we recently got into mezcal a few months ago. its smokiness is soothing in a way, and i'm starting to both understand and appreciate its complexity. that said, it requires a little something to take the edge off, and freshly squeezed grapefruit has been my go-to. we have a really great little family-run market by us, rick's produce (if you've ever been to sqirl, it's right across the street). they have year-round, farm fresh grapefruit that i buy solely for the purpose of making these cocktails.
frank is a cilantro enthusiast, so when i went to go make him a grapefruit mezcal, i thought muddling some cilantro in would be perfect for him. turns out, i loved it too. it adds a brightness that cools everything down a bit, and i'm a sucker for using herbs in drinks anyway, so it was ideal.
like most cocktails, it can be made a few different ways:
- don't like mezcal? replace it with gin, vodka, or tequila.
- don't love cilantro? replace it with basil, mint, shiso, or lemon thyme
- don't have fresh grapefruit on hand? use unsweetened grapefruit juice
- don't particularly like grapefruit? use another citrus, preferably lemon or lime
i find this to be a perfect little sipper for the height of these hot summer days. i hope you all enjoy it too!
cilantro-grapefruit mezcal spritz
you can streamline this recipe even more by making the cilantro-grapefruit juice ahead of time, just store it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
| makes 2 servings |
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon coconut nectar (or maple syrup/honey)
- 2 ounces mezcal
- soda water
- cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
- thinly sliced grapefruit, for garnish (optional)
- to a cocktail shaker, add the cilantro, grapefruit juice, and coconut nectar (or sweetener of choice). muddle the cilantro for about 1 minute or so to release its' flavor, then let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes. pour the cilantro-grapefruit juice through a strainer, and reserve the juice; set aside.
- place a few pieces of ice in 2 small cocktail glasses (i used spanish wine glasses), and add 1 ounce of mezcal to each glass. add 1 1/2 ounces cilantro-grapefruit juice, and 1-2 ounces soda water. garnish the glass with cilantro sprigs, and thinly sliced grapefruit wedges.
- sip, and be merry!