Think summer has slipped away? Not with these sour sippers. Whether it’s mixed with mezcal, rum, or pisco, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the fruit of bartenders’ labors with grapefruit cocktails that are perfect for after-work drinks or to add some punch to your brunch.
Terrace 16, Chicago, Illinois
At this Windy City beacon craft cocktails are great for pairing with the views of the Chicago River and Michelin-lauded chef Nick Dostal’s dishes made with herbs from his garden adjacent to the restaurant. The inside bar and the outdoor terrace afford panoramas 16 floors up, along with treats like Bennett’s Blackout: a grapefruit juice-based invention with chartreuse and angostura bitters. Make a reservation at Terrace 16.
Tuscan Kitchen, Boston, Massachusetts
No matter which location of Tuscan Kitchen you’re at, herbs are all the rage, whether it’s in the gently simmered sugo or in the drinks. The proof is in the glass with the La Columba — featuring tequila, sage, lime, and grapefruit — at the Seaport District location in downtown Boston. Or, the other three locations (Burlington, MA, Portsmouth, NH, and Salem, NH) feature a tipple titled appropriately for an Italian restaurant: Palermo. It goes down smooth with spiced rum, elderflower liqueur, Tuscan’s homemade sour mix, grapefruit juice, and hand-muddled mint. Make a reservation at Tuscan Kitchen.
db Bistro Moderne, New York City, New York
The Pamplemousse, courtesy of beverage director and sommelier Josh McGregor, combines his cocktail and carafe expertise to get sassy and classy when it comes to presentation and taste at this Manhattan spot from the great Daniel Boulud. The refreshment includes pisco, the bitter aperitivo rinomato, sparkling wine, and grapefruit. Make a reservation at db Bistro Moderne.
Red Herring, Los Angeles, California
Austria comes to the City of Angels courtesy of Stiegl Grapefruit Rader, a low-alcohol juice and beer drink. At this elegant-yet-understated Eagle River eatery, the tangy, low-calorie beverage is mixed with grapefruit juice for extra sour, jalapeno for spice, and fresh thyme. Make a reservation at Red Herring.
Henley, Nashville, Tennessee
Henley celebrates the cuisine and cocktails of the American South with a spotlight usually thrust on Tennessee bourbon and whiskeys, but things go a little further south—in a good way — with mezcal from Mexico in the Eastern influence. It’s paired with aperol, blue plum, grapefruit, and jasmine for a herbaceous, fruity, spicy, and sour pour. Make a reservation at Henley.
Zuma, Las Vegas, Nevada
Izakayas like Zuma may be informal Japanese pubs, but the drink list at this Vegas hot spot is all business. Hachiko is Japan’s most famous dog — and a favorite among Zuma’s myriad cocktails. Featuring salt, cold-pressed grapefruit juice, and vodka, and flavored lightly with yuzu and hibiscus cordial, it’s sure to give you the same warm and fuzzies as a faithful pup. Make a reservation at Zuma.
Parker at The Fontaine, Kansas City, Missouri
Too early for Boots With the Fur? Not at Parker, the lively restaurant tucked in the swank Fontaine, where housemade grapefruit-infused vodka meets St. Germain, fresh lime juice, and an allspice dram rinse in one fashionable cocktail. Try it during happy hour, nightly from 4-6 p.m. excluding Saturdays. Bonus: kick up your heels with live music on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Make a reservation at Parker at The Fontaine.
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Carley Wade is a travel writer whose experiences eating street food in Japan, English peas in the UK, free-range steak in Argentina, and Brussels sprouts at Estragon tapas in her hometown of Boston have provided unforgettable culinary inspiration. Shout out at email@example.com.
Photo credits: Georgina Salter (db Bistro Moderne); Angelina Hobbs (Henley).