There is so much celebrating and home entertaining that happens this time of year. And that usually means gathering with friends and/or family multiple times throughout the month of December and enjoying some libations. This one you can feel good about because it uses freshly squeezed grapefruit juice which offers immune boosting vitamin C and vitamin A. It makes for the perfect winter cocktail since grapefruits are now in season.
Vodka is usually my go-to spirit of choice since it has a clean taste. For me, my cocktails must have refreshing bubbles and fresh squeezed juice. The grapefruit juice is slightly sweet and slightly sour and pairs perfectly with the tonic bubbles.
Winter is officially grapefruit season and the perfect time to enjoy citrus fruits in recipes and drinks. Selecting the perfect grapefruit is so important for getting a sweet and juicy experience. Here are some of my tips:
- The north and south pole of the grapefruit should be flat. You actually don’t want a perfect sphere.
- Hold the grapefruit in your hand. It should feel heavy for its size. The heavier it is for its size the more juice content. The more juice content, the more flavor!
- Choose grapefruits with thin, smooth skin. Scarring is okay. Grapefruits grow in clusters (just like grapes) on trees in Texas and Florida where it is hot and humid. The heat and humidity make the skin tender and as it sits on the tree and the wind blows it shakes against the tree and can scar slightly. That is okay! It is actually a sign of beauty inside!
You can store grapefruits at room temperature for one week or in your refrigerator for two to three weeks.
Grapefruits are high in the antioxidants vitamin A and C. In fact, 1/2 a medium grapefruit provides 100% of your daily recommended intake for vitamin C. One grapefruit provides 70% of your daily recommended intake for vitamin A.
The key to this recipe is both the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and using a high quality tonic. For this recipe, I partnered with Powell & Mahoney to feature their tonic, one of their award winning craft cocktail mixers. While most tonic waters have a bitter taste, I find theirs to be perfectly balanced with a little sweetness and acidity from lime and lemon flavors. Their tonic is gluten-free, made with natural ingredients and batched in small kettles in Vermont. Their products are available nationwide at retailers like Whole Foods, Target and Walmart, as well as local specialty grocers and liquor stores.
This bright and citrusy cocktail is both refreshing and delicious. The clean vodka pairs beautifully with the fresh grapefruit juice and bubbly tonic water. You can double the recipe to serve six people.
- 1 large chilled grapefruit, juiced (yields ~ 3/4 cup juice)*
- 1 can Powell & Mahoney Tonic Water, chilled (or substitute soda water)
- 3 ounces vodka (or omit for an alcohol-free “mocktail”)
- Grapefruit quarter wheels for garnish (from one additional grapefruit with the skin on)
- Ice cubes
- In advance of making the drink, place three glasses in the freezer. This step is optional but recommended for a frosty glass.
- Juice your grapefruit using a juicer which should yield 3/4 – 1 cup of juice.
- Remove glasses from freezer and layer with ice cubes and grapefruit quarter wheels (or grapefruit slices or chunks). Pour 1 ounce of vodka into each of the three glasses. Divide the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice amongst the three glasses (about ~1/4-1/3 cup of juice in each). Top with tonic until full. One can of tonic should be perfect for three glasses. Stir well with your straw and enjoy immediately.
- Alternatively, you could use a shaker and combine ice, grapefruit juice and vodka in a martini shaker and serve over ice with grapefruit wheels.
*See my post above for selecting a perfectly juicy