Here are the best grapefruit cocktails to try! This fresh citrus fruit features in many classic cocktails, from Paloma to Greyhound to Brown Derby.
Grapefruit is an underdog in the citrus world, but it’s not forgotten in the world of cocktails! Fresh grapefruit juice features in many classic cocktails: it adds a unique hit of sweet and lends a pale pink color. Some drinks are full on pink grapefruit, while others use it as a background element. From the breezy refreshing Greyhound to the bold bourbon vibes of the Brown Derby, there’s a little something for everyone. Here’s our list of must-try drinks that feature this vibrant fruit.
Our favorite grapefruit cocktail: the Paloma! Cousin of the margarita, this easy Mexican cocktail recipe features tequila and grapefruit with a salt rim. This sweet tart and refreshing cocktail is perfect for anytime. The Paloma is traditionally made with grapefruit soda, but for an all natural spin this recipe uses grapefruit juice and soda water (and it’s easier to find!).
Ingredients: Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, soda water, simple syrup
Here’s a grapefruit cocktail that’s sweet, citrusy and just plain fun: the Brown Derby! This 1920’s retro drink is a tasty bourbon cocktail that tones down spicy whiskey with sweet grapefruit juice. The unique thing about this drink? It uses honey syrup instead of the traditional simple syrup, which adds complexity and mellow undertones. Serve this drink anytime: it’s the perfect signature drink for a party, or dilute it with soda water to make into a highball for brunch.
Here’s a refreshing grapefruit cocktail: the Greyhound! It’s citrusy and light, born sometime between the 1900's and 1930's. It works in any season: it can be beachy for summer, or throw in a rosemary branch and use winter citrus! This cocktail has just a few ingredients and is easy to mix up.
Here’s a tasty citrus spin on the margarita that might even be more fun to drink than the original. Try the Grapefruit Margarita! The sweet citrusy grapefruit flavor is perfectly balanced with tequila and lime, and the juice adds a lovely delicate pink flavor. It’s reminiscent of the Paloma, and in fact: it has many of the same ingredients. But the grapefruit marg is uniquely its own!
Ingredients: Tequila, Triple Sec or Cointreau, lime juice, grapefruit juice
Want a grapefruit cocktail that’s laid-back, tart and refreshing? Look no further than the Sea Breeze! It tastes just like its name: light, breezy, and all about no-frills vibes. This 1920's highball is perfect for happy hour with friends, a light brunch drink, or a little evening nightcap. Or mix up a big pitcher for a garden party or a weekend at the lake. Really anything goes here! Here’s how to make this zingy classic cocktail.
Here’s a tart, complex and refreshing grapefruit cocktail for the adventurous drinker: the Hemingway daiquiri! This 1920's classic cocktail is a spin on the Classic Daiquiri, invented in honor of the famous writer himself, Ernest Hemingway. It’s got tart, almost bitter grapefruit to balance the acidity of the lime, and maraschino liqueur, a cherry liqueur with notes of sour cherry and almond. There’s a lot going on flavor-wise, but it’s very easy to make.
Ingredients: White rum, grapefruit juice, lime juice, maraschino liqueur
Here's a favorite grapefruit cocktail: meet the Siesta! This unexpected combination of tequila, Campari and fresh citrus juice is deliciously intriguing. Each sip is balanced and refreshing, with a sweet tart body and a hint of bitter on the finish. One sip in, you'll be sold.
Ingredients: Campari, tequila, grapefruit juice and lime juice
Sure, you can buy grapefruit shandy at the store…but have you ever had one homemade? The shandy is a beer cocktail with hundreds of years of history. Nope, this concept was not invented by Leinenkugel! Adding a mixer to your beer is a concept that goes back centuries. The grapefruit shandy is a spin on a shandy using fresh squeezed juice or soda, and it comes out beautifully refreshing: perfect for summer sipping!
Ingredients: simple syrup, grapefruit juice, soda water, wheat beer
Want a grapefruit cocktail with a salted rim that’s not a margarita? Enter, the Salty Dog! This cocktail’s got a unique name and a beautiful pale pink color. It’s really not anything like a margarita, aside from that salt rim! It’s tangy and refreshing, perfect as a brunch drink or for happy hour. It’s got a light summery vibe, but it works in winter when citrus abounds. Really, it works anytime!
Ingredients: Grapefruit juice, gin, simple syrup (optional), salt rim
Always use fresh grapefruit juice!
In all of the grapefruit cocktails above, we stress this: use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice! As with any citrus, the bottled stuff just isn’t as good. Fresh grapefruit juice has just the right sweet, lightly tangy flavor. You’ll be glad you stocked up on grapefruits instead of the packaged juice.