How many drinks do you know of that have grenadine in them but are not found, pre-made, in a tropical beach bar or named Shirley Temple? I’ll wait… That’s what I thought. Not alot. Prior to just recently I thought the only reason to have grenadine around was for the occasional tequila sunrise or Rum Runnnaaaah. Well it turns out I was wrong. For those of you who don’t know, grenadine is red and is the universal signal for a lady drink. It makes EVERYTHING pink. The name come from the french word grenade or pomegranate (a’thank you Wikipedia).
Most of use grew up drinking the stuff in the aforementioned non-alcoholic beverage the Shirley Temple. I for one know that when I was growing up, every year on my birthday, I would request my birthday dinner to be at my favorite sushi restaurant (I was a sophisticated tot) and I would always order a Shirley Temple. Basically all my parents had to tell me was “Brian, there is this drink that has sprite and syrup!” DONE. I’ll take three. It has been a few years since my Shirley days and I have to say that I haven’t had a chance to drink a lot of grenadine since. However, after being at our favorite liquor store a few weeks ago I decided to pick up a bottle just in case. Then, wouldn’t you know it, my adoring wife decided to pick me up a new cocktail book that just happened to have a recipe for a Ward 8 cocktail that included grenadine. I was pretty excited to bust it out so I made one immediately.
The Ward 8 was originally created in Boston during the late 1890’s. Aka its legit. It is a mix of Rye whiskey (duh), lemon or lime juice, and grenadine. You can add a maraschino cherry if you want but we all know how I feel about those. Anyway, this cocktail, like most that I really like, has the same basic makeup as a Manhattan. Rye, one bitter component (lemon juice instead of bitters), and one sweet component (grenadine instead of vermouth). The Ward 8 is very tasty – It’s a little sweeter than a Manhattan but you can balance that out with a little less grenadine or a little more citrus. So if you have a random bottle of grenadine lying around that you haven’t used in ages and you are looking to. I recommend you grab yourself some whiskey and citrus and fix yourself a Ward 8. (or throwing it away…Bueller? Anyone? Who recommends using something that’s been ‘lying around for ages’ ?)