Wednesday Cocktail: Grapefruit SideSunset

Good morning, Wednesday! Today might not be everyone’s favourite day of the week, but I happen to quite like Wednesdays: Monday and Tuesday I am trying to catch up of everything I didn’t get done on the weekend, and by the time Wednesday rolls around, I am ready to just sit down and have a drink. Luckily for you, I have provided the receipt* for such a drink, below (the ‘archaic’ [according to Google] definition of ‘receipt’ is a recipe, and it sounds so quaint and old-fashioned, much like the resurgence in old-fashioned cocktails and vintage glassware).

I would like to say I invented this particular drink, but am realistic enough to know that it is highly unlikely that I am the first person to have come up with this combination of ingredients. However, I can truthfully say that although I drew inspiration from a variety of other recipes, I have not come across one that is the same as this. Therefore, I call it my own and my own it shall be. It follows:

Grapefruit SideSunsetGrapefruit SideSunset

Inspiration: Grapefruit, St Germain

Tasting notes (my own, so rather amateurish I’m afraid): St Germain: smells like lychee; sweet honey, nectar, small kick at the end

I thought the St Germain would go great with the grapefruit juice, since it is fresh and, well, juicy-tasting, but also not too sweet, so they would balance out. I added in some local parlour gin to bring out some herbal notes, and complemented this with a sage simple syrup and a few basil leaves, as well as some bitters. Lastly, I added the bourbon for some depth (and because I can’t seem to make a drink without bourbon; go figure). The final drink came out a pale pink/peach colour; it is nicely balanced, with just the right note between sweet, bitter, herbal, and boozy. It drinks gently at first, but will wallop you in the head after a few; yes, I may know this from personal experience. The list of ingredients is rather longer than one might expect, but mostly pulls from regular things that would be (or should be) at home, except for perhaps the St Germain and the bitters.

Grapefruit SideSunsetIngredients:

(assuming 1 oz = 1 shot)

Gin, 1 oz

St Germain (elderflower liqueur), 1/2 oz

Bourbon, 1/2 oz

Grapefruit juice, 2 oz

3 basil leaves, one very small

Sage simple syrup, 1 tsp

Moondog bitters**, 8 drops

Combine everything except small basil leaf in a cocktail shaker with several ice cubes. Shake until shaker is frosty (approx 20 sec), then strain into a nice-looking cocktail glass (preferably a coupe) and float the little basil leaf on top. This theoretically makes one drink, but the glass I used was pretty small so this amount actually made 3 drinks. So, it will either make one drink in a very big glass for a very thirsty person, or two drinks with some to top up.

**Moondog bitters come from the Bittered Sling line of bitters, and have an herbally/flowery/lemony flavour (my words, not theirs; their words are that it is “smokey, earthy, and complex”). You could either substitute similarly herbal bitters, or put a few more herbs in the cocktail shaker (such as a small piece of sage or thyme, or maybe some dried lavender flowers). I’m not really sure how best to categorize this drink; looking at this page from Serious Eats, this would probably be considered some sort of “Duo”, but if you tilt your head to the left and squint a little, this drink has some similarities to the Sidecar.

I’ve noticed from reading a few cocktail books that the type of alcohol (i.e. Hendricks gin, or Mount Gay rum) is often specified; I think this is totally ridiculous because how many people have 8 different types of gin at home? So I leave it up to you to decide which type of each you would like to use. Obviously, the better the quality of the ingredients, the better the drink will taste.

I’ve also noticed that most cocktail recipes that use bitters call for a ‘dash’; how much exactly is a dash? I think I read somewhere that a dash is 1/8 of a tsp, but that’s also ridiculous, because who is going to whip out a teeny measuring spoon when making a cocktail; the whole point is to relax, not stress about eighths of a teaspoon! Gah. Most of my bitters come in dropper bottles, so I will specify the number of drops I added.

Enjoy a lovely cocktail this evening; in the meantime, stay thirsty and stay delicious!


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