Monday, January 4, 2016

Grapefruit-Infused Tequila

I first learned about grapefruit and tequila the summer I turned 21, when I worked at a resort on Lake Powell. They gave me a job in the restaurant at Bullfrog Marina, on the Utah side, about 70 miles from the closest town. In addition to college students like me, the people I worked with were quite a mix: local people who grew up working there, professional seasonal workers who traveled from summer places to winter ski resorts, and random people who needed something to do and somewhere to be.
Somewhere in that mix was a guy named Bob, whose job was to tow boats out of dry dock and schmooze the customers while they waited. After a few too many at parties he would transition into his alter ego, Bobnoxious, but when he came to the restaurant he was very polite and a nice tipper. His go-to drink there was a Torque Wrench, his name for tequila and OJ (apparently there's another cocktail by this name, but that was how he ordered his drinks). Somehow this opened up the idea that tequila could go in things other than Margaritas and shot glasses, and mixing it with Fresca became a favorite.

Today, I'm just back from a long visit to Mom's in Southern California, where her dear friend we made jam with a few months ago gave us a giant bag of grapefruit from her yard. Thinking of ways to use them, I thought the peels might make a great infusion with tequila, which could be made into cocktails with the wonderful flavors but without all the sugar or sweetener of juice or sodas. You could use it in a Paloma, too, if you felt like using more ingredients.

For this you need to use silver tequila, not too expensive but not too cheap. The gold kind is Anejo, aged in barrels for a more complex flavor that would interfere.

For each 750 ml bottle, you need the peel of two grapefruits and a 1 liter bottle.
Peel the two grapefruits with a clean vegetable peeler--I suspect this one from mom's drawer is about as old as I am. Avoid the white pith of the peel.

If the white on the back of the peels is transparent and porous, you should be OK. If it's thicker than that, pare some off with a small, sharp knife. 

Put the peels in the jar and pour the tequila over it. Shake the jar gently and put in a dark, cool place in the kitchen.

Let steep for a week, then strain into another jar and enjoy! You know, if you're of legal age. If not, don't even think about it!

I'm currently enjoying a little with sparkling water and a wedge of grapefruit (see top photo). It's delightfully fruity without being too sweet.

1 comment:

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