When I first started to get into making drinks as a thing, I was always disappointed when I’d make a drink that called for grapefruit. I’d squeeze a grapefruit, measure carefully, and then sip, and notice that it just tasted off. Not bad – a Hemingway Daiquiri made with ruby red or pink grapefruit juice is still a glass of rum, maraschino and citrus – but not as good as something in my hindbrain argued that it should have been.
I tend to like white grapefruit better anyway, so when it started appearing in stores, I picked up some of those and made my favorite grapefruit based drinks – it was like night and day. The Hemingway Daiquiri made sense! The Seventh Heaven tasted right!
It turns out that white grapefruit is the older variety, with pink and red being relatively recent. So it makes sense that older drinks would have been made with white grapefruit – the caveat of course being that pink/red grapefruit was just becoming popular before and during Prohibition, so it’s possible that it became like pomegranate was a few years ago.
So, as we move into the time of year when you can actually find white grapefruit for love or money, I’d like to present the Seventh Heaven Cocktail. In my battered, annotated, Borders-discount-bin cocktail book, the ratio is 3:1:1 gin, grapefruit and maraschino. The Savoy calls for 3:1 gin to maraschino, with a tbsp of grapefruit juice, and lists a Colonial Cocktail with 3:1 gin to grapefruit juice, with a tbsp of maraschino. Ted Haigh suggests 1.75 oz gin, 0.5 oz maraschino and 0.25 oz grapefruit juice, with a mint garnish. Actually, all of these last 3 have a mint garnish, which I’ve been leaving out since I’m making the mass-market edition, which is basically a fancy gin sour.
Recipe (from Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail, 2nd ed.)
1.5 oz gin
0.5 oz maraschino
0.5 oz grapefruit juice, white preferred.
Shake all with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy.