The grapefruit martini is a flavourful citrus cocktail made with a blend of grapefruit juice, vodka, orange liqueur and lime juice. This martini is perfect for those who love bold flavours that are tart, with just a touch of sweetness. The bright flavours of this cocktail make it perfect for sipping on the patio on a hot summer day.
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What is a Grapefruit Martini?
A grapefruit martini is a delicious citrus cocktail with the bold flavour of tart grapefruit blended with sweet orange liqueur and fresh lime. It is made with neutral, unflavoured vodka, allowing the flavour of the citrus fruits to shine.
It is light, refreshing, and perfect for enjoying on the patio on a hot summer day or serving at your next cocktail party.
We like to make it with regular vodka, but if you prefer, you can use a flavoured vodka instead. To enhance the citrus flavours we’d recommend a citrus vodka such as lemon, lime, or orange.
This vodka is perfect for those who prefer their cocktails less sweet; however, if you like the flavour of grapefruit but would rather have a sweeter cocktail, you can add a bit of simple syrup to balance the flavours to your liking.
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere ruby red grapefruit grow, you can use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in this cocktail. Otherwise, I prefer store-bought 100% pure ruby red grapefruit juice as the results are more consistent.
For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Ruby Red grapefruit juice – You will want to ensure you are using pure grapefruit juice. You can use store-bought, in a can or carton, or juice fresh grapefruit, if you wish.
- Vodka – This martini is made with unflavoured vodka. However, you can use flavoured vodka if that is what you prefer. This grapefruit martini works well when complemented with flavoured spirits such as lime, lemon, or orange.
- Triple Sec – The subtle orange flavour in the Triple sec helps balance the grapefruit’s flavour and adds a touch of sweetness. You can use any orange liqueur that you prefer.
- Lime juice – Lime juice helps bring all the flavours together. Try to use fresh lime juice if possible.
- Ice – You will need a good handful or two of ice to shake and chill the martini.
Step by Step Instructions
This martini comes together quickly with just a few simple steps.
One – Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
Two – Add the vodka, triple sec, lime juice and grapefruit juice to the cocktail shaker. Replace the lid, then shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold.
Three – Strain the shaken martini into two martini glasses.
Four – Garnish as desired with fresh grapefruit wedges. As an alternative, you can run a wedge of grapefruit around the rim of the glass and dip it in sugar for a sugared rim.
Substitutions & Variations
There are a few ways you can customize this drink to suit your preferences or adjust to what you have on hand.
- Vodka – Unflavoured vodka is recommended, but you can use flavoured vodka if you like. This martini works well with citrus-flavoured vodkas such as lemon, lime, or orange.
- Juice– You want to use 100% ruby red grapefruit juice. You should be able to find this in a can or carton in any grocery store. Fresh grapefruit juice works very well too, but as the flavours of citrus fruit can vary greatly depending on where you live and the season, I’ve found store-bought juice results in a more consistent flavour.
- Triple Sec – Any orange liqueur will work if you don’t have Triple Sec.
While you don’t need anything other than something to shake the cocktail and a couple of glasses, some things will make your cocktail experience more enjoyable.
Cocktail shaker – A cocktail shaker will help you mix your drinks quickly while chilling them. There are many styles to choose from, and you don’t need anything fancy. One of my favourites is a mason jar style shaker, and if you don’t have a proper cocktail shaker, a mason jar with a lid will work too.
Martini glasses – You don’t need anything fancy, but proper martini glasses will make this drink extra pretty. You can use stemmed martini glasses or stemless martini glasses. A short cocktail glass will work fine if you don’t have a martini glass.
Jigger – A jigger will allow you to measure your ingredients precisely. It is small and designed to measure and pour the smaller quantities generally used in cocktails. You can use a small measuring cup or glass if you don’t have a jigger.
Cocktail picks – Cocktail picks are not essential but will allow you to add fun garnishes without falling to the glass’s bottom.
Top Tips & FAQS
- For the best flavour be sure you are using 100% grapefruit juice, not a juice blend for this recipe.
- Start with chilled juice and vodka to ensure the martini is extra cold.
If you are serving this drink to a crowd and want to make it ahead, mix the vodka, triple sec, grapefruit and lime juice in a pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, add ice to a cocktail shaker and add the desired amount of mixed drink. Shake and serve.
- 4 oz ruby red grapefruit juice 100% pure
- 3 oz vodka
- 1 oz triple sec
- ½ oz lime juice freshly squeezed
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice.
- Add the grapefruit juice, vodka, triple sec, and lime juice.
- Place the lid on the shaker and shake until the outside is frosty and cold.
- Pour the martini into two martini glasses.
- Garnish as desired with fresh grapefruit or lime wedge.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.