It’s grapefruit season in Southern California and bartenders are taking advantage of the juicy orbs with a variety of cocktails. There are more than 20 varieties of grapefruit grown in the United States, and arguably some of the best come from our own Coachella Valley in shades from pale yellow to ruby red. The oro blancos are overflowing at the farmers markets now and ripe for inspired libations.
Here are eight ways to ring in National Repeal Day today with some healthy citrus sidekicks:
Breva and the bar in the Hotel Figueroa offer a gintonico program designed by Dushan Zaric, which pairs gin and tonics made from complementary fruits, spices and botanicals that are flash-infused with dry ice — a method called "freeze infusion."
The No. 3 combines grapefruit, rosemary, Balsam Fir and Three Cents grapefruit tonic. If you’re more into tequila, try the Paloma Quemada, made with Tapatio tequila blanco, grapefruit cordial, lime, Three Cents grapefruit soda, chili and lime.
Connie and Ted's has a new grapefruit cocktail that blends Plymouth gin with Fruitlab orange liqueur, house-made ginger syrup, lemon and grapefruit juice over crushed ice, topped with mint garnish. The Land and Sea classic also is on the menu, made with Edinburgh Seaside gin, Caperitif, grapefruit and thyme.
The Breakfast Paloma at E.P. & L.P. comes in either glass or pitcher portions for brunch and combines fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice with tequila and orange marmalade.
The new Inko Nito serves a tall and fizzy palomita with sakura tequila with lime and pink grapefruit, garnished with a juicy chunk of ruby red grapefruit. The fizz is already infused in the tequila on tap and results in a delicate bubble. Go for happy hour and nosh on great deals — the shishito peppers with lemon and furikake are a perfect match for the palomita.
To celebrate its long-awaited reopening after a kitchen fire, Rossoblu is serving a Campanula Sour with Finlandia Grapefruit, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice, fresh-pressed red bell pepper and mint.
Sotto lets you pick your poison with the spirit of your choice and Cynar, Pamplemousse, grapefruit, lemon and soda.
There’s a shandy at the Hearth & Hound that combines Aperol, grapefruit, elderflower, smoked salt and Radler beer.
And if you just want to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition in the comfort of your own speakeasy, here’s a recipe for Aunt Carol’s Coachella Grapefruit Basil Martini:
1 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
2 cups vodka
1 cup of fresh basil (stems and leaves)
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Crush basil with mortar and pestle and add to vodka to infuse for at least 1 to 2 hours.
Pour muddled vodka through a strainer into your shaker full of ice and shake it like crazy with 1 part juice to 2 parts vodka or to taste, adding a few drops of agave syrup depending on the sweetness of your grapefruit
When the exterior of the shaker is icy, and your fingers are numb from the cold, voila! your Basil Grapefruit Martini is ready!