Blinker

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Cocktail History

The Blinker is a whiskey cocktail recipe that was first included 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 the base spirit. We chose Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey because it’s a nice, spicy rye with notes of vanilla, pepper, and herbs.

Grapefruit Juice: This adds tangy citrus flavors that balance out the other sweet and spicy ingredients. We prefer to use fresh citrus juice because it’s less bitter than the bottled stuff and tastes better.

Grenadine: This adds tart pomegranate flavor and sweetens the drink. We made ours using Alex’s homemade recipe.

Grapefruit Twist: This is the garnish. It adds more grapefruit aroma and flavor when spritzed over the glass.

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 originally wanting 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 this drink’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!

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 though otherwise, the full ounce of grenadine 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.

AuthorWinter DrinksPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Rye
 3 oz Grapefruit Juice
 1 oz Homemade Grenadine
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Method
1

Add rye, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and 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 oz Homemade Grenadine
 1 Grapefruit Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add rye, grapefruit juice, grenadine, and 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

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

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

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

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

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