Eamon Rockey of Manhattan's Betony restaurant cures grapefruit peel in granulated sugar to create oleo-saccharum, the citrusy syrup that goes into this tarragon-laced drink. Ingalls Photography

Tart, sweet, and refreshing, grapefruit juice is one of our favorite cocktail mixers. It can add an extra pop to a summer sipper or balance out a richer drink. From the retro Tiki Bandit to the modern Cynar Julep, check out our favorite grapefruit cocktail recipes!

Grapefruit is perfect for a bright warm-weather drink. The tequila-packed Grapefruit Agua Fresca is perfect out by the pool, while the Salty Dog, made with vodka or gin, will instantly transport you to a sunny Miami day. You might not be able to sit by the Mediterranean, but our Arak and Grapefruit is a nice substitute.

Grapefruit can also add a pleasant citrus note to complex drinks. Jasper’s Jamaican is a daiquiri made with allspice liqueur and garnished with grated nutmeg; the fruit provides a wonderful balance. Likewise, grapefruit juice mixed with pomegranate juice complements the rich balsamic reduction in our drink La Grande Parade de Paris.

Sometimes you want to wow people with a dramatic drink. The Big Red will literally light up your next party with its flaming slick of overproof gin. Don’t want the fire risk? The Red Carpet is sure to impress when finished with a dusting of edible gold leaf.

Find all these drinks and more in our collection of refreshing grapefruit juice cocktail recipes!


Miami Beach

This Prohibition-era classic combines grapefruit juice with smoky scotch and dry vermouth.
Fresh grapefruit and pomegranate juice balance out the rich balsamic reduction in this sophisticated drink.

Brown Derby

Named for the famous hat-shaped restaurant, this simple cocktail of bourbon and grapefruit was the signature drink at LA’s 1930s Vendome Club.

The Scottish Dream

Black mission fig bitters from Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters and a cinnamon simple syrup are at once spicy, smoky, and sweet when mixed with grapefruit juice and blended Scotch whiskey.

Tiki Bandit

This version of a classic tiki drink mixes two kinds of rum with a variety of fruit juices and syrups. Get the recipe for Tiki Bandit »

Santorini Sunrise

The recipe for this Mediterranean take on the Tequila Sunrise comes to us from the New York City restaurant Molyvos. Try using a Greek honey infused with thyme or rosemary for a more pronounced floral sweetness, or swap out the vodka for ouzo for an intoxicating punch of licorice flavor.

The Moonwalk

Joe Gilmore, legendary Head Barman at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, invented this cocktail in 1969 to commemorate the first moon landing. The drink—a combination of grapefruit, orange liqueur, and a hint of rosewater, topped with Champagne—was the first thing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth.


Created by 2012 SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards Best Cocktail Blog winner, Jordan Catapano of This Girl Walks Into a Bar, the Citrus SAVEUR is a punch-like drink that pairs white corn whiskey with grapefruit juice, mint simple syrup, and homemade sweet and sour. Get the recipe for Citrus SAVEUR »

Arak and Grapefruit

In parts of the Middle East, a bracing blend of arak (a grape-derived, unsweetened, anise-flavored liquor) and fresh grapefruit juice is a popular refresher. Arak can be found in the United States but is not always available; ouzo makes a fine substitute. Arak and Grapefruit »

Hemingway Special

At Havana, Cuba’s El Floridita bar, this daiquiri was a usual order of author Ernest Hemingway. See the recipe for Hemingway Special »

Jasper’s Jamaican

This Jamaican-style daiquiri gets a kick from allspice liqueur and grated nutmeg.

Black Derby

Based on a classic Brown Derby, this variation gets its name from the molasses which replaces honey in the original. Pink grapefruit juice adds a bit more sweetness and a rosy glow.

The Charleston Fizz

The floral flavor of gin is a natural match for bright grapefruit and elderflower liqueur in a refreshing cocktail. Fresh tarragon adds an aromatic, peppery anise note.

Modern Royale

A combination of vodka, elderflower liqueur, and fresh citrus juices topped with bubbly makes an exceptionally refreshing cocktail. See the recipe for Modern Royale »


Eamon Rockey of Manhattan’s Betony restaurant cures grapefruit peel in granulated sugar to create oleo-saccharum, the citrusy syrup that goes into this tarragon-laced drink.

Salty Dog

Vodka is the traditional spirit for this bright, briny cooler, but gin adds a wonderful, aromatic dimension.

Swizzling the Night Away

This drink of rum, bitters, and ripe Florida grapefruit gets an herb note from a hit of chartreuse.

The Red Carpet

This elegant drink, served at New York restaurant Daniel to celebrate the Academy Awards, is made even more luxurious with a dusting of gold leaf. Get the recipe for The Red Carpet

Fennel Delight

The vegetal sweetness of licorice-like fennel pairs beautifully with tart grapefruit and smoky mescal in this cocktail from the Manhattan restaurant Perla. Get the recipe for Fennel Delight »

Grapefruit Agua Fresca

In this refreshing cocktail, tequila is mixed with sweet honey, tart grapefruit juice, and bitter Cocchi Americano Rosa.
Bourbon is combined with grapefruit and tangerine juice in this fruity cocktail.

Cynar Julep

Cynar’s vegetal bitterness, derived primarily from artichokes, pairs nicely with mint and grapefruit soda in this refreshing julep variation.

The Big Red

Grapefruit juice and cinnamon-infused syrup bring bright, spicy balance to the wallop of navy-strength gin, a variety with an extra-high alcohol content. See the recipe for The Big Red »


Conquistador Gin and Tonic