Tequila can be one ornery spirit: It’s particular about what you mix it with, and it can strike back hard when abused — especially the next morning. Drinks made with tequila and grapefruit juice may sound like a recipe for gustatory disaster, but these two distinctive tastes can play surprisingly well with each other.
Keep It Simply Scrumptious
Tequila’s bite and grapefruit juice’s tartness complement each other in simple mixed drinks. At your local bar, if you order a tequila and grapefruit juice, you get exactly what it sounds like: a drink composed of 2 parts tequila, 5 parts grapefruit juice and a splash of lime juice. This cocktail works best with sweeter red grapefruit juice, but you can also use yellow grapefruit juice — just add a pinch of simple syrup. Alternatively, salt the rim of the glass and top with club soda to make a Paloma cocktail.
Not Your Mama’s Margarita
In the fight for a good margarita, a quality tequila may win most of the battle, but grapefruit juice can give the drink a winning edge. The classic grapefruit margarita calls for equal parts tequila, grapefruit juice and orange liqueur and one-half part lime juice; just mix and serve in a salt-rimmed glass. Variations include adding a pinch of mint or a few pieces of crystallized ginger for extra zing; pour in a little Campari to accent the grapefruit juice’s tartness.
The combination of tequila and grapefruit juice isn’t limited to simple mixed drinks; you can also use these two ingredients with others to create specialty cocktails. The dove, a sweet and sour sparkling wine cocktail, balances tequila and grapefruit juice with lemon and orange; pour 3 parts each of tequila and orange liqueur, 2 parts lemon juice, 4 parts grapefruit juice and a few dashes of orange bitters into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
For the Spirited
The sangrita began as a flavorful non-alcoholic beverage often used as a chaser for a shot of tequila; its mix of citrus flavors, tomato juice and hot sauce complements tequila’s bite. In addition to grapefruit and tomato juices, a sangrita also needs lemon, orange and lime juices. Pour 4 parts each of citrus juice into a pint glass filled with ice; add 3 parts tequila and top with tomato juice. Salt the rim of the glass with seasoned or spicy salt for an added kick.
References and ResourcesPassport to Tequila; Javier Covo
Mr. Boston: Bartender's Guide
Food Republic: Sangrita Recipe