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Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

Grapefruits have been around since ancient times.

They were first cultivated in Asia and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America.

What Is A Grapefruit Cocktail?

A grapefruit cocktail is simply a chilled drink that combines the juice of one fresh grapefruit with other flavors such as sugar syrup or liqueur.

Grapefruit cocktails are often served at parties and celebrations because they’re so refreshing.

The name “grapefruit cocktail” comes from how these drinks were originally made.

Back in the day, people would mix their own juices by crushing up the fruit and adding some alcohol (like rum) and sugar water.

If you want a little more flavor than this basic version offers, try making a grapefruit cocktail infused with citrus oils like lemon or lime instead.

How Do You Make A Grapefruit Cocktail?

A good way to get started on this project would be to buy some fresh grapefruit juice from the grocery store, if possible.

Otherwise, you can use frozen grapefruit juice instead.

Step 1: Peel Your Grapefruit

Next, take a sharp knife and cut off all of the skin surrounding the fruit.

Then place one-half of your freshly peeled grapefruit into an empty bowl.

Once you’ve done that, gently squeeze the remaining half of the grapefruit over the top of your other half.

You should end up having two halves of grapefruit.

Step 2: Juice It Up

The next step will involve juicing both halves of your grapefruit.

Take a large spoon and carefully remove as much flesh from each half as you possibly can.

If there’s too much pulp left behind, don’t worry – we’ll clean it out later.

After removing as much pulp as you can, put the contents of your bowls back together.

Now take your citrus juicer (or blender) and fill it halfway full with water.

Add about four tablespoons of sugar to the bottom of the container.

The sweetener helps to prevent bacteria growth while you’re working through the rest of the process.

Now add the pulp from your grapefruit mixture.

Next, pour about a cup of ice tea into another small bowl.

Finally, fill your citrus juicer/blender all the way up to its maximum capacity with the grapefruit mix.

Give everything a quick stir and then run the machine until the liquid comes to a complete stop.

As soon as the drink stops moving, strain the mix using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.

Don’t forget to discard the bitter seeds at the bottom of the glass.

What Are The Ingredients In A Grapefruit Cocktail?

The basic ingredients in this grapefruit cocktail include fresh lime juice, sugar, club soda (or seltzer water), simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

A splash of grenadine is optional but recommended if you want a little extra kick from the alcohol content.

You can use either regular limes or key limes when making this cocktail.

The difference between them is that key limes contain more pectin than standard limes which will help thicken the drink better.

To make one serving of this refreshing beverage, start by cutting off the top and bottom ends of each half of a grapefruit.

Then cut along both sides of the fruit so that it’s all exposed.

Next, squeeze out the excess pulp into a bowl using a citrus squeezer or hand-held blender.

Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the lime juice, 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the sugar, 3 ounces (90ml) of club soda (or seltzer water), 2 teaspoons (10ml) of the simple syrup and 1 tablespoon (15ml) of grenadine to the grapefruit juice mixture.

Mix well until combined.

Pour into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with a slice of grapefruit on top.

What Is The History Of The Grapefruit Cocktail?

The grapefruit was originally found growing wild on trees along the coast of Southeast Asia from Thailand all the way through Indonesia.

The fruit has also been cultivated in China for more than 2,000 years and today it’s grown in over 100 countries worldwide.

Today, most people know about its sweet citrus flavor and unique shape.

While there aren’t many types of grapefruit available commercially, each type has a different name.

For example, the blood orange (also known as Cara Cara) is slightly sweeter and brighter in color than other varieties like the ruby red grapefruit.

It can range anywhere between pinkish-red and deep purple depending on where you buy it.

When choosing which variety to use in this recipe, select one that tastes good to you.

If you don’t want to spend money on a specific kind of grapefruit, go ahead and substitute another citrus fruit instead.

How Did The Grapefruit Cocktail Come To Be?

The grapefruit cocktail was developed as a way to use up surplus fruit from Florida’s citrus industry during Prohibition.

The cocktail became popular during the 1930s when bartenders began mixing different spirits into them.

It wasn’t until after World War II that the cocktail fell out of popularity due to concerns over alcohol abuse among servicemen returning home.


During Prohibition, Americans couldn’t legally buy hard liquor.

Instead, they had to drink what was called “moonshine whiskey,” which consisted mostly of water and sugar mixed together.

Moonshiners would sometimes take surplus grapes and add them to their moonshine to make it taste more like wine.

In order to get rid of this surplus fruit, bartenders started using it in cocktails.

In addition to adding flavor, the pulp could help dilute the spirit, reducing its potency.

As a result, the cocktail gained new life by being made with less-potent spirits such as vodka, gin, rum, and brandy.

Postwar Era

After WWII ended, the number of soldiers returning home increased dramatically.

During this time period, many people used their GI Bill benefits to attend college, meaning there was an influx of young adults looking for jobs.

For these reasons, the cocktail experienced another resurgence following World War II.

As the country transitioned back to normalcy, bars across the nation began making the grapefruit cocktail again.

However, instead of offering it only at happy hour, they offered it all night long.

By the 1950s, the grapefruit cocktail was considered one of the most popular drinks on the menu.

Who Created The Grapefruit Cocktail?

The grapefruit cocktail was invented by Harry Johnson of New Orleans in 1892.

He added lime juice and sugar to his favorite drink, which he called “a good old fashioned sour” but made with gin instead of rum.

It became one of the most popular drinks at that time because of its refreshing taste.

Many other variations on this classic beverage came along over the years.

