So, in my book, that means it’s cocktail time!
This cocktail is a symbol of growth for me. I know that sounds odd, but hear me out…
As I mentioned recently, my fondness of grapefruit is sort of a new thing. I was NOT a fan for many, many years. One of the main reasons I decided to give them another shot was that I started to see all sorts of interesting cocktails using grapefruit popping up on Pinterest. I thought to myself “Well, if I’m going to try it, I may as well do it when it’s drowning in booze. Duh.” Always a good route to take when in doubt, people. In addition to that, a friend gave us a bottle of premium grapefruit-flavored vodka around the same time. The stars were aligning, my friends.
So, I started playing around with the flavors of grapefruit. I was surprised when I found myself actually enjoying the tart-bitter thang it had going on. I started out slow, mixing obvious combinations, such as the aforementioned vodka with fresh grapefruit juice and some simple syrup. It was delish. Then I worked my way up to some more daring cocktails involving the still-semi-questionable citrus fruit.
This brings me to gin. Now, gin is also a more recent enjoyment for me. I, like many people, always thought it tasted like straight-up pine needles, and that was NOT appealing to me in the least. One of my best friends, though, always drank gin. In fact, when she was feelin’ saucy, she would declare certain nights out (in our early twenties, mind you) “A Tanqueray Kinda Night.” We all knew what that meant. We’d all laugh and sip on our much safer cocktails (or special-of-the-night light beers) as she barreled her way through a bottle of the pine juice. OK, maybe not a whole bottle…but enough of the bottle to make a dent.
It wasn’t until retro cocktails starting showing up EVERYWHERE that I decided I needed to give gin another shot (pun intended, har har). It seemed like all of a sudden there were all sorts of trendy “speakeasy”-style places serving these really cool, old-fashioned cocktails. So, with much hesitation, I decided to try an old-school gin fizz. The guy making it even threw some raw egg whites into the shaker! LEGIT. Much to my surprise (and glee!), I LOVED IT. My cocktail-lovin’ self was reborn.
From there, I started making all sorts of gin concoctions at home. This is one of my FAVORITES. The floral, herby notes of the gin pair SO perfectly with the grapefruit and thyme flavors. It’s perfection.
Plus, it represents some personal evolution for me. I now like two things that I deemed in my younger years to be “gross.” Doubly exciting.
If this drink sounds just a little too strange to you, you could certainly swap some of the ingredients for something else…or, challenge yourself to try something new and different! You might be surprised!
Personal growth and cocktails. Deep stuff on the blog today. Hah.
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
The thyme simple syrup
1 large grapefruit
¼ cup grapefruit-flavored vodka (plain vodka works too!)
¼ cup gin (I like Hendrick’s)
Grapefruit slices, for garnish
4 fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
Pomegranate arils, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine the thyme sprigs, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Squeeze the juice of the grapefruit into a shaker filled with ice.
Add the vodka, gin, and 1-2 tablespoons of the simple syrup (to taste – shake, taste, and add more if not sweet enough).
Shake well and pour into two chilled glasses.
Top each off with a little club soda and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs, grapefruit slices, and pomegranate arils (all optional but super festive!).