Blinker

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Cocktail History

The Blinker is a vintage cocktail that was first published in The Official Mixer’s Manual, a recipe guide by Patrick Gavin Duffy from 1934. More experienced drinkers might see its list of ingredients, which includes rye, grapefruit juice, and grenadine, and write it off as a drink destined to be unbalanced, but this combination of flavors works surprisingly well together.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Rye: This is a type of whiskey made with at least 51% rye grain, malted barley, corn, and water. We used Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey because it has a nice spiced flavor with notes of vanilla, pepper, and herbs. For a mocktail version of this drink, try The Gospel Responsible Rye Non-Alcoholic Whiskey in place of the whiskey.

Grapefruit Juice: This is the liquid juice of a grapefruit. We used freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

Grenadine: This is a sweetener made with pomegranate juice and white sugar. We made ours at home using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Grapefruit Twist: This is is the peel of a grapefruit that has been twisted into a corkscrew shape.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Tasting Notes

The Blinker features aromas of sweet grapefruit and spicy pomegranate and has a very light and airy flavor that showcases the grapefruit’s sweetness with just a hint of the rye spice, all of which is chased down with a lingering grenadine sweetness. 

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Despite Alex’s original desire to use less grenadine (since, let’s be real, the bottled stuff is easy to overdo), Kendall encouraged him to stick with the specs from the book since we were using a homemade grenadine, and we’re glad we did. We really liked The Blinker’s spicy and sweet flavors that somehow managed to not be too sweet despite its ingredients. And we thought it would be a great pick for anyone just starting out with rye!

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This cocktail ended up being way better than I expected. The rye plays a small part despite there being two full ounces of it in the drink, and its spiciness is masked well by the other ingredients. It’s obviously mostly grapefruit juice, and that makes it extremely light, flavorful, and delicious, and even though I initially thought otherwise, the full ounce of pomegranate syrup gives it some spice and sweetness without being overbearing. Overall, I loved this recipe much more than I thought I would, and its large format makes it a crushable and refreshing drink that would be great poolside.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“We took one look at the list of this drink’s ingredients and didn’t think it would be balanced at all, especially with so much grenadine. But the proportions worked well and made one tasty drink! I don’t usually go for rye, but its spice was the perfect ingredient to complement the sweet grenadine and tart grapefruit juice. I would give this one a try no matter how developed your palate is so you can be as pleasantly surprised as we were.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.69 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Rye
 3 oz Grapefruit Juice
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Method
1

Add rye, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express grapefruit twist over top.

5

Garnish with twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Rye
 3 oz Grapefruit Juice
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add rye, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Express grapefruit twist over top.

5

Garnish with twist.

Blinker

Make It a Mocktail: Use The Gospel Responsible Rye Non-Alcoholic Whiskey in place of the whiskey to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey Capone Speakeasy Coupe Cocktail Glasses, 8.6-ounce, Set of 4
Libbey Capone Speakeasy Coupe Cocktail Glasses, 8.6-ounce, Set of 4
Give your classic cocktail skills a sophisticated vintage-style presentation; Includes 4, 8.6-ounce coupe cocktail glasses (3.8-inch diameter x 5.98-inch height)
$29.99 Amazon Prime
Luigi Bormioli Glass Talismano 10.25, Set of 4 Coupe Champagne/Sherbet Stem, 4 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
Luigi Bormioli Glass Talismano 10.25, Set of 4 Coupe Champagne/Sherbet Stem, 4 Count (Pack of 1), Clear
Measures 4. 3”Dia x 5. 8”H 0. 48”Lbs; 10. 25 oz martini glasses come in a set of 4; Ultra-thin rim – 0. 95mm
$49.99 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
$12.99 Amazon Prime
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set - Swivel and Julienne
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Peeler Set – Swivel and Julienne
Sharp, durable, Japanese stainless steel blades won’t rust; Straight Peeler all-purpose design for effortless prep
$16.99 Amazon Prime

More Grapefruit Cocktails

If you like this grapefruit-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Brown Derby Cocktail Recipe

Brown Derby: A bourbon cocktail made with grapefruit juice, honey, and a grapefruit twist

Rosemary Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Rosemary Gin & Tonic: A gin cocktail made with grapefruit shrub, lime juice, grapefruit tonic water, grapefruit slices, and rosemary

Kuzcotopia Disney Cocktail Recipe

Kuzcotopia (The Emperor’s New Groove): A pisco cocktail made with Aperol, passion fruit syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, Tres Amigos bitters, and a lime slice

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Paloma: A tequila cocktail made with grapefruit juice, lime juice, salt, and a lime wheel

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