Grapefruit Cocktails for the Holidays

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As James Beard award winning cookbook author Jennifer McLagan pointed out today – we’ve got white grapefruit in the store. White grapefruit isn’t as sweet as the Ruby Reds we’re used to. It has a pleasant astrigence and bitter tang. Think of it as the pink grapefruit’s sophisticated big sister.

We thought we’d take the opportunity to share some downright delicious grapefruit cocktails with you. They’re perfect for the holidays when you’re surrounded by fatty, salty overindulgent meals and inundated with chocolates and candy canes. These cocktails will refresh the palate and give you a jolt of vitamin C at the same time, which is always welcome at this time of year. 

First off is the Miami Beach, with only three ingredients this is a simple drink to mix up and it’s bright sunny flavours will lift everyone’s spirits after a demoralizing day of shopping for the perfect gift.




The Miami Beach 

1 oz. dry vermouth

1 oz. white grapefruit juice

1 oz. blended scotch, such as Johnny Walker

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe, garnish with a twist of citrus rind.


A sophisticated take on the Salty Dog, the following recipe uses fine agave tequila and a dash of bitters to heighten the impact of the drink.




The Salty Perro

2 cups white grapefruit juice

1 cup blanco tequila

2 cups chilled tonic

grapefruit bitters

kosher salt, to rim glasses

Mix all ingredients, except bitters, in a pitcher with ice. Rim 4 Tom Collins glasses with salt and divide the pitcher’s contents among them. Finish each drink with 2 dashes of the bitters.




This final recipe feels very Canadian – we love our rye! Lot 40 or Knob Creek would be really good in this mix.

Sage Brown Derby

2 oz rye

1 oz white grapefruit juice

1/2 oz lime juice

1/4 oz agave syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

fresh sage leaves

Combine whiskey, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds; strain into a coupe glass. Slap sage leaf between your palms until fragrant; float on top of cocktail.

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