Grapefruit Martini with a Kick

It’s summer, and I’m a sucker for refreshing martinis. If it has exotic-sounding ingredients, like hibiscus flower or jasmine-infused jicama, and it costs $14 at a fairly lackluster LA bar, chances are I’m going to want to order it.

An impromptu dinner party and a Costco bag of grapefruit I wanted to use up inspired me to search for a great grapefruit martini recipe.  I normally don’t follow drink recipes and just wing it. I mix yummy-seeming ingredients together and then make up a fancy name — like Sunset Spritzer Refresher or Cabo Tankini — however, I’ve discovered there may be some merit to mixologists saying certain alcohols or flavors don’t mix. Also, my guests feel a bit more comfortable when they know I’ve followed a recipe. I tend to have a heavy hand when I pour — a complaint I hear often from my friends, though they don’t seem to mind when a bartender commits this offense, so f them.

I found a few options online, like this Pink Grapefruit Martini and this Grapefruit and Basil Martini. The first one seemed a bit boring, and I’m not a huge fan of the simple syrup used in the second, so I decided to wing it — rules be damned!

Here are my adapted versions — that’s right I made 2! I aim to please guests with both a spicy and a mellow palate.

The spicy in the back and the mellow up front.

Spicy Grapefruit Martini

  • 1.5 ounces (1 shot) vodka
  • 0.5 ounces triple sec
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 thin slices jalapeno
  • splash of prosecco (or sparkling wine)
  1. Muddle 1 slice of jalapeno in the bottom of the shaker.
  2. Fill shaker with ice.
  3. Add vodka, triple sec and grapefruit juice.
  4. Shake what your mama gave you.
  5. Pour into martini glass, and add fresh jalapeno slice.
  6. Top with a splash of prosecco.

I did a heavy splash of prosecco; I like the bubbly. It tasted pretty good without the splash as well but the prosecco does add a nice summer-y, refreshing topper to it. For a spicier option, infuse the vodka with jalapeno beforehand — just toss some vodka in a glass, throw in the jalapeno slices, and let it all sit in the fridge for a couple hours.

For the more mellow-mouthed, a refreshing alternative is a Basil Grapefruit Martini. Follow the above recipe but replace the jalapeno with 2 or 3 basil leaves.

Esther after 3 Grapefruit Basil Martinis.

Esther after 3 Grapefruit Basil Martinis.

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