Think Inside the Box

Under the Wire

1 1/2 gin [Ryan and Wood Knockabout Gin]
1/2 oz Grapefruit Liqueur [Giffard Pamplemousse]
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grenadine [Powell and Mahoney]

Shake ingredients with ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with zigzaggy lime peel.

Last month, Al (who runs the @alsbarblog instagram account) started a recurring event of sorts.  At the beginning of each month, he would provide four paramters, and ask the drinkstagram community to come up with recipes based on them.  In July they were whiskey, grapefruit, stirred, bitters.  It was pretty fun to have a set of contstraints of sorts within which to work, and I came up with the Four to the Floor.  This month the four elements are gin, lime, syrup, shaken.  Surprisingly, I ran back the grapefruit, but in a totally different way.

First let’s talk about the grapefruit.  I’ve seen Giffard Pamplemousse pop up on my insta feed a few times, and it always caught my attention.  It’s the only grapefruit liqueur I ever heard of.  When I asked people how it was, their response was along the lines of “amazing”, or “so freakin’ good it’s ridiculous”.  Being a fan of this larger citrus, I finally caved and bought a bottle.

And man, this stuff is heavenly!  It smells wonderfully of grapefruit zest and oils, and if I closed my eyes could almost be convinced I was actually eating a grapefruit.  Not a hint of cloying sweetness anywhere, even though it clocks in at a mere 16% abv.  I couldn’t wait to get to mixing.

Luckily, Al’s challenge was the perfect palate.  The first base spirit pairing that popped into my head was gin, so may as well throw some lime in there too.  The only thing left was the syrup.  As I flipped through the Flavor Bible, pomegranate was one of the flavors in bold for grapefrui.  Perfect!  Grenadine is my final component, the syrup.


This drink is very citrusy on the nose.  Grapefruit is definitely at the wheel here, but lime is riding a strong shotgun.  Botanical undertones from the gin poke through too.  The sip continues the grapefruit theme, but it gets rounded out a bit from the sweetness in the grenadine.  Gin surprisingly sticks to it’s supporting role, pulling out floral notes from the grapefruit peels.  On the finish, more of a grapefruit juice flavor comes through, followed by a sharp kick from the gin.  Clearly it was just biding its time.  A two faced sweet and dry finish is left on the tongue.

Honestly, using this Pamplemousse feels like cheating.  I really don’t see how I can make a bad drink with it.  Maybe that is a challenge in and of itself.  And thanks again to Al for putting us in a sort of box to really test our creativity. Glad I could get it in as the clock ran out.

One thought on “Think Inside the Box

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