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Grapefruit Gin Cocktail

On the ninth day of Christmas drinking I baked my ass off and then made myself a gigantic and delicious grapefruit gin cocktail. It was well deserved.

Just in case you didn’t know, all of these cocktails, while made for parties, are perfectly acceptable to drink any night (or day) of the week. This went down quite nice after a full day of working, baking and wrapping. So basically, working, working and working.

Much like bourbon, I am not a fan of gin. Just saying it right now flips my stomach round and round. But I am so vodka heavy on the cocktails this year, I thought why the hell not try gin. And I was pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed it. The simple syrup was bright and citrusy. The sage added a little savory element, but wasn’t overwhelming.

And I mean, who doesn’t love grapefruit covered in sugar. And I will tell you what, brulee-ing grapefruit is even better. It gets a crunchy, caramel-y top that you will love. I read about making grapefruit halves this way a few years ago here and have been eating them like this ever since. That garnish…AMAZING! It is like a little dessert to go along with your drink!


Grapefruit gin cocktail


For the simple syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • juice of one grapefruit and the peel of it also
  • handful of sage leaves

For the cocktail

  • 1/4 cup grapefruit simple syrup
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • Soda water or even better grapefruit italian soda or grapefruit flavored soda water

For the bruleed grapefruit garnish

  • one grapefruit sliced into circles about 1/4 inch or so thick
  • sugar
  • a kitchen torch


  1. To make the simple syrup, combine the sugar, water, grapefruit peel and sage leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until all the sugar disolves and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Put through a strainer and cool this completely. You can store this in a jar in your fridge for weeks.
  2. To make the cocktail, in a cocktail shaker combine the simple syrup and gin. Shake well. Pour into two glasses over ice and top with soda water and mix gently.
  3. For the garnish, lay the grapefruit rounds on a heatproof surface and sprinkle sugar over the top. The whole thing should be completely covered in sugar - it will end up being more sugar than you think. Torch the sugar until bubbly and caramel in color. Let cool until the brunt sugar is hardened and shiny (kind of will look like glass, think top of the french dessert creme brulee).

Need a quick dessert cocktail? See the two white russians here and here.



Let me know whatcha think!