Friday, December 14, 2012

Bourbon cocktails with grapefruit and mint

Here is the first of two holiday cocktails that we've been drinking this month. It's also the easy one! I had these ready to go in under 15 minutes.

I would never have voluntarily picked this combo even though I love our grapefruit and habanero tequila cocktail. But we were going to a Christmas party and I didn't have time to go to the store and we happened to have all these things on hand, almost. The gingerbread extravaganza had left me out of white sugar so I used brown instead and (even though I have nothing to compare it to) I think it was the right choice. Brown sugar and bourbon are a natural fit.


Bourbon Punch with Grapefruit and Mint (serves 8 - 10, recipe from here)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
15 fresh mint sprigs, half set aside
4 cups pink grapefruit juice, ideally unsweetened
2 1/2 cups bourbon (I used Bulleit)
12 dashes angostura bitters
1 cup club soda

:: Make your simple syrup: bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add half the mint. Swirl to wilt the mint. Set aside and allow to cool. Strain before adding to punch.

:: Combine grapefruit juice, bourbon and bitters in a large bowl. Add the strained simple syrup. Mix in the soda and the remaining mint sprigs. Serve cold or over ice.

Because we weren't using a punch bowl I just put the fresh mint sprigs directly in the bottles, poured the punch over them and then topped them off with the sparkling water.

We use these swing top bottles all the time for transporting cocktails and even for serving them at home. So much easier to travel with than a punch bowl and they fit in the fridge nicely if you need to make your punch ahead of time. Also good for storing leftovers, although that almost never happens.


  1. such a great idea to bring one of these bottles to a party - seems so much more manageable than making a giant jug worth, which is how i usually think of doing it.

  2. Holy yum. Can you drink it straight from the bottle?

  3. they look like they could also work as a great gift idea! it's on my must try list.

    also, (and i should preface this question by saying that I'm a nerd and I also happen to click on your flickr photos today)did you quietly change camera bodies? i noticed photos from the latter part of this year were shot with a D3200. maybe a flickr glitch? anywho. thanks for the rec on the drink!

    1. Not a Flickr glitch! My dearly beloved but much abused D40 has been dying over the several months and I was finally forced to get a new body back in October. I got the D3200 but I haven't posted about it yet because I'm still adjusting. I have to be honest - I really, really wish my D40 was still working because I don't love everything about the D3200 yet. Maybe we just need more time to get to know each other? They don't make the D40 anymore or I would have just gotten a new one.

      Yes, I am semi-whining about having a new camera. I'm totally aware of how bratty that is!

    2. It's a shame they don't make the D40 anymore. My Nikon is a D3000 (a sweet Christmas gift from my boyfriend two years ago) and I feel similarly about it. Perhaps I need to shoot more and understand how to best use it but sometimes I daydream about different camera bodies and realize it's a very silly thing to do (at least for me...) If you come around by it, I'd love to hear how the D3200 is workin out for you.

  4. This sounds delightful but I'm sweet of a cocktail is this?

    And I must get myself some of those swing-top bottles! I would've never thought to use them!

    1. The sweetness will vary widely based on your grapefruit juice, I think! I'd recommend going with an unsweetened juice if you want it to be hardly sweet at all (my preference) or a sweetened one if you like it that way.

      I normally use the Knudsen's grapefruit juice and it's definitely not sweet. If you use the TJ's ruby red grapefruit juice it will be sweeter but not as intensely sweet as standard grocery store grapefruit juice (which I think is usually mostly grape juice?!).

      Can you tell we've had some serious discussions about grapefruit juice in our house?

    2. HA! I love it. I generally hate most supermarket lemonades and grapefruit juices because I find them far too sweet. Diluting with water helps, but you lose the flavor of the fruit! I'll have to track down some Knudsen's here in Chicago.


  5. I love the bottles! It gives it such a personal touch.

  6. The swing top bottles are a great idea! And this looks like a nice twist on my favourite bourbon and ginger.

  7. I love the bottles. I buy a few Lorina lemonades ( to serve as non-alcoholic options when I entertain. When I'm done I just save the bottles. They clean up nice in the dishwasher too!

  8. sounds incredibly yummy! I'm trying to make myself like bourbon. Maybe I'll start here.

  9. I love the bottle idea and the drink is now on my list for new years! I went on the hunt for the bottles tonight and found some at Ikea for $3.99. They might be discontinuing them soon, though--there was a sign saying to get them before they're gone. Glad I did!

  10. Thanks for the recipe! I made this last night for a NYE party we went to and it was a huge hit.


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