25 Tart and Tasty Grapefruit Cocktails

Explore the Tart Citrus Fruit's Versatility in Simple Mixed Drinks

Danny Ocean Cocktail recipe

 The Spruce Eats

Grapefruit is one of the favorite fruits of the bar, and it's featured in a variety of cocktail and mixed drink recipes. The tart taste of this citrus is ideal for adding a punch of flavor to drinks. Some are made primarily of grapefruit juice, others use it as an accent flavor, and a few rely on grapefruit soda or other mixers.

Among favorite grapefruit-based cocktails are iconic drinks like the paloma and greyhound. While those highlight the fruit's best liquor pairings—tequila and vodka, respectively—it works equally well with other distilled spirits, including gin, rum, and whiskey. Grapefruit is also fantastic with other fruits, including pomegranate and cherry, and can even handle a bit of spice or bitter taste in the right mix.

Whether you're looking for a tall, refreshing drink or a petite martini, there's a grapefruit cocktail recipe waiting to tantalize your tastebuds.

  • 01 of 25

    The Paloma

    Paloma cocktail recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    The paloma is one of the best and, at the same time, most underrated grapefruit cocktails. The traditional drink recipe uses grapefruit soda, so it is not often associated with the tart citrus fruit. Yet, it is a fantastic and unforgettable tequila drink that takes just minutes to prepare.

  • 02 of 25


    Cantarito Tequila Cocktail recipe, cocktail in a glass with orange and lime slices

    The Spruce Eats / Nyssa Tanner

    Building off the paloma, the cantarito ramps up the citrus in a wonderful way. Rather than simply accenting tequila and grapefruit soda with lime juice, this mixed drink adds lemon and orange juices to the mix. For either of these, rimming the glass with salt makes each sip a little more interesting.

  • 03 of 25


    Greyhound cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Emily Baker

    Grapefruit cocktails cannot get any easier than the greyhound. Made with nothing more than vodka and grapefruit juice, it's a tart and refreshing beverage. Enjoyable at brunch as an alternative to the screwdriver, it's can work any time of day and for any occasion. 

  • 04 of 25

    Salty Dog

    Salty Dog Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 

    Switch to gin, rim the glass with salt, and you've transformed the greyhound into a salty dog. Like many grapefruit drinks, you can choose pink, white, or ruby red grapefruit, depending on your taste, though fresh-squeezed juice always produces a better-tasting drink.

    Average Grapefruit Juice Yield

    The grapefruit is one of the largest citrus fruits in the market. On average, you can expect to get five to six ounces of juice from a medium-sized grapefruit. That's enough for one or two tall drinks or several cocktails that use it as an accent. Keep excess juice bottled in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • 05 of 25

    Sea Breeze

    Sea Breeze Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Karen Hibbard

    The sea breeze is where the greyhound meets the ​cape cod (or vodka cranberry). It's one of those simple vodka-spiked "trio" drinks that are nothing more than two juices served in a tall glass over ice, and all you really need to do is choose the vodka.

  • 06 of 25

    Hemingway Daiquiri

    Hemingway Daiquiri

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

    In the world of rum, the Hemingway daiquiri stands out ​from the rest. Despite its simplicity, the beauty of this rum cocktail is in its balanced complexity. Pour a good light rum and enjoy it with the perfect marriage of grapefruit, lime, and maraschino liqueur.

  • 07 of 25

    Nevada Cocktail

    The Nevada Cocktail
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    A simple twist on the daiquiri, the Nevada cocktail concentrates on grapefruit juice and moves lime to a secondary role. The tart flavor is offset with a touch of sugar and a dash of bitters to create a very fun little drink.

  • 08 of 25

    Navy Grog

    Navy grog cocktail with orange and maraschino cherry garnishes

    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

    Navy grog has roots in the 1700s with British sailors. It wasn't until the drink was brought into the tropical rum cocktail scene that it became legendary, and there are several variations. Like this recipe, most combine two or three styles of rum and use grapefruit juice as the primary fruit.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • 09 of 25

    Blushing Lady

    Blushing Lady Pomegranate Martini

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    This beautiful vodka martini showcases the rich sweetness of pomegranate against tart grapefruit. The blushing lady gives the two contrasting flavors equal billing, and it's a fascinating twist to the average pomegranate martini.

  • 10 of 25

    Grapefruit Shandy

    Grapefruit shandy cocktail garnished with a slice of grapefruit

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    This refreshing grapefruit shandy is a spin on a traditional beer-lemonade shandy. Very easy, it's made with just four ingredients—grapefruit juice, beer, simple syrup, and a little water. You can make it by the glass or mix up a large batch and keep it on ice for a barbecue or picnic.

  • 11 of 25

    Danny Ocean

    Danny Ocean cocktail recipe

    The Spruce Eats

    The Danny Ocean cocktail is a tequila lover's delight. Seved on the rocks with that perfect combination of pink grapefruit and maraschino liqueur, it's a brilliant way to highlight a top-shelf reposado tequila.

