Yum. Maybe D wasn’t the only one suffering from gin overload because I fully enjoyed this rye cocktail. Admittedly I love grapefruit and I love raspberry (I made the syrup myself, see below for recipe), but in the world of cocktails that is no guarantee that the final product will be a success. In the case of The Blinker all the ingredients work together to create a whole that is somehow more than the sum of their parts.
D is not a fan of grapefruit but he did concede that the raspberry syrup tames the bitter acidity of the citrus. He affirmed the potion to be refreshing, likening it to a cider. “Fitting for spring!” he declared, “Or Fall!” For my part I found The Blinker to have a pleasant sweetness, not cloying, but decidedly honeyed. I also enjoyed the texture – this drink has gravity. It is opaque, thickened by the grapefruit pulp and the syrup. No single flavor dominates. The rye is present but not patriarchal.
Because we like to be thorough, and because we had some on hand, we also tried the original Blinker recipe using grenadine. The grapefruit was way more prominent, which D did not like. The drink was also an unpleasant rust color, as compared to the peachy-pink of the raspberry version. The pomegranate grenadine was not able to tie the flavors together and the cocktail lost its balance and its mystique. D and I both preferred the raspberry version, a rare consensus. Props to Ted Haigh for improving this classic cocktail.
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup raspberries (I used frozen because it is not berry season)
In a small saucepan dissolve sugar in water over medium heat. Add raspberries and allow to simmer just below a boil, macerating the berries with a spoon. Continue to cook, but do not boil, until the syrup has reduced by about half. Cool, strain, bottle.
- 2 ounces rye (we used Bulleit)
- 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 teaspoon raspberry syrup (preferably homemade)
Shake over ice. Strain. Garnish with a lemon twist.