The Pale Island Sky: A Grapefruit Crush Cocktail

Introducing the Pale Island Sky, a cocktail with freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice, vodka, triple sec orange liqueur and coconut water.

Introducing the Pale Island Sky, a cocktail with freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice, vodka, triple sec orange liqueur and coconut water.

I’m in L-O-V-E with this pretty cocktail, which I’ve named the Pale Island Sky for its sunrise-over-the-ocean color.  Served in traditional cocktail glasses over crushed ice, it’s the most refreshing thing I’ve tasted in a long time.

Anyone who knows me very well knows grapefruit is one of my very favorite things – I tend to eat it every day with breakfast and sometimes during the day just because I feel like it. Here I’ve combined freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with coconut water, vodka and orange liqueur for a light citrusy grapefruit crush that makes it easy to pretend it’s already summer.  For the triple sec, I used Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur, a neutral spirit with a strong orange flavor.

It’s fun how recipes are born from chasing someone else’s ideas down a rabbit hole. (Check out this TED Talk by filmmaker Kirby Ferguson on how everything in the world is really just a remix, a recognizable reference to another work). Last week my coworker, Gary, brought me a copy of a Cooks Illustrated recipe for Grapefruit Sorbet. The last step in the recipe is to add vodka — probably to keep the sorbet from freezing solid.

As I was reading the sorbet instructions, I got distracted by the thought of grapefruit and vodka together, and that was the genesis of this cocktail. I wanted something a little different from a traditional Greyhound, so I added the triple sec and coconut water for tropical flavor. Also any cocktail with coconut water in it qualifies as “detox while you retox” –  and is therefore almost health food. Right?

Instead of churning out the sorbet, I crushed some ice in my Vitamix and poured the island goodness on top of it. So thanks for the inspiration, Gary! And thanks, Cooks Illustrated. I promise to make the sorbet some day too.


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