The original version consisted of equal parts grapefruit juice, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Some recipes call for more than three juices, while others use different citrus fruits such as oranges or kumquats.

Grapefruit cocktails are also available without alcohol.

There are many great grapefruit cocktail recipes out there, so we decided to find out who created them all.

We gathered some interesting facts about this famous drink and put together an interactive timeline showing how it evolved from being nothing more than a sour to becoming what it is today – the quintessential summertime refreshment.

What Is The Most Popular Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe?

The most popular grapefruit cocktail recipe can trace its roots back to 1874 when a bartender named Harry Johnson invented the drink at his bar in New Orleans.

The original recipe called for equal parts fresh lime juice, sugar syrup (equal parts water and sugar), and bitters.

The cocktail was so well-received that by 1900, people were ordering it in restaurants all over the country.

In fact, many bars still serve this classic cocktail today.

It’s also not uncommon to find grapefruit cocktails made with vodka instead of gin.

And while you may think that adding rum would ruin the flavor, a recent study found that it actually enhances the taste of the cocktail.

But what about the grapefruit itself?

Some bartenders add grapefruit zest or even make their own grapefruit juice from scratch, but there are plenty of ways to get the same sweet citrusy punch without having to go through those extra steps.

What Are Some Variations Of The Grapefruit Cocktail?

There are many different versions of this classic drink.

The grapefruit cocktail can range from sweet and sour to tart and savory.

You’ll find that there are two basic types of recipes — one uses fresh fruit and another uses juice (and sometimes pulp).

  • Fresh-Fruit Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe: This recipe calls for freshly squeezed grapefruit juice along with sugar, lime juice, and bitters. It also includes a small amount of rum if you prefer. If you don’t want to use alcohol, substitute orange juice instead.
  • Juice/Pulp Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe: This version uses canned grapefruit juice mixed with sugar and lemon juice. There are several variations on this type of recipe. Some add more citrus juices like orange, while others add pineapple juice. However, all include either vodka or tequila as an ingredient.

The following sections will discuss both options and how they differ.

1. Fresh-Fruit Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

To make a traditional fresh-fruit grapefruit cocktail, start by squeezing 1 large grapefruit into a bowl.

Add enough water to cover the fruit.

Then place the bowl over a pot filled with simmering water.

Allow the grapefruit mixture to sit until cool enough to handle.

Remove the skin using a paring knife and discard.

Next, slice the remaining flesh of the grapefruit and separate the segments into smaller pieces.

Next, combine the grapefruit segments with 2 tablespoons of sugar per cup of fruit.

Stir well so that each piece has a bit of sugar on it.

Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Once the time is up, stir again and strain the mixture through cheesecloth.

Pour the strained liquid back into the original container and refrigerate overnight.

Once chilled, pour off any excess liquid and enjoy!

2.Juice/Pulp Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

If you choose to go the route of adding canned grapefruit juice to the mix, you won’t need to worry about straining out the seeds.

Simply open the bottle and shake thoroughly.

Use within 24 hours after opening.

You may also opt to add a splash of club soda instead of plain water.

Just remember not to exceed three ounces of added carbonation per serving.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of A Grapefruit Cocktail?

The nutritional value of a grapefruit cocktail depends on how you prepare and consume it.

If you eat one whole grapefruit straight from the skin, you will get about 150 calories and 30 grams of carbs, which makes this fruit an excellent snack option.

If you choose to drink the juice of a grapefruit, that’ll give you more than 600 calories and almost 100 grams of carbohydrates (which isn’t too bad).

The amount of vitamins and minerals found in a grapefruit also varies depending on whether it was eaten raw or juiced.

A glass of plain water has no added nutrients but can help hydrate you after eating a meal.

How many calories does a grapefruit cocktail contain?

Here’s what a single serving contains:

  • 150 calories
  • 30 grams of sugar
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 10% DV vitamin C
  • 8% DV calcium
  • 1 gram of fiber

As you can see, there aren’t very many nutrition facts listed here because most of these nutrients come from the pulp and rind of the grapefruit itself.

That means if you remove all those parts, you won’t find much traceable information regarding its overall nutritional content.

What Are The Health Benefits Of A Grapefruit Cocktail?

A grapefruit cocktail combines two super foods into one drink that provides many benefits.

It contains vitamin C which helps boost immunity as well as fight off colds and flu symptoms.

Vitamin C also plays an important role in tissue formation and repair so it can help prevent wrinkles by helping skin cells regenerate themselves.

The antioxidants found in grapefruit help reduce inflammation and aid in fighting cancer-causing free radicals.

Free radicals cause DNA damage leading to cell degeneration which may lead to disease development.

Grapefruit juice has long been known to lower cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

Grapefruit juice also aids digestion and reduces gas production.

Finally, grapefruit contain fiber which helps keep you full longer and prevents overeating.

So if you’re looking for a healthy snack or beverage to enjoy during hot summer days, this delicious grapefruit cocktail is perfect for anyone seeking some nutrients without much effort on their part!

Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe

Grapefruits have been around since ancient times. They were first cultivated in Asia and then spread throughout Europe before arriving in North America.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Grapefruit Cocktail Recipe
Servings: 2
Calories: 92kcal


  • 1/2 ounces fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur
  • 2 ounces vodka


  • In a cocktail shaker, stir together the vodka, orange liqueur, grapefruit and lemon juices, and 1 tablespoon crushed ice. To taste, add a little extra fruit juice or vodka. Garnish with grapefruit and strain into a martini glass that has been chilled. Enjoy!



Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.04mg
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