Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail

Tip this cocktail toward your nose and there’s no mistaking the tangy, uplifting aroma of fresh grapefruit. Yet all the drink’s grapefruity notes come from a simple syrup made with just the rind of the fruit. We shake the syrup up with Hendrick’s gin, lemon juice, and a sprig of tarragon, and then top the drink off with sparkling wine for a wondrous drink. It has a sweet, ponderous complexity — lightly fruity, mildly herbaceous, a little floral — and a surprisingly dry finish.

As one of our tasters said, “Oh, that’s so delicate.”

Our tips: We’ve recommended Hendrick’s gin here because its flavors are more flowers and cucumber than juniper berry, so it won’t step on this aromatic drink’s delicate toes. A drier sparkling wine will also help preserve the drink’s pleasing sweet-dry balance.

Servings: 1


2 large ruby red or pink grapefruit
¼ cup sugar
2 oz gin (preferably Hendrick’s)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
1 sprig tarragon
2 oz French sparkling wine (such as Crémant de Bourgogne)
Ruby red or pink grapefruit wedge, for garnish


Using a vegetable peeler or a channel knife, remove the peel from one of the grapefruits in thin strips, taking some of the white pith with it.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and ¼ cup of water. Bring the syrup to a boil, swirling constantly, until the sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and add the grapefruit peel, pushing down to submerge. Let sit 30 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup.

Combine gin, lemon juice, tarragon, and a ½ ounce of the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.

Strain the cocktail into an old-fashioned or rocks glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Recipe source: Bon Appétit