When Dushan Zaric was a child in Belgrade, Serbia, there were two kinds of grenadine: the crimson, sugary commercial kind and the homemade pomegranate syrups made by his parents and their friends. Each winter, there would be a flurry of juicing, reducing, sweetening, and spicing—cinnamon, cardamom, orange-flower water—resulting in a fragrant, balanced syrup. That memory inspired Zaric and his partner, Jason Kosmas, of the Manhattan restaurant Employees Only, to create Employees Only Grenadine, a swarthy, not-too-sweet syrup that has more in common with the flavors of the Levant than with other, saccharine grenadines. With a rich aroma of cloves and cardamom and the dark, tart flavor of fresh pomegranates, it’s florid, heady, and multifaceted. I like it stirred into ginger ale for a sophisticated Shirley Temple.
Employees Only Grenadine, $11.49 for a 12 ounce bottle at EmployeesOnlyBrands.com