Every Christmas, my mom makes a giant, glorious brunch. Pancakes are the main event, but the meal always starts with half a grapefruit. As a kid, I would sprinkle mine with raw sugar, and then eat it with one of those spiky spoons, which was both dangerous and thrilling for a small child. I’d inevitably get disgustingly sticky in my Christmas pajamas (attempting to squeeze every last bit of grapefruit juice into one’s mouth will do that), house a pile of carbs, and then tear through presents like a wild animal before promptly passing out. Memoriesssss.
Oddly enough, I don’t recall consuming a grapefruit last Christmas (WTF?), but I plan to bring back the tradition this year with a slight modification. I’m going to consume my grapefruit in liquid form with vodka because I’m a grown-up, and the only thing more fun than opening presents is opening presents tipsy.
Mom, I hope you’re on board with Grapefruit-Rosemary Mules at 11 am. Merry Christmas!
JOY TO THE WORLD.
A perfectly balanced blend of fresh pink grapefruit and lime juices, vodka and chilled ginger beer, this delightful cocktail is bright and refreshing with an unexpected herbal twist. If you’re iffy about the idea of rosemary in your drink, I’m going to need you to trust me on this one. You basically use a sprig of the stuff as a swizzle stick, infusing everything with a very subtle pine-y sweetness. Then you ride that mule off into the sunset. Boom.
I really think this is the ideal anytime holiday cocktail, which is saying a lot since I tend to be a die-hard champagne loyalist this time of year. It’s strong enough for evening celebrations, yet still light enough for brunch, and it’s quite festive to look at. Since the simple recipe is easily scaled, I highly recommend whipping up Grapefruit-Rosemary Mules in bulk for your epic holiday soirées. Maybe even serve them in a fancy punch bowl with some floating rosemary sprigs? Showstopper.
Before you sprint off to make these bad boys, a couple notes. First, I’m sure most of you know what ginger beer is, but in case you’re not familiar, it is not the same as ginger ale. Ginger beer is less sugary and carbonated than ginger ale, and it has a much stronger ginger flavor due to the brewing process (which you probably don’t care about). Most major markets tend to keep the beer in stock (usually with the sodas), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to track down. Yes, you can use ginger ale in dire straights, but your mule won’t have the same kick. Forewarned is forearmed.
Second, please squeeze your own grapefruit juice! Grapefruits peak during the holiday season, and the tart-sweetness of their freshly squeezed juice really can’t be beat. Relax, people, it takes approximately 10 seconds and minimal upper body strength to juice a ripe grapefruit, and you’ll get 2-3 cocktails out of it. I juiced four yesterday, and I didn’t even break a sweat. You got this.
And finally, a quick thought on cocktail size. This recipe makes one standard cocktail, which will fit nicely in a tall skinny glass or a small copper mug. However, many mule mugs are quite roomy, so to fill them you’ll need to a.) go to town with lots and lots of ice, or b.) multiply the recipe by 1.5. I’d go with option b. Put me on the naughty list.
For those of you still holiday shopping, I’d like to point out that copper mugs make excellent presents. They keep your drinks super chilly and they look ridiculously sexy on a bar cart. I gave a monogrammed set of these babies to my roommate last year, and he freaked. After me and Widespread Panic, Moscow mules and his own initials are probably his favorite things in the world.
Happy almost Friday, friends!! And to those experiencing the monsoon in California, stay dry and make cocktails. Godspeed.
Grapefruit-Rosemary Mule: (Serves 1)
2 ounces vodka
2 ounces freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (That’s about ½ a grapefruit.)
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) fresh lime juice
3 ounces chilled ginger beer (I like Barritts or Reed’s)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Preparing your Grapefruit-Rosemary Mule:
-Fill a tall glass or fancy copper mug with ice. Add the vodka, grapefruit and lime juices, and ginger beer, and stir to combine. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary (which I like to use like a swizzle stick to mix the cocktail) and grapefruit slices if you’re feeling fancy
P.S. You could always turn these into jello shots if you want…
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