  • 12 of 25


    Easy Firefly Vodka Cocktail Recipe
    Rob Lawson / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    While the tequila sunrise is a fantastic cocktail, orange juice is not your only option. In the firefly, grapefruit juice takes center stage, and grenadine remains for a hint of sweetness and that signature sunrise look. The recipe uses vodka but works just as well with tequila. You can also skip the liquor entirely for a spin on the virgin sunrise.

    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • 13 of 25

    Ruby Rum Sunrise

    Ruby Rum Sunrise

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 

    Rum and ruby red grapefruit juice join grenadine for the ruby rum sunrise. Unlike similar recipes that build the drink directly in the glass, this one is best when the rum, grapefruit juice, and sour mix are shaken to create a lighter, more refreshing base.

  • 14 of 25

    Fright Night in the Grove

    Friday night in the grove cocktail recipe

    The Spruce Eats

    The fright night in the grove was developed as a Halloween cocktail, though it's a great choice anytime you want a bewitching drink. The recipe pairs reposado tequila and Jägermeister with fresh grapefruit juice and gets a nice boost from a pinch of salt.

  • 15 of 25

    Blue Bayou

    Blue Bayou Frozen Cocktail

    Danila Shtantsov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Mix vodka, grapefruit, and pineapple to create the blue bayou when you feel like firing up the blender. Blue curaçao gives this frozen cocktail a charming blue-green color that plays wonderfully into the vodka drink's tropical fruit flavor.

  • 16 of 25

    Pomegranate Grapefruit Frosé

    Van Gogh Vodka's Pomegranate Grapefruit Frosé - Blended Rose Wine Cocktail
    Van Gogh Vodka

    For a softer blended drink, try the pomegranate grapefruit frosé. The mix of pomegranate vodka and ruby red grapefruit juice is simply lovely, while the rosé wine is a superb foundation for the pretty pink cocktail.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • 17 of 25

    New England Sour

    New England sour cocktail

    Michael Marquand / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    Maple syrup's dark sweetness is an intriguing contrast to the tart taste of grapefruit juice in the New England sour. The easy vodka drink is a fun take on the classic sour style of drinks and a wonderful option for autumn affairs.

  • 18 of 25

    Whiskey Sour 101

    Whiskey Sour 101 With Wild Turkey Bourbon

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Whiskey is not the most obvious match for grapefruit, but the duo can work when married with complementary ingredients. In the whiskey sour 101, the grapefruit is subtle and backed up by lime, while a robust bourbon is tamed with honey. Add an egg white to the shaker for a luscious foamy top if you like.

  • 19 of 25

    Spicy Paloma

    The Paloma Cocktail

    The Spruce  Eats

    The spicy paloma is no ordinary twist on the famous cocktail. While it does include tequila, grapefruit juice, and club soda, things get really interesting when you bring Thai chile-infused Aperol into the mix. The infusion takes just a few minutes and creates a spirited spicy drink.

  • 20 of 25

    Vodka Soda With Grapefruit and Thyme

    Ketel Soda With Grapefruit and Thyme

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Thyme is one of the best herbs you can pair with grapefruit. Premium vodka and club soda are slowly infused with the duo in this easy vodka soda recipe. It's one you'll want to drink slowly because the flavor gets better over time.

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • 21 of 25

    Pomegranate Ginger-tini

    PAMA Ginger-tini - Easy Vodka Pomegranate Martini
    Helen Yin/Moment/Getty Images

    Ginger syrup, pomegranate liqueur, and grapefruit juice come together to create the pomegranate ginger-tini. The syrup's sweet spice complements the fruits and ensures that this fruity vodka martini has more dimension than most.

  • 22 of 25

    Green Gin Giant

    JKF in NYC's Green Gin Giant Cocktail Recipe

    Amy Neunsinger / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    The green gin giant is all about garden-fresh ingredients, and a cocktail worthy of spring and summer days. In it, basil, cucumber, lime, and mint are mixed with a shot of gin and elderflower liqueur, while grapefruit soda transforms it into the ultimate refreshment.

  • 23 of 25

    Rhyme and Reason

    Rhyme and Reason Cocktail With Aperol

    Emodpk / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    Cachaça is the star of the rhyme and reason cocktail. Mixed with the bitter orange flavor of Aperol, grapefruit juice, and a touch of cinnamon syrup, it may surprise you that the Brazilian spirit can become an excellent apéritif for fall dinner parties.

  • 24 of 25

    Jet Pilot

    Jet Pilot Tiki Cocktail
    Jagadeeswar Gadiyaram / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The jet pilot is filled with three rums and guaranteed to attract attention. Grapefruit, lime, cinnamon, falernum, and even a bit of absinthe ensure that this is no ordinary boozy smoothie. Its depth of flavor is indescribable and deserves to be decked out with the most elaborate garnishes you can conjure.

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • 25 of 25

    Guadalajara Cocktail

    Guadalajara Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    A few mixers offer the most subtle of grapefruit flavors. The Guadalajara cocktail calls for grapefruit oil, but you can also use grapefruit bitters or squeeze a grapefruit twist over the drink to express its oils. Whichever you choose, this reposado tequila cocktail is a great choice for Fernet fans.