Christmas is fast approaching and for my edible gifts this year I have been experimenting with making my own candied peel, but Sssh, it’s a surprise so don’t tell anyone, ok? There is a problem associated with all this creativity in the kitchen though and that is what to do with all my freshly squeezed fruit juice. Well, this could be a problem if you weren’t a fiend for the cocktails. Luckily I am, so I have no issue finding a home for all these delicious fresh juices.
This particular batch of candied peel was ruby grapefruit and lemons. I didn’t need the lemon juice straight away so I poured it into an ice cube tray and froze it for a future cocktail emergency. I couldn’t bring myself to be so sensible and squirrel-like with the grapefruit juice though; in truth, after all the stirring of fruit peel, I just wanted to combine it with a large slug of vodka and be done with it. However, readers of this blog have read quite a few posts about us knocking back large amounts of spirits so I decided to try something a little more exotic.
I realise the small quantity of grapefruit juice in this cocktail won’t use up your oversupply particularly quickly but you’ll probably need a few cocktails after all that slaving over your Christmas gifts. I found the addition of the honey and grenadine balanced the sharp and bitter flavours of the grapefruit really well. I think the grapefruit could also work well with fresh rosemary in place of the mint. A reward to look forward to after my next batch of candied peel.
grapefruit julep (difford's guide)
2 shots vodka
1 bar spoon honey
6 mint leaves
¾ shot fresh grapefruit juice
½ shot fresh lime juice
½ shot grenadine
Stir the vodka with the honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until the honey dissolves. Add the mint leaves, the grapefruit and lime juice, the grenadine and a handful of ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a Collins glass (do not strain out the ice) and top up with more ice cubes if required.