The tartness of grapefruit and the smokiness of bourbon come together with brown sugar to create this citrusy Brown Sugar Grapefruit cocktail.
This cocktail is my spin on a Brown Derby. A classic Brown Derby cocktail is bourbon with grapefruit juice and honey syrup. But it just doesn’t quite work for me. It does, however, prove that bourbon and grapefruit are a surprisingly tasty combination.
When it comes to bourbon, I love brown sugar syrup over honey syrup or simple syrup for adding sweetness. The addition of grapefruit bitters plays up the fresh juice in this cocktail. This drink is perfect for your next party and a great way to introduce bourbon to friends who don't love an Old Fashioned.
- Fresh grapefruit juice
- Brown sugar simple syrup
- Grapefruit bitters
How to Make a Brown Sugar Grapefruit Cocktail
Combine everything in a mixing glass with ice.
Stir to chill and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Sip and enjoy!
- Either pink grapefruit or white grapefruit is delicious in this cocktail, though as the names indicate, there is a color variation so your cocktail will look a little different depending on which one you use.
- Be sure to make your brown sugar syrup a few hours (or days) ahead of your cocktail hour so it has enough time to chill! You want to use cold syrup in your cocktails.
- Don’t have a mixing glass on hand? Stir up your cocktail in a cocktail shaker or mason jar.
Looking for More Grapefruit Cocktails?
Frequently Asked Questions
You make it! Combine ½ cup brown sugar with ½ cup hot water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then put it in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. Head over to my DIY Simple Syrups page for more tips and syrup recipes.
In the refrigerator, brown sugar syrup will last up to 3 weeks. Pay attention to the clarity of the syrup. Once it's cooled, it should be clear enough to see through. As soon as it starts looking cloudy, pour it out and make new syrup for your cocktails.
There's only 4 ingredients for this cocktail, so fresh juice is important here. Buy whole grapefruits and juice them! One large, red grapefruit should produce enough juice for at least 3 cocktails.
Grapefruit slices, a grapefruit twist, or a couple cocktail cherries would be easy, fun garnish for this drink.
If you don’t have grapefruit bitters, leave them out instead of substituting a different bitters. I like the cocktail better with the grapefruit bitters in it, but it’s still tasty without them.