The bitter acidity of grapefruit has grown in popularity as a garnish for gin and tonic in recent years. From our own reviews, we reveal 7 gins that go well with grapefruit. There are three from England, and two each from Scotland and Ireland.
- Glendalough Gin
- Drumshanbo Gin
- Dockyard Gin
- Palmers Gin
- Granite North Gin
- Brockmans Gin
- Pickering’s Gin
A hybrid citrus fruit, grapefruit originates from Barbados. It’s the result of an accidental cross between a sweet orange from Jamaica and a pomelo from Indonesia.
A pomelo is one of the natural, non-hybridised citrus fruits. These origins of the grapefruit weren’t actually known until the 1940s, although it had been identified as early as 1830. Now you know!
Gin and grapefruit
Grapefruit has a pH of around 3, so it’s fairly far down the low end of the pH scale and well into acidic territory. That’s perhaps why in our gin reviews, we’ve tended to find that there are two types of gin that go well with grapefruit in our view.
The first are gins that are at the more dry and floral end of the spectrum. The grapefruit garnish seems to lift those gins and really spark them into life. The second type are gins where the grapefruit accompanies existing grapefruit or citrus botanicals. Perhaps more of an enhancement of those flavours, as opposed to a contrast.
So, with that in mind, we took a look through our gin tasting notes to find our top 7 gins that go well with grapefruit.
Which gin goes with grapefruit?
Glendalough Gin (or Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin to give it its full title) comes from Co.Wicklow in Ireland. In our review, we found the beautifully delicate mountain botanicals that are foraged locally give it lovely fresh taste. It’s a gin where a fresh slice of grapefruit in your gin and tonic can really lift those floral notes even higher. Buy Glendalough from Master of Malt or from Amazon.
Let’s stay in Ireland, and travel to Co.Leitrim. Bottled at 43%, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is a unique gin that packs a punch. In our review, we picked out the star anise as something we found really coming through alongside the gunpowder tea that lends to its name. We described it as having a peppery sensation that fills your mouth and really rewards. Pair Drumshanbo Gin with grapefruit to really wake those taste buds – stunning. Oh, and it comes in a very cool blue bottle.
Dockyard Gin is a real treat. It’s a grain to glass premium gin from Kent in England. We found in our review that you can even find out where the grain for your own bottle of gin was grown. It’s relatively premium-priced (but we’ve seen offers recently) and is mainly sold in 50cl or 20cl bottles. Dockyard in a gin and tonic with slice of pink grapefruit is a suggested serve – it worked very well for us, and falls into that category of working well with that grapefruit because it’s a lovely dry gin. Dockyard is a great tasting gin and is well worth seeking out.