This Grapefruit Maple Derby is a drink that will help warm you up, with a touch of sweetness from maple syrup and grapefruit and a bit of kick from ginger and lime juice.
This one will warm you up. Although, maybe you don’t need to be warmed up. Maybe you are one of those people who lives in one of those states or countries who considers 50 degrees winter weather and the proper time to break out the down jackets and fur-lined boots. If so, I hate you. Just kidding… I don’t really hate you; I’m just jealous. To be honest, I LOVE living in New England. I don’t think I could survive without the serious change in seasons and a little cozy blizzard once in a while. But right now I am cold. Just cold. And tired. And cold again.
But you know what? We’re halfway through February and the temperature is going to start slowly creeping up. Soon, we’ll have a 35 degree day and then 40 degrees and before we know it, we’ll be walking around in shorts and flip-flops in 45 degree weather. Because that’s how it’s done in New England. Don’t forget the iced coffee.
But right now it’s 7 degrees. We’re expecting another foot+ of snow. And I think cocktails are in order. Agreed?
To be more precise, BOURBON.
If you ever bring up Maker’s Mark around Chris, he’ll tell you about the time I used it in my baked bean recipe. Sue me.
I spotted a recipe for this Grapefruit Maple Derby on the Town and Country magazine website and it looked so sophisticated and comforting and doesn’t Town and Country just make you feel like you should be wearing a fancy hat at a horse race with one of these drinks in hand?
It required making a maple ginger syrup (swoon!) and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, which are basically my favorite things.
I want to print this photo and hang it on the wall next to my work desk because I know it would have the power to make me happy for 99.9% of my day.
So, for the recipe, you’ll have to start with the maple ginger syrup. The original grapefruit maple derby recipe called for ginger juice. But I used fresh ginger.
Put ½ C pure maple syrup and ½ t of peeled and grated/zested fresh ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then lower heat and stir mixture for about 2-3 minutes to let ginger dissolve into the syrup. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Then, fill a shaker with ice and add in all the ingredients: 3 oz. bourbon, 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, ½ oz. lime juice, and 1 oz. maple ginger syrup.
Shake it all up and pour it in a glass.
You should probably garnish the glass with a little piece of grapefruit, too.
And then forget that it’s a blizzard outside and just relax. Ahhh. You obviously have to have a taste for whisky to enjoy this drink. It’s a strong one. But the maple syrup and grapefruit give it little sweet notes and the ginger and lime a little kick.
Drink your grapefruit maple derby slowly and thoughtfully. Close your eyes and appreciate that though the snow may be falling outside, you are warm and happy and so fortunate to have a home with adequate heat, a fireplace, and a loving family.
You should also thank your lucky stars that Monday is a holiday and the city will have a little extra time to get cleaned up. For crying out loud, the MBTA is already being shut down on Sunday and the flakes haven’t even started falling yet. In the past, the MBTA would absolutely never shut down, aside from extreme emergencies and now it’s been a regular occurrence.
I’ve been pretty lucky and have only had a few minor commute setbacks… And have miraculously not fallen flat on my butt from slipping on ice yet. I did get stuck on a dumpster that was in the middle of the sidewalk on my way to work the other day, but that’s a whole other (embarrassing) story.
Wow, I just realized you’re probably really sick of hearing about Boston and its snow issues every time you come to my blog. Really, that’s the only thing we’re talking about here these days; let’s hope we can discuss things like tropical beach vacations and grilling and pool parties soon.
In the meantime, I just bought a bottle of maple whisky. So, if you’re looking for me this weekend, you can find me alternating between Grapefruit Maple Derbys and straight maple whiskey. Kidding… kind of. Maybe. Depends on how many feet we get.
What’s your drink of choice in the winter?
Grapefruit Maple Derby
- 3 oz. bourbon
- 1 oz. maple ginger syrup (recipe below)
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ½ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- Grapefruit wedge for garnish
Maple Ginger Syrup
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
- Fill shaker with ice. Put bourbon, maple ginger syrup, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and freshly squeezed lime juice in shaker.
- Shake well and pour into glass.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedge.
Maple Ginger Syrup
- Put maple syrup and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then lower heat and stir mixture for about 2-3 minutes to let ginger dissolve into the syrup.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- You'll have enough syrup for 3-4 cocktails.