Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's 5 o'clock somewhere - Grapefruit and Rum Cocktail

I wouldn't call myself much of a cocktail girl.  I enjoy them from time to time, but I have a very small build and Asian genetics, which means that it doesn't take much for me to get tipsy.  And when I say that it doesn't take much, I mean it only takes about one cocktail.  As such, I don't casually indulge in happy hour or after dinner drinks, and normally choose to just abstain from drinking.  But sometimes, after a long day, available supplies and the alignment of the stars make it such that I come home and decide to mix myself a drink.  (For my parents who are reading this, you know your little girl is all grown up when she starts posting recipes for cocktails on her blog.)

Now, wikipedia defines a cocktail as a mixture of liquor, sugar, water, and bitters.  I'm no expert on alcoholic beverages, but I'm going to go ahead and call this concoction a cocktail because it's vaguely similar to a mojito and I know mojitos are cocktails.

The idea for this drink came about simply because I currently have an abundance of grapefruits on hand.  A family friend who lives about 10 minutes away from me stopped by almost two weeks ago and dropped off 13 grapefruits.  For just me.  I told her it was too much, but she insisted that I take them. So I've been eating a lot of grapefruit.  Needless to say, I don't think I'll be developing scurvy any time soon.

Today, I still had four left, and as I was segmenting them into a bowl, I thought to myself that I wanted to do something else with the fruit than just mix it with honey and eat it.  It occurred to me that the grapefruit juice would probably make a great base for a drink.  The only alcohol I ever really keep on hand is rum, and so I thought I would make something vaguely like a mojito.  In the summer, my mom and I often make mojitos at home.  We let the sugar, muddled mint, and lime juice marinate in the fridge for a few hours before mixing our drinks and we sip at them while playing Scrabble.  We live very exciting lives.  But I digress.

I reduced the grapefruit juice with a little bit of sugar down to a syrup and then combined that with some rum and seltzer and it made a delicious little end-of-the-day cocktail that I'm now sharing with you.  You can play around with the ratios a little bit, but I like the balance of sweet, sour, and alcohol that the recipe below provides.  The resulting grapefruit and rum cocktail has an absolutely gorgeous color, and it tastes crisp and refreshing.

 Grapefruit and Rum Cocktail
serves two

1 cup grapefruit juice (requires about 4 fresh grapefruits)
3 tbsp sugar
1 cup seltzer
2 shots of rum
optional: additional sugar to garnish glasses

Combine the grapefruit juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by two-thirds.  This should take about 8-10 minutes.  Stir, sing, relax.  It's very Zen.  It will be done when it has thickened to a syrupy consistency.
Allow the reduced grapefruit juice to cool.  It you want to be very precise, you can measure it to make sure you have about one-third of a cup.

Optional: Use one of the rinds of the grapefruit you juiced to wet the rim of your martini glasses.  Take the pithy side (where the flesh was/is) and run it just around the edge of the glass.  Now dip the glass upside down into a plate of sugar and twirl it.  This is how you rim a glass with sugar.  Tap once to shake off any excess and then leave your glasses alone so that the sugar can dry.

Now the amounts for individual serving of this cocktail are as follows: 1 shot of rum, 1 shot of grapefruit syrup, 1/2 cup of seltzer.  You can combine in one of the two following methods.
1) Fancy route: shake up the rum and grapefruit syrup with some ice in a cocktail shaker.  Pour into your martini glass.  Top with seltzer.
2) Lazy route: combine the seltzer, rum, and grapefruit syrup (in that order) in your martini glass, then stir gently to combine.

If you're feeling even more fancy, the grapefruit syrup will settle naturally to the bottom of the glass so you can layer your syrup, seltzer, and rum in the glass.


  1. ... and for teachers who tend to think of all of their students as their kids on some level ... sigh ... yes, you are all grown up. And this looks delicious - I'd like one right now!

    1. haha, yes it does seem that I am growing up. But don't worry, I'm embracing my fleeting childhood with all my might. I have no desire to rush into the world of car payments and morgages!