Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe With Our Best Variations

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Gin and grapefruit make for a delightful duo in the world of mixology. The tangy sweetness of grapefruit perfectly complements the botanical notes of gin, resulting in a refreshing and balanced cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. In this blog post, we will explore the history of the gin and grapefruit cocktail, discuss the key ingredients, provide step-by-step instructions on how to make it, and offer some creative variations to try. So, grab your cocktail shaker and let’s dive into the wonderful world of gin and grapefruit cocktails!

The History of Gin and Grapefruit Cocktails

Gin, a spirit flavored with juniper berries and other botanicals, has a long and storied history dating back to the 17th century. It originated in the Netherlands and quickly gained popularity in England, where it became known as “mother’s ruin” due to its widespread consumption. Over the centuries, gin has evolved into a versatile base spirit used in a wide range of cocktails.

Grapefruit, on the other hand, is a relatively modern addition to the cocktail scene. While citrus fruits have been used in cocktails for centuries, grapefruit’s unique flavor profile didn’t become popular until the 20th century. Today, grapefruit is prized for its tangy sweetness and vibrant acidity, making it a perfect pairing for gin in cocktails.

The exact origins of the gin and grapefruit cocktail are unclear, but it likely emerged during the mid-20th century cocktail revival. Bartenders began experimenting with new flavor combinations, leading to the creation of innovative cocktails that showcased the versatility of gin and grapefruit.

Key Ingredients

To make a classic gin and grapefruit cocktail, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Gin: Choose a high-quality gin with a balanced botanical profile. London dry gin is a popular choice, but feel free to experiment with different styles to find your favorite.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is preferred for its vibrant flavor, but store-bought juice can also be used in a pinch. Opt for ruby red grapefruit for a sweeter cocktail or white grapefruit for a more tart flavor.
  • Simple Syrup: This sweetener helps balance the acidity of the grapefruit juice and rounds out the flavors of the cocktail. You can make your own simple syrup by dissolving equal parts sugar and water over low heat until combined.
  • Club Soda: Adding a splash of club soda adds effervescence to the cocktail, making it light and refreshing.
  • Garnish: A slice of grapefruit or a sprig of fresh mint makes for a beautiful and aromatic garnish that enhances the visual appeal of the cocktail.

Equipment Needed

Making a delicious gin and grapefruit cocktail doesn’t require fancy equipment. Here are the essential tools you’ll need to whip up this refreshing drink:

  • Cocktail Shaker: A cocktail shaker is essential for mixing the ingredients together and chilling the cocktail to perfection. Opt for a shaker with a built-in strainer for easy pouring.
  • Jigger: A jigger is a small measuring device used to accurately measure the ingredients for your cocktail. Look for a jigger with clearly marked measurements to ensure precise pours.
  • Citrus Squeezer: If you’re using fresh grapefruit juice, a citrus squeezer will come in handy for extracting every last drop of juice from your fruit. Choose a sturdy squeezer made from durable materials like stainless steel.
  • Bar Spoon: While not strictly necessary, a bar spoon can be useful for gently stirring the cocktail and incorporating any additional ingredients or garnishes.
  • Ice: Last but not least, don’t forget the ice! Quality ice is essential for chilling your cocktail and ensuring that it stays cold and refreshing until the last sip. Invest in a good ice cube tray or consider using large format ice cubes for a more sophisticated presentation.

Recipe: Classic Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail

Refreshingly Sophisticated: Grapefruit Cocktail with a Hint of Rosemary

Now that you have gathered your ingredients, it’s time to make your own classic gin and grapefruit cocktail. Follow these simple steps:


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
  • Splash of Club Soda
  • Grapefruit Slice, for garnish


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the gin, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup to the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass filled with ice.
  5. Top with a splash of club soda.
  6. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.

Creative Variations

While the classic gin and grapefruit cocktail is delicious on its own, there are endless variations to explore. Here are a few creative twists to try:

Elderflower Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail

Grapefruit & Elderflower Gin Spritz – Bjorn Bites & Booze

Substitute elderflower liqueur for the simple syrup for a floral and fragrant variation on the classic cocktail.


