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9 Perfectly Delicious Grapefruit Cocktails for Winter Sipping

When it's cold and dreary out, let your seasonal citrus shine.

Brown Derby cocktail
Brown Derby. Image: / Tim Nusog

Winter is prime time for grapefruit. These juicy orbs come in white, yellow, pink and ruby red. Fun fact: While they're all good for you, the ones with darker pulp contain more nutrients, namely beta carotene. Grapefruits of all colors are packed with antioxidants and bursting with flavor. (Literally bursting: Grapefruits have more water in them than almost any other fruit.) And getting that extra vitamin C boost is especially key during cold season.

Good for breakfast, grapefruit is even better when added to cocktails. From a bourbon-and-honey Los Angeles classic to contemporary reconsiderations of the Negroni, these nine recipes will have you hoarding that sweet-tart citrus.

  • Banker’s Lunch

    Banker's Lunch cocktail

    ​ / Tim Nusog

    Despite the name, there's an argument to be made for having this cocktail with any meal. Braced by a crisp vodka backbone, the Banker’s Lunch nods to the dinnertime Martini with a half-ounce of dry vermouth, but ultimately circles back to breakfast with the inclusion of orange liqueur and grapefruit juice. Shake one up and enjoy any time of day.

  • Grapefruit Negroni

    Grapefruit Negroni cocktail

    Kathy Casey 

    The bracing, bitter classic was originally created for Count Camillo Negroni in the years between the two World Wars, and was itself a boozier spin on the Italian count’s regular order: The Americano. Clearly, the recipe lends itself to experimentation. It works swimmingly with bourbon, as in the Boulevardier, or with prosecco in a Negroni Sbagliato. This variation throws grapefruit into the mix, doubling down on the Campari's bitterness.

  • Vida Paloma

    Vida Paloma cocktail

     Olivia Romano

    If you’ve never had a standard Paloma, remedy that immediately. Tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda are a simple way to utter refreshment. During the colder months, go for this variation on the Mexican classic, which combines smoky mezcal with fresh grapefruit juice and a spicy chile piquín rim. The dried and crushed hot pepper has a smoky-citrusy flavor, complementing the zippy contents of the glass.

  • Kilbeggan Secret Sour

    Kilbeggan Secret Sour cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Created by star bartender Joaquín Simó, this curious take on a classic Whiskey Sour takes some liberties—in a good way. The Irish whiskey Kilbeggan forms the drink's base, to which simple syrup and lemon are added, along with dry vermouth and grapefruit juice. The mixture is given a stiff shake, then served on the rocks in a Collins glass with a bit of soda on top. A secret worth sharing.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • Platinum Blond

    Platinum Blond cocktail

    ​ Il Posto

    Grapefruit-and-rosemary-infused vodka gets a splash of elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh grapefruit juice for a tart, herbaceous sipper. The infused vodka calls for a sous-vide bath, but you don't need professional kitchen equipment––just some heat-proof resealable bags and a warm bath for cooking.

  • Salty Dog

    Salty Dog cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This easy mix of vodka or gin and grapefruit juice features a coarse sea salt rim, which is what gives the drink its gritty name. The cocktail is a variation on a classic Greyhound, a version believed to date back to the 1950s. And that name? A reference to a gruff sailor who has spent a life at sea.

  • Pomelomosa

    Pomelomosa cocktail

    MGM Resorts

    Ever wonder what it would look like if a Salty Dog and a Michelada had a baby? Probably something like the Pomelomosa. Such an unwieldy name for this simple blend of tequila, fresh lime and grapefruit juices, and a citrusy beer top. A spicy salt rim balances the grapefruit's bitterness.

  • Green Deacon

    Green Deacon cocktail

    Jim Meehan


    Absinthe and two kinds of gin may seem unlikely accompaniments to grapefruit, but they work beautifully in this cocktail by bar legend Jim Meehan. The Green Deacon will have you preaching the boundless virtues of this citrus fruit, like its namesake clergyman might.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • Brown Derby

    Brown Derby cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This Los Angeles classic unites three ingredients: bourbon, grapefruit juice, and honey. The result is sweet and zesty and boasts a gorgeous hue. The Brown Derby is sure to please the bourbon lovers in the room, but is also an excellent gateway drink for that one friend who “doesn’t like whiskey.”