounce Alternatively, you could try this strawberry guava from SweetLeaf. Created with organic Monk fruit extract, it’s a great flavoring agent for alcoholic beverages, water, oatmeal, smoothies, or even coffee or tea beverages. Its versatility is matched by its health benefits; this strawberry guava is made with all-natural ingredients and is appropriate for both gluten-free and keto diets.

Its ingredients are:

  • Organic glycerin
  • Purified water
  • Organic natural flavors
  • Organic Monk fruit extract

Nutrition facts (per 1 squeeze or 0.625 mL):

  • 0 cal

Final Thoughts

As you can see, folks with gluten sensitivities normally don’t need to worry when choosing grenadine for their alcoholic beverages or cocktails. Most grenadine brands, if not all of them, will be gluten-free, and even those with binding agents shouldn’t include gluten. Still, it’s always a good idea to do your own research and check the back of a grenadine bottle’s ingredient list before adding it to your cocktail.

Related Questions

What is Grenadine sauce made of?

Grenadine sauce is essentially just a thicker version of regular grenadine. Many grenadine sauce recipes include sugar, water, lemon juice, and pomegranate juice. Others may use thicker binding agents. Again, this isn’t usually gluten, but folks with celiac disease should be more careful when trying grenadine sauce compared to regular grenadine syrup or sweetener.

Is Grenadine also dairy-free?

Yes, generally speaking. Even in grenadine brands that primarily use synthetic ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and sodium citrate, dairy ingredients are nowhere to be found. However, grenadine is sometimes included in cocktails that do include dairy elements.

Is Grenadine alcoholic by itself?

No, as the fruit juice used in grenadine has not fermented long enough to induce an alcoholic effect.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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