Ruby Martini cocktail recipe


I tried to be healthy. Really, I did. I was in the supermarket the other day, saw a pink grapefruit, and decided to buy it to make up for my nights of alcohol abuse. But then, tonight, as I saw it sitting forlornly on my kitchen bench, I realised the only way I would ever devour it is in a cocktail.

The challenge with pink grapefruit is that it’s not only sour but has a bitterness to it – and so my habit of making drinks with cocktail bitters in them had to be pushed aside.

As such, after experimenting and failing miserably with an array of concoctions and recipes too gruesome to mention, I settled on a relatively well-known recipe that worked beautifully – the Ruby Martini.

Actually, that’s misleading. If you Google “Ruby Martini” (and I can’t believe Google has now become such a common verb) you’ll see an array of different recipes. Some call for cranberry juice, others call for grenadine. However, some used pink grapefruit juice, citron vodka and triple sec – a combination that’s not a world away from a Cosmopolitan. The proportions of each varied from recipe to recipe and all added sugar syrup, but here’s what worked for me:

  • 1 and 1/2 shots of pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 shot of lemon/citron vodka (vodka is known to go well with pink grapefruit)
  • 1/2 shot of triple sec

Shake with ice and pour through a strainer into a chilled martini glass. Rub some of the grapefruit peel around the rim, twist the peel, and drop in.

The result is a drink that’s easy to make and where the main flavour comes from the pink grapefruit, meaning you can get pickled without feeling too guilty. If it is too sour then you can always add a touch of sugar syrup but I think it ought to be tart. Alternatively, and I realise this might just sound wrong to some, if you add a few drops of a good quality bourbon then that actually adds both a touch of sweetness and some complexity (and doesn’t everyone use bourbon as a sugar substitute? I’m thinking of adding it to my morning coffee). Another alternative might be to add a sugar rim to half the glass so that you can decide for yourself how much sugar you want in each sip.

PS I do realise I’ve made fun of people who make drinks with the word martini in them when they didn’t have either gin or vermouth in them. I know I’m being a hypocrite by writing this recipe. But, after drinking several of these babies (it’s amazing how much juice you can extract from a single grapefruit), I no longer care.