Pink Grapefruit is a happy accident of a fruit, a mutant hybrid between the sweet orange and pomelo and a very excellent example of inbreeding. The fleshy citrus fruit allegedly first appeared in Barbados in around 1750, discovered by Welshman Griffith Hughes, whose name for it – The Forbidden Fruit Tree – stuck for over a hundred years.
The pink grapefruit was first discovered at Florida’s Atwood Grapefruit Co. in 1910. At the time, it was the largest grapefruit grove in the world with a yearly output of 80,000 boxes of fruit. The owner reacted to the discovery with nothing more than curiosity, saying that the fruit would be no more popular than an egg with a green yolk.
When distilled in the context of gin – pink grapefruit is quite simply sublime. Typically, it is the peel that is used, however the likes of Tanqueray No. TEN use the entire fruit. With a caustic nature similar to lemon or lime but without their distinct aroma, often it is Pink Grapefruit’s chameleon-like quality that makes it so special when it comes to adding a citrus touch to a gin.
Gins where Pink Grapefruit is noticeable to taste:
Sacred have a Pink Grapefruit Gin in their collection which is an absolute ode to the fruit, East London Liquor Company’s Batch 1 gin has a great pink grapefruit zing and Thomas Dakin Gin makes use of the peel very well to liven their gin. Beefeater’s Crown Jewel is also a good demonstration of what the role the botanical plays in a classically styled gin, bringing with it a fresh acidity. Skin Gin also make interesting use of the citrus’ peel, although one may want to question the distinct lack of juniper in the gin rather than celebrate the tangy grapefruit…
…As a garnish – especially in a G&T. Pink Grapefruit is so fresh and fruity that it brings a whole new angle to the cocktail, livening it up and bringing a citrus sweetness that can cut through other flavours to create something entirely new.
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