Tart, citrusy grapefruit and sweet, fragrant basil come together for a fresh and fabulous martini you will love!
It's cocktail time!
And this one is dangerously delicious. The sweet & tart combo of fresh red grapefruit juice and fragrant basil is so refreshing, and the hint of fresh lime juice and agave round out the flavor to make it a perfect summer cocktail. It's one of those drinks where you take a sip and go, "ooooohhhh," with slightly raised eyebrows. (See what I mean? Dangerous.)
The inspiration for this drink came from Hemingway’s Tavern - a cute Ernest Hemingway themed bar & restaurant we went to for lunch recently. They have a really fun cocktail menu with tons of options, but the drink that caught my eye was the Grapefruit and Basil-tini. One sip and I knew I had to recreate it at home!
There are a few small things that make this drink really sing.
First: fresh-squeezed juice. There really is no substitution for fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, it tastes so much better than bottled! Plus - you don't need a lot of it so it's not that much work.
Second: the vodka. I highly recommend using a grapefruit-flavored vodka in this martini. Grapefruit juice alone adds a ton of flavor to the cocktail and I'm sure a standard vodka would be fine, but using a grapefruit-flavored vodka (I really like Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka) makes the basil-tini extremely sippable.
Third: the basil. You're probably thinking, "well - of course...you've literally just listed the main ingredients," BUT - it's what you DO with the basil that makes a huge difference! Adding a couple fresh basil leaves to the shaker infuses the drink itself with the flavor of basil, and taking just a second to rub a basil leaf around the rim of the glass and garnish the drink with a little sprig really brings the floral aroma forward.
Add just a tiny hint of agave for a little sweetness to balance the tart grapefruit & lime and you've got yourself an amazing grapefruit basil martini.
For another great summertime cocktail, check out this recipe for Kungaloosh! Or for something non-alcoholic, this Frozen Mint Lemonade is absolutely amazing.
Yummy noises await you!
- 1.5 oz grapefruit vodka (I like Deep Eddy Ruby Red)
- 2 oz fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
- .5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp agave
- 2 fresh basil leaves + a small sprig for garnish
Lightly rub one of the basil leaves around the rim of a martini glass.
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes and add vodka, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave, and both basil leaves.
Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, strain into prepared martini glass and garnish with a small spring of basil.
Makes 1 martini, can be easily doubled, tripled, etc. for multiple servings!
Adapted from Hemingway's Tavern
Can’t wait to try this!!
Tried it tonight. Most excellent! Superb summertime drink. Love the agave in it. I bought a big pot of basil. Was going to buy Absolut Vodka Grapefruit but the clerk suggested Deep Eddy Ruby Red which was in a totally different section and I said, “Yes, Ma’am!” We served it on the rocks. Soooo delicious. Thank you for this recipe!
I’m so glad you liked it! I agree, the Deep Eddy Ruby Red is my favorite grapefruit vodka. So happy you tried & loved it! ????????
Can't wait to try it!!
Will pick up the ingredients on my way home tomorrow. It sounds so delicious!!!
Let me know what you think! I hope you love it!!!
Thank you, Rachel, for this refreshing and delicious cocktail recipe!
It is the perfect cocktail for warm summer nights! The tartness of the grapefruit and the aromatic herbal notes of the fresh basil! A simple yet elegant cocktail....and so pretty!!! Yummmmmmmmynoises at the first sip!
Gwen just made us a couple. That is a dangerously delicious drink. You hardly taste any alcohol (which is scary) I just made 20 mistakes trying to type this comment.....but I didn't care. We will have this numerous times this summer.
Hahaha! I love it! So happy you liked it ????
Very nice article, exactly what I needed.
This is literally my favorite martini at Hemingway's! I can't wait to share them with friends at our Super Bowl party - thanks in advance!