Is Grenadine Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 13, 2023

Determining whether a particular product, like grenadine, is vegan can be quite the task.

This difficulty often arises due to manufacturers adeptly hiding the true nature and source of their ingredients.

Fear not, dear reader! This article aims to uncover the truth and arm you with the knowledge to keep your vegan lifestyle intact.

Is Grenadine Vegan?

Grenadine, as a product, can be vegan, but it largely depends on the manufacturer. The issue lies in a key ingredient: sugar. Most manufacturers use refined sugar, which is sometimes processed using bone char, an animal-derived product.

While the sugar itself does not contain any animal ingredients, the process through which it is produced may not be suitable for vegans.

If your goal is to drink vegan grenadine, look for organic grenadine. Organic sugar is typically not processed through bone char.

Is Grenadine Cruelty-Free?

The general consensus is that grenadine is cruelty-free. This is based on the fact that the product itself, a popular cocktail mixer derived from pomegranate juice and sugar, does not involve any animal testing or other direct animal cruelty in its process.

What Is Grenadine Made Of?

Grenadine, a vibrant and sweet syrup, is a staple ingredient in many cocktails. Here’s a quick rundown of its usual ingredients:

  • Water
  • Fresh pomegranate juice
  • Sugar
  • Citric acid

Fresh pomegranate juice

The core ingredient of grenadine, fresh pomegranate juice, is squeezed from ripe pomegranates. This fruit-derived juice is naturally vegan and lends grenadine its distinctive tang and color.


Sugar, typically a vegan-friendly product, can be contentious due to the refining process. Some manufacturers use bone char to whiten the sugar, which might not align with strict vegan principles. Organic, unrefined, and raw sugar typically is not processed with bone char, so organic grenadine would be vegan.


A universal solvent, water is inherently vegan. It is added to dilute the mixture and help blend the ingredients at a medium heat.

Citric acid

Citric acid is derived from citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges, and is vegan. It serves to preserve the grenadine and add a sharp tang.

Vegan Alternatives to Grenadine

If you’re looking for vegan alternatives to traditional grenadine, there are several options to consider. 

Brands that use organic, unrefined sugar or beet sugar, which is always vegan, are great alternatives. Here are some examples:

However, you can easily make homemade grenadine using fresh pomegranate seeds, organic sugar, and citric acid. Just add the ingredients to a pot, stir, and slowly bring it to a boil.


In conclusion, whether grenadine is vegan largely depends on the type of sugar used by the manufacturer. While the product is typically cruelty-free food and the other ingredients are vegan, the use of bone char in refining sugar may be a sticking point for some.

To avoid this issue, look for brands that use vegan-friendly sugar or consider making your own at home. Remember, as a conscientious consumer, it’s important to check product labels carefully and confirm the source of the ingredients when in doubt.

Being a vegan means going that extra mile to save our animal friends and the planet.