  • 2 ounces gin or vodka
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice (100% pure)
  • 1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • Ice
  • Optional: Fresh sprig of rosemary, tarragon, lavender, or sage for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin (or vodka), grapefruit juice, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.
  2. Add a few cubes of ice to the shaker.
  3. Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 10 seconds to combine and chill the mixture.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a glass filled with ice cubes.
  5. Optionally, garnish the drink with a fresh sprig of rosemary, tarragon, lavender, or sage.

Spicy Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail


Add a few slices of jalapeño to the shaker for a spicy kick that balances the sweetness of the grapefruit juice.

Here’s the recipe for a Pepper Blossom Cocktail:


  • 2 oz gin
  • 3 or 4 slices of jalapeño, seeds removed
  • 4 or 5 large basil leaves
  • 1 oz St. Germain
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice
  • Club soda (optional)
  • Sugar for rimming (optional)


  1. In a liquid measuring cup, add the gin, jalapeño slices, and basil leaves. Use a muddler to gently crush the jalapeño slices and basil leaves to release their flavors. Let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes to infuse.
  2. If desired, rim a glass with grapefruit juice and coat with sugar for an extra sweet touch.
  3. Fill the rimmed glass with ice cubes.
  4. Strain the infused gin mixture into a cocktail shaker. Add the St. Germain and grapefruit juice.
  5. Shake or stir the mixture well to combine all the flavors.
  6. Pour the cocktail into the prepared glass over ice.
  7. Optionally, top off the cocktail with a splash of club soda for a bit of effervescence.
  8. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño or a basil leaf if desired.
  9. Serve and enjoy responsibly!

This Pepper Blossom Cocktail offers a delightful balance of spicy jalapeño, aromatic basil, and tangy grapefruit, perfect for refreshing your palate on a warm day.

Smoky Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail

Grapefruit Gin and Tonic | Bourbon and Honey

Float a splash of smoky mezcal on top of the cocktail for a complex and intriguing flavor profile.


  • 1 half-wheel slice of pink grapefruit
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1⁄2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. tonic water
  • 2 oz. soda water
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Build a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill to medium. Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Place the slice of pink grapefruit on the grill and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, approximately 1 minute per side. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  4. Add the gin and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice to the glass.
  5. Top with tonic water and soda water.
  6. Garnish the cocktail with the grilled grapefruit slice, and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top.
  7. Stir gently to combine the flavors.

Herbaceous Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail

Grapefruit Gin & Tonic with Rosemary Simple Syrup – Chalkfulloflove

Muddle fresh basil or rosemary in the bottom of the shaker before adding the other ingredients for an herbaceous twist on the classic cocktail.

This refreshing cocktail combines the botanical essence of gin with the vibrant tang of fresh grapefruit, enhanced by herbaceous notes for a delightful twist.


  • 2 oz Gin (preferably a botanical-forward gin)
  • 1 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz Elderflower Liqueur (such as St-Germain)
  • 1/4 oz Aperol
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of Orange bitters
  • Sparkling water (to top up)
  • Grapefruit twist and fresh thyme sprig (for garnish)


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice to chill it.
  2. Add the gin, fresh grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, Aperol, lime juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters into the shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds until well chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled Collins glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Top up with a splash of sparkling water for a gentle effervescence.
  6. Express the oils of a grapefruit twist over the glass, then drop it in.
  7. Gently clap the thyme sprig between your hands to release its aroma and place it as a garnish.
  8. Serve immediately, inviting your guests to stir the thyme sprig into their drink to infuse a subtle herbaceous note.

Enjoy the Herbaceous Gin and Grapefruit Cocktail, a delightful blend of flavors perfect for any occasion!


The gin and grapefruit cocktail is a versatile and refreshing drink that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you prefer the classic combination of gin, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup or want to experiment with creative variations, there is no wrong way to enjoy this delightful cocktail. So, gather your ingredients, shake up a drink, and toast to the wonderful pairing of gin and grapefruit!