Hosting a party calls for a pretty pink Grapefruit Vodka Martini. Tart, sweet, and bright, this modified version of a classic martini only requires 4 ingredients and tastes refreshing all year long.
Grapefruit cocktails are always a treat
Shaken or stirred, wet or dry, with gin or vodka… there are a million ways to prepare a martini. As one of the easiest cocktails around, the flavors in a vodka martini are bold and balanced while the ingredients list is short.
But have you ever considered adding a little something extra to really brighten it up?
This refreshing Grapefruit Vodka Martini recipe has a boost of flavor from fresh grapefruit juice and doesn’t skip the classic smooth sips of vodka and dry vermouth. Well balanced, tart, and sweet, a grapefruit vodka cocktail can be enjoyed during the heat of summer, at all of your parties, or when you just need to take the edge off.
Citrus, whether you’re making a flavorful gin and tonic or a Paloma, is a classic addition to many cocktail recipes. In particular, cocktails with grapefruit and simple syrup are just the right amount of tart and sweet. As a bonus, you can pair the beautiful ruby red color with your outfit or a Cranberry Brie Crostini!
Shaken vs. stirred martinis
We’ve all heard of the famous line, “shaken, not stirred”, when ordering a martini. However, a classic martini should never be shaken!
Alcohol-forward drinks, like a Negroni or unflavored martinis, should always be stirred, not shaken. Stirring cocktails in a mixing glass with ice will dilute the drink and create a smooth mouth-feel.
Cocktails with grapefruit and other citrus juices should always be shaken!
The ice in a cocktail shaker will help to break down the tart or harsh flavors from the citrus while aerating the cocktail. You’ll end up with a drink that is light, refreshing, and ice cold.
What you'll need
All you need are four simple ingredients. As a bonus, there are a few substitutions or adjustments you can make to fit everyone’s taste buds:
Here in California, grapefruits are in season from January to August. If you can’t find fresh grapefruits in your part of the world, you’re more than welcome to use bottled juice instead (I like Simply Grapefruit Juice).
The addition of grapefruit juice in this recipe transforms your average vodka martini into a tart, bright, and refreshing treat.
A martini with vodka is clean, dry, and smooth. The classic martini recipe is made with gin and has a more botanical flavor. You can make this recipe with gin if you prefer, but I find vodka offers a more neutral flavor and isn’t as “flowery”.
The flavor from the liquor is not well hidden in martini recipes, nor should it be! I would encourage you to use a higher quality vodka when you’re making a martini so you can enjoy the best flavor. In addition, a great bottle of vodka is always welcome on your bar cart and perfect to use during special occasions.
Dry vermouth is made from fortified wine. It has a signature aromatic flavor that adds body, balance, and distinctness to cocktails and is an essential ingredient in any great martini. Make sure you use dry vermouth rather than sweet vermouth, or it will change the drink completely!
There are many brands of dry vermouth available, but some options you could use to complement the vodka in this martini are Dolin, Martini & Rossi, or Perucchi Vermouth Blanc.
Simple syrup is so easy to make at home. All it is is equal parts white sugar and water. If you’re unsure how to make it, this guide is very helpful. As a bonus, you can make a large batch, bottle it, and keep it in your fridge for a month or so.
I use simple syrup for all kinds of cocktail recipes like my Cranberry Gin Fizz and Pear and Gin Prosecco Cocktail. It adds a slight sweetness to the drink and helps to round out the different flavors.
How to make a grapefruit martini
Grab your cocktail shaker and let’s get started on this grapefruit vodka cocktail! When it’s ready, add an orange peel or a slice of grapefruit as a garnish and sip away:
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Step 2: Shake until the glass feels cold.
Step 3: Strain into a chilled martini glass, garnish, and enjoy!
Equipment you need
A citrus reamer is essential in releasing those fresh juices from the grapefruit. You could also squeeze it out by hand if you’re feeling strong and don’t have a reamer at home.
You’re going to need a cocktail shaker to break down the citrus in this martini. I prefer to use a Boston shaker, but you can use any kind you have at home. A sealed mason jar always works in a pinch!
Lastly, martini glasses are essential. Make sure to keep the glasses in your freezer before serving your cocktails so they can remain ice cold.
Can you make martinis ahead of time?
You can make a large batch of grapefruit martinis ahead of time. It’s a time-saving solution that prevents you from mixing each individual drink when you’re hosting a party.
I recommend putting this large batch cocktail together no more than 2 hours before you begin serving.
For more tips on how to batch cocktails for parties, make sure to check out my Ultimate Guide on Batching Cocktails for Parties!
It's time for a drink!
Okay, friend! It's your turn to make this delightful cocktail. When you do, leave a comment below so I can hear what you think!
Grapefruit Vodka Martini
- 4 ounces grapefruit juice
- 3 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice.
- Shake vigorously until the shaker is cold, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into two chilled martini glasses and garnish with a grapefruit twist!
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