The Rio Red grapefruit is juicy, sweet, and pairs perfectly with a variety of liquors. Find a Rio Red grapefruit cocktail recipe for every occasion below!
If you spend a lot of time at artisanal cocktail spots, you're probably accustomed to a lot of exotic ingredients. With the likes of jackfruit and passionfruit becoming standards in many drinks, it can be easy to overlook some of the old favorites.
And grapefruit is one best example of a classic that deserves another chance to shine. Delicious, surprisingly nutritious, and often found in season during the colder months of the year, there's a grapefruit cocktail recipe for almost any occasion.
The Hemingway Daiquiri
The perfect accompaniment to a hot summer's day, the Hemingway Daiquiri is a great introduction to much potential grapefruit has as a cocktail ingredient. Though the drink's history is somewhat obscure, we're reasonably sure that the drink was inspired by Hemingway in a Havana barroom sometime in the 1930s. The author himself didn't invent it.
Despite being one of Hemingway's favorites, it never really caught on and was largely forgotten for years. Which makes it a great drink to surprise your guests with at your next cocktail hour.
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- Garnish: lime wheel
Combine the above ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a coupe glass, if available, and garnish with a lime wheel. Enjoy!
A cocktail that sounds like it would be equally at home in Hemingway's hands, the Salty Dog is a classic for vodka-lovers. Essentially the same as the more-common Greyhound, it incorporates one key difference in the form of a salted rim.
This small addition transforms this zesty cocktail into a delightfully briny treat suitable for any beach day. And it's easy enough to make that the most inexperienced home bartender can manage it.
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice
- 2 ounces vodka
Wet the rim of a double old-fashioned glass and coat the rim with salt. Pour vodka and grapefruit juice into the glass and add ice. Stir to combine, and enjoy.
The Sea Breeze
Contrary to the name, the Seas Breeze has little to do with anything nautical. Born during Prohibition, the Sea Breeze originally just gin and hibiscus grenadine.
The current variation is more palatable, and still a breeze to make.
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- Garnish: lime wheel
The Brown Derby
Most grapefruit concoctions that are made with the Ruby Red variety, coveted by bartenders because of its deep, rich color and sweet flavor. But the yellow grapefruit can create equally delicious cocktails. In particular, it can be useful if you prefer your drinks on the dry side since its higher-than-average acid content can balance out sweeter flavors.
A great example of this principle in action is in the Brown Derby, named for the famous Old-Hollywood landmark. Both sweet and sour, the Brown Derby makes great use of yellow grapefruit to balance the flavors of its sweeter components.
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup
- Garnish: grapefruit twist
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Fine-strain into a cocktail glass, and press a drop of oil from a grapefruit twist. Drop in to garnish, or substitute a whole grapefruit wedge.
There's a Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe for Everyone
Grapefruit is one of the most versatile cocktail ingredients available, being able to create a variety of flavor profiles and being widely available even when most citrus fruit is out of season.
But while everyone can find a grapefruit cocktails recipe that they're sure to love, sometimes you just want something classic. If that's the case for you, check out our list of classic lime cocktails and other citrus cocktail recipes to reach for at your next happy hour.
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