Tom Garvin, the beverage director at Tribeca's Kitchen, calls this cocktail “one of my favourite grenadine drinks I’ve ever made.”
A fan of the fruity cocktail sweetener, Garvin finds it burdened with misconceptions. “Instead of a rich, enhancing pomegranate-based syrup, people think of grenadine as the leftover juice at the bottom of a jar of cherries,” he says. While the syrup is undeniably sweet, “so are most syrups and cordials that we use in cocktails all of the time,” he says. “It’s our job as bartenders to find the right amount of acidity to balance the drink, whether it’s with citrus or an alternative acid.”
Garvin’s drink, using a combination of lemon juice and bright passion fruit puree, certainly provides that balance. “It’s a riff on a forgotten classic called Harry’s Pick Me Up, with a little more of a tropical feel,” he says. The recipe that provided his inspiration appears in the 1927 cocktail book “Barflies & Cocktails” by Harry McElhone and calls for shaking grenadine, brandy and lemon juice together, then topping it with Champagne.
It’s crucial to use a good homemade grenadine in the drink, and Garvin’s recipe differs from a more often-used version in its simplicity, omitting the orange flower water. “I’m pretty traditional,” he says. “It’s more important to make something classic really well than to add a bunch of different flavours to muddy something that’s already tasty."