To answer the burning question in your mind, this cocktail can be made with or without alcohol and tastes delicious either way. Whew! I’m glad we got that out of the way. I remember a definite point in time several years ago that I had to switch up my dinner party game. Instead of wine for everyone (wine not?…. ok, I couldn’t resist), I began offering non-alcoholic beverages to all my female friends. You just never knew who was expecting, or trying, or abstaining. Not to mention those who were breast-feeding or doing a Whole30 diet… cough cough (guilty as charged).
But I felt lame punishing the “no wine for me please” crowd by only offering water. Pregnant people should have fun drinks too. Let’s celebrate that they are hard at work (every hour of the day) for 10 months creating a child inside their bodies. So I set to work finding a fun alternative and debuted this mocktail-cocktail at a baby shower I threw for my friend Kaitlin.
Needless to say, the choose-your-own-adventure cocktail was a hit with everyone at the shower. All the drinks looked the same, but a few of us had even more fun than normal, thanks to our friends, gin and vodka. Those with the mocktail version, sans alcohol, weren’t complaining either.
GRAPEFRUIT SPRITZER WITH ROSEMARY-GINGER SYRUP
adapted from Anja’s recipe on her blog Use Your Noodles
makes 4 cocktails
roughly 2 inches fresh ginger, coarsely chopped (ok to leave skin on)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped a few times
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (about 2 large grapefruit)*
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) fresh lime juice (about 4 large juicy limes, more if limes are smaller)
gin or vodka optional, 1.5 ounces per drink (3 tablespoons per drink)
4 tablespoons rosemary-ginger syrup
1 can grapefruit LaCroix, club soda, or even champagne (hint hint)
about one dozen ice cubes
4 sprigs rosemary
4 wedges grapefruit
make rosemary-ginger syrup:
Combine 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped ginger, sugar, and water in a small pot (the smallest pot you have). Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by about one quarter. Remove from stove and let cool for a few minutes and then strain out the ginger and rosemary. Whisk in honey.**
Meanwhile, juice your grapefruit and limes into two separate containers.
to assemble one cocktail:
In a cocktail shaker or pint glass, stir together 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon syrup, and gin or vodka, if using. Put three ice cubes in a cocktail glass (I used the tumbler style) and strain your cocktail into the glass. Top with a generous splash or two of grapefruit La Croix, club soda, or champagne. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and sprig of rosemary.
instead of assembling the cocktails individually:
You may also combine all ingredients into a small pitcher (2 cups grapefruit juice, 3/4 cups lime juice, 1/4 cup syrup, and alcohol, if using) EXCEPT for ice and the sparkling ingredient (la croix, club soda, or champagne). Put a few ice cubes in each of four cocktail glasses and pour the cocktail equally between them. Top with a generous splash or two of grapefruit La Croix, club soda, or champagne. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and sprig of rosemary.
*Most large grapefruit yield 1 cup of fresh juice. If you have doubts, have a third grapefruit as back up.
**This recipe makes more than enough syrup. Keep any extras in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.