Citrus season is the one bright beacon in the sea of frigid hell that is winter. There’s just something about the tangy splash of acidic fruit that helps assuage the fact that I’m constantly battling frostbite. Be it a shameless spoonful of lemon curd, a scoop of Mandarin sorbet, or a zesty lime-infused cocktail, I’ll take it all. I’ve even been known to lug bowling ball-sized pomelos home from the market to scarf down like some sort of citrus-obsessed wolverine.
And then there’s grapefruit. Not my favorite. I’ve always found grapefruit to skew a bit too bitter for my liking, and eating it plain just makes me feel like someone in a retirement home. But yet curiously, grapefruit is my favorite citrus fruit to imbibe, whether in the form of beer or a nice cocktail. Just in time to save the day from wintry grapefruit lethargy, St. Louis’ Schlafly Beer has introduced a new Grapefruit IPA, which raises grapefruit brews to a whole new level beyond those standard Radlers I used to covet to dearly.
Far from your average grapefruit beer, Schlafly is using all-natural grapefruit puree, made in partnership with Oregon Fruit Products to achieve the freshest of fresh citrus. The beer is dry-hopped with Citra hops, lending an abundant tart flavor to compliment the quenching sour notes of the puree. The beer marks the brewery’s first new release to its year-round offerings since 2007, available now at the St. Louis Tap Room or Bottleworks locations. You can also snag a six-pack if your #blessed enough to live within the distribution radius.
In other potable grapefruit news…
Aspen’s new Nello Alpine features a cocktail called the Green 007, made with grapefruit vodka, Cointreau, pear juice, cucumber, and basil.
The impressive cocktail program at Miami’s newly opened Beaker & Gray contains lots of tempting drinks to pour over. One such drink is the Lavagave, a drink that fuses tangy, tart, smoky, and sweet with grapefruit and vanilla bitters, Don Julio Blanco, Fidencio mezcal, lavender, and egg white.
State Street Provisions in Boston has a new brunch menu complete with a bracing Dejeuner cocktail comprised of Aperol, grapefruit, and St-Germain.
In New York City, the East Village’s Villa Cemita has segued from cafe to full-service restaurant, and with the transition comes expanded menus and a full-fledged cocktail program. Say “hola” to the Pico de Paloma, made with Tequesta, Jarrito grapefruit soda, lime, and jalapeño.
Flavors of grapefruit, vanilla, and lemonade mingle together at Jardin, the newly opened restaurant at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. The name of the cocktail is the Vanilla Rose, outfitted with Tru Organic vanilla vodka, Cartron Grapefruit Liqueur, simple syrup, and Fentimans rose lemonade soda.
And if you feel the urge to revert back to Radlers, do yourself a favor and try the unparalleled version at Chicago’s The Radler. In case the name doesn’t give it away, this place knows how to mix a good German drink. The “haus” Radler options include a grapefruit version made with Helles and San Pellegrino grapefruit soda.