Well, the problem with the grapefruit, as a cocktail ingredient, is the difficulty of using a whole one in a single sitting, even with two eager drinkers.  Today, then, had to be another grapefruit day.  Luckily, I had just made new batches of both raspberry and pineapple syrup, the former of which is an essential ingredient in the Blinker, one of my favorite citrus cocktails.

Blinker (Vintage Spirits):

  • 2 oz rye whiskey (Redemption Rye – I really like this stuff)
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 2 barspoons raspberry syrup (use generous barspoons)
    Shake with ice, strain.

While I like the Palm Beach, the Blinker is really my preferred use of grapefruit juice (well, that and my cheater’s Zombie).  There is something about the gaminess of rye that really just calls out to be mixed with grapefruit juice.  I believe that grenadine is originally called for in this recipe, but Ted Haigh’s choice of raspberry syrup is really inspired.  The added floral complexity (mostly from alpha- and beta-ionones and rose ketones) really takes this over the top.  Even with my crummy Texas grapefruit, this was, as always, a winner.  Plus, the Redemption Rye is more than holding its own.  Young, peppery, and lively, but not quite as… intense as the Thomas Handy, my previous ringer.

Lately I’ve been on a Vintage Spirits kick.  I don’t know what it is; I’ve been feeling the urge to go back and make drinks I’ve made before.  Usually my prime motivator is variety, but I guess I’ve been doing this long enough, now, that the old drinks are feeling new-ish.  So this is a fairly propitious time to be doing this shoemaking “what we drank” series; I hope that it helps bring some oldies but goodies to some new people.  As soon as ol’ Benji at the Burlington Free Press shows himself, I’ll pounce on it like a kid at the Chuck-E-Cheese Mole Game.