March 9, 2014

Grapefruit-Infused Vodka

You probably have guessed that I love pink grapefruit, and I love experimenting with grapefruits. I’ve made candied grapefruit peel, and grapefruit and gin cocktails. I thought I’d try the next step and make my own grapefruit infused vodka.

I searched around for recipes and then threw open the question on my personal FB page. The main question was whether to put just the peel in the vodka or use the whole sliced fruit. In the end, I decided to just use the peel. Another piece of advice was to use decent vodka. Not the premium stuff, but not the rot-gut either.

Here’s what I did. First, I peeled the grapefruit, using a professional-grade peeler, which was a gift from some chef friends. The peeler is a Tristar TTPLR Titan Peeler Slicer & Peeler. It’s sharp as hell, but with a light touch, I can just get the zest off the fruit and not the bitter pith. The only bad reviews this peeler got were from people who had sliced off their finger-tips!

It’s the oils in the peel that really help flavour the vodka, so that’s another reason I didn’t use the whole fruit.

Another piece of advice from Chef Cat was to lightly heat the vodka and peel and then chill it. The heat would help open the pores on the peel and let the oils out.

I heated the vodka and peel for about three minutes. Warm enough that I could stick my finger in the pot and tell that it was warm. Maybe it was 115*. If you bring it to boil, the alcohol will burn off the vodka.

I love Weck Jars, so I used one of those to bottle the vodka in. It’s got a good-fitting lid so that I can shake the mix up during the week that it’s steeping.

I thought I’d start small, so I am only doing a litre of vodka. If it works, I will try another batch, and maybe add basil or cinnamon as was suggested.

For mixing, I thought maybe a touch of simple syrup, if necessary, and some club soda. Of course, I will use the candied grapefruit peel as a garnish.

I will let you know how it works!


  1. This is the kind of thing that makes me wistful for the old days when I drank! Is it like Limoncello but grapefruit-y? It sounds like absolute heaven.

    1. I haven't tried the vodka yet, but I'd think it's like Limoncello, but maybe not as sweet.

  2. Replies
    1. my son is a mixalogist in NY + he + I would love

  3. Oh, this looks fabulous and a great idea! I must get my mitts on one of those peelers and present it to my husband as a gift (he'd use it constantly during marmalade making season - I cannot believe he doesn't have one!).

    1. Click the link to it and you'll be taken to my wee Amazon store.

  4. That's interesting because here in France, grapefruit-flavoured rosé wine is really catching on. It is perfect for a hot summer's day, refreshing and not too strong - I love it and can't wait for the summer to arrive for the perfect excuse! With your grapefruit vodka for apperos first, we'll be all set for the first BBQ!

  5. I grew up in a family where candied grapefruit peel was our main Christmas candy. I make it every holiday and have even been know to make it in the summer. In November I went to one of DC's newest French bistros - Le Diplomate and had a delicious sparkling wine drink made with grapefruit liqueur. To be exact Combier Pamplemousse Rose. Found it at Astor Wine in NYC but the bartender assured me it was available in DC. It is wonderful mixed with Champagne but also just divine alone.


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