032521_Grapefruit Mojito

Any time I hear talk of “spring break,” my mind conjures up images of Connie Francis and her buddies tooling along in that convertible, heading to Fort Lauderdale in “Where the Boys Are.” This 1960 semi-classic movie pretty much put that Florida town on the map and made spring break something in which college kids aspired to participate. Now, I wasn’t in college until the mid-’70s, didn’t own a convertible until 1981 (and it was a Fiat – not a Chrysler Imperial Crown like the already tan but very young George Hamilton drove in the movie), and on any break from school – spring or otherwise – I had the pleasure of working so I could return to school in the fall. I am fortunate now as I don’t have to go anywhere to celebrate the onset of spring; I am already residing in the Golden Isles. All I need to celebrate is a few delicious cocktails. And if ever we, as a nation, deserved a break, I think this spring is it. As the weather warms, I find my tastes tend to wean off the heavier spirits like whiskey and bourbon which have captivated my interest throughout the fall and winter. Suddenly I, almost subconsciously, I start seeking out not only tasty, but thirst-quenching, libations. After all, it’s time to get out the mower and start giving those flower beds some TLC. I start thinking of fresh-squeezed juices and lots of ice. And maybe, soon, gatherings with friends. The perfect balance of sweet and tart that constitutes a good mojito is a warm-weather pleaser for sure. This recipe gives things an extra citrus twist with the addition of grapefruit. GRAPEFRUIT MOJITO (makes 2) 20 sprigs fresh mint 4 Tbsp. lime juice 3 Tbsp. simple syrup 2 oz. white rum 2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice 4 oz. sparkling water Slices of grapefruit for garnish, if desired Extra mint sprigs for garnish, if desired Add fresh mint, simple syrup and lime juice to each of two glasses. Muddle well to bring out the flavor of the mint. Top each glass with ice. Pour in rum and grapefruit juice. Stir gently. Top off each glass with sparkling water and add slices of grapefruit and mint for garnish, if desired. If you’ve enjoyed a regular mojito previously, you know how well lime and mint play together. Grapefruit, rather than being a third wheel, is the visiting cousin from Florida that really livens up the playground. As a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living magazine (and as one enamored of Martha herself) I always look forward to her seasonal issues when she lectures it’s time to mulch the raised beds, plant an acre or two of snapdragons, start steeping the organic dye for Easter eggs. You know how she is … and I aspire to emulate her just as I soon as I hire (and can afford) a sizable staff. One fascinating thing I’ve learned of is her budding friendship with rapper Snoop Dogg. Originally I thought it was a publicity gambit but it seems to be a genuine friendship. Here’s the Spring refresher Snoop has been whipping up for Martha. The name is a reference to his 1994 hit “Gin and Juice.” I somehow missed that; I was probably listening to Connie Francis. LAID BACK ¾ oz. Tanqueray 10 Gin ¾ oz. Ciroc Apple Vodka 2 oz. pineapple juice Splash club soda Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a Baccarat Crystal Old-Fashioned glass (if you’re Snoop Dogg or Martha – if not, a regular glass will do). Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with a pineapple spear. Ciroc, a relative newcomer to the flavored vodka family, is a French product whose claim to fame is that it’s made from grapes rather than the usual grain. It’s crafted by the Robiquet family, who have been making wine in Bordeaux for hundreds of years. Tanqueray 10 is a small-batch version of the flagship Tanqueray brand, the botanicals of which emphasize citrus fruits. I was dismayed to learn, while on the Tanqueray website, that Tanqueray recently displaced my go-to Beefeater as the No. 1 selling brand of gin in the world. The brand of voting machine used in this calculation was not immediately available. Although I initially thought to leave off brown liquor in this column, this final cocktail is too good to omit. The Crown Royal Peach is delicious on its own and really is “peachy” in this tribute to our state fruit. GEORGIA PEACH SMASH 2 oz. Crown Royal Peach 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1 oz. simple syrup 3 peach slices Splash of seltzer Fill glass with crushed ice. Combine whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into glass. Top with a splash of seltzer water and garnish with peach slices and a mint sprig. Enjoy the warmer weather, don’t cuss the pollen too much, and take a much-deserved spring break.

