My experience with cocktails is minimal. I don’t like to experiment with recipes, because all past trials have tasted absolutely dreadful. And, I don’t really like the taste of liquor. At all. I wish I could be the cool kid that sips bourbon from a beautifully-etched tumbler glass, but no – I’d be much more content with a box of wine (don’t judge). That’s why I steal my cocktail ideas from talented people close to me. This time, it’s my friend April.
We all met for dinner at a friend’s house recently, and while we came armed with a six-pack of beer, she proved her culinary prowess by entering the door with the makings for the hit of the night – a grapefruit Moscow mule. Step aside, beer and wine of the evening, we have a winner.
Gah it was delicious – even the boys abandoned their IPA for this pink cup o’goodness. And it was incredibly simple to make: grapefruit vodka (Deep Eddy, if you can get it), ginger beer, and fresh mint leaves. Easy, vibrant, and infused with the sunny flavors of summertime. I asked her on the spot if I could steal her recipe, and she kindly obliged.
The key is the grapefruit vodka. Deep Eddy is a vodka distillery here in Austin, and they make a delicious one that is pretty widely available – we saw it for sale even out in California a few months ago. If you can get your hands on this kind – do it.
Then there’s the ginger beer. I felt slightly foolish and naive once I saw the ginger beer my friend brought – it cued a flashback of the boy and I trying to recreate Moscow mules a few months ago, prowling the actual beer aisle for ginger beer. What we found was literally a beer brewed with ginger, not the carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage. No wonder our mules tasted odd… This is why it’s important to surround yourself with talented and classy friends who can in turn teach you to be talented and classy. So get the right ginger beer – like Fever-Tree or Gosling’s. (Apologies if that seems like a dumb warning – it was very real to us.)
To top it off, all you need are fresh mint leaves and lime – and a grapefruit if you want a fun presentation. We made these on a sunny Saturday recently and let the taste and bright flavors wash over us like the warmth of the impending summer. If you’re like me and think of the different seasons in terms of types of food, definitely add this to the queue for the next few toasty months. It’s the perfect reward for facing triple-digit temperatures.
- ½ cup Grapefruit Vodka
- ¾ cup Ginger Beer
- 3-4 fresh mint leaves
- 2 lime wedges
- Pick a glass for your drink (you can use the classic copper mugs, or whatever you have on hand). Pour in ½ cup of grapefruit vodka. Add 2 mint leaves and the juice of one lime wedge. Stir.
- Add ice to fill the glass, then pour in the ¾ cup of ginger beer. Stir slightly to mix. Place a lime wedge and/or grapefruit wedge (optional) on the rim. Garnish with an extra mint leaf.