Two summers ago, our good friend Mark introduced us to the ultimate summertime drink - gin and grapefruit juice. He'd make a few rounds and we'd play cards or admire the garden or maybe head down to the river for a dip - all good, classic summertime activities. The cocktail was the perfect accompaniment - simple, refreshing, light. In the glass, the grapefruit and gin act suprisingly mellow, neither one as tart or strong as when on its own. In fact, the drink tastes damn near healthy, and is a pretty light pink, and for all these reasons, I think it'd give any mimosa a run for its money on the brunch table.
The drink became popular enough that it made an appearance on the cocktail menu at the local coffee shop as the "Midnight Hixon," in honor of Mark. Doug and Mark often said that gin and grapefruit was the IPA drinker's cocktail - bitter, crisp, and slightly floral...and without the heaviness of too many beers. I was convinced it was an Amherst original until this July, when browsing through a recent issue of Bon Appetit, I found our cocktail re-imagined with a salted rim and the name "Salty Dog." I was thrilled, as I typically like all things salted (and also because I felt like we were in the know). But in this particular instance, the salt only detracted from the tart deliciousness of the drink I was familiar with.
A few weeks ago, we had a spate of late October mugginess that reminded me of the sweltering Jersey summer. I found a grapefruit languishing in the crisper and we toasted the official end of summer (and fall, really) with some gin and juice.
Gin and Grapefruit Juice
- 1.5 oz gin
- 3 oz grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
If you like a sweeter drink, you can add a splash of grenadine or simple syrup to cut the tartness. Otherwise, just stir and serve on the rocks (with a salt-rimmed glass, if you like that kind of thing).