Any time I hear talk of “spring break,” my mind conjures up images of Connie Francis and her buddies tooling along in that convertible, heading to Fort Lauderdale in “Where the Boys Are.” This 1960 semi-classic movie pretty much put that Florida town on the map and made spring break something in which college kids aspired to participate.

Now, I wasn’t in college until the mid-’70s, didn’t own a convertible until 1981 (and it was a Fiat – not a Chrysler Imperial Crown like the already tan but very young George Hamilton drove in the movie), and on any break from school – spring or otherwise – I had the pleasure of working so I could return to school in the fall.

I am fortunate now as I don’t have to go anywhere to celebrate the onset of spring; I am already residing in the Golden Isles. All I need to celebrate is a few delicious cocktails. And if ever we, as a nation, deserved a break, I think this spring is it.

As the weather warms, I find my tastes tend to wean off the heavier spirits like whiskey and bourbon which have captivated my interest throughout the fall and winter. Suddenly I, almost subconsciously, I start seeking out not only tasty, but thirst-quenching, libations. After all, it’s time to get out the mower and start giving those flower beds some TLC. I start thinking of fresh-squeezed juices and lots of ice. And maybe, soon, gatherings with friends.

The perfect balance of sweet and tart that constitutes a good mojito is a warm-weather pleaser for sure. This recipe gives things an extra citrus twist with the addition of grapefruit.

GRAPEFRUIT MOJITO

(makes 2)

20 sprigs fresh mint

4 Tbsp. lime juice

3 Tbsp. simple syrup

2 oz. white rum

2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

4 oz. sparkling water

Slices of grapefruit for garnish, if desired

Extra mint sprigs for garnish, if desired

--

Add fresh mint, simple syrup and lime juice to each of two glasses. Muddle well to bring out the flavor of the mint. Top each glass with ice. Pour in rum and grapefruit juice. Stir gently. Top off each glass with sparkling water and add slices of grapefruit and mint for garnish, if desired. If you’ve enjoyed a regular mojito previously, you know how well lime and mint play together. Grapefruit, rather than being a third wheel, is the visiting cousin from Florida that really livens up the playground. As a subscriber to Martha Stewart Living magazine (and as one enamored of Martha herself) I always look forward to her seasonal issues when she lectures it’s time to mulch the raised beds, plant an acre or two of snapdragons, start steeping the organic dye for Easter eggs. You know how she is … and I aspire to emulate her just as I soon as I hire (and can afford) a sizable staff. One fascinating thing I’ve learned of is her budding friendship with rapper Snoop Dogg. Originally I thought it was a publicity gambit but it seems to be a genuine friendship.

Here’s the Spring refresher Snoop has been whipping up for Martha. The name is a reference to his 1994 hit “Gin and Juice.” I somehow missed that; I was probably listening to Connie Francis.

LAID BACK

¾ oz. Tanqueray 10 Gin

¾ oz. Ciroc Apple Vodka

2 oz. pineapple juice

Splash club soda

--

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a Baccarat Crystal Old-Fashioned glass (if you’re Snoop Dogg or Martha – if not, a regular glass will do). Top with a splash of club soda and garnish with a pineapple spear. Ciroc, a relative newcomer to the flavored vodka family, is a French product whose claim to fame is that it’s made from grapes rather than the usual grain. It’s crafted by the Robiquet family, who have been making wine in Bordeaux for hundreds of years. Tanqueray 10 is a small-batch version of the flagship Tanqueray brand, the botanicals of which emphasize citrus fruits. I was dismayed to learn, while on the Tanqueray website, that Tanqueray recently displaced my go-to Beefeater as the No. 1 selling brand of gin in the world. The brand of voting machine used in this calculation was not immediately available.

Although I initially thought to leave off brown liquor in this column, this final cocktail is too good to omit. The Crown Royal Peach is delicious on its own and really is “peachy” in this tribute to our state fruit.

GEORGIA PEACH SMASH

2 oz. Crown Royal Peach

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 oz. simple syrup

3 peach slices

Splash of seltzer

--

Fill glass with crushed ice. Combine whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into glass. Top with a splash of seltzer water and garnish with peach slices and a mint sprig.

Enjoy the warmer weather, don’t cuss the pollen too much, and take a much-deserved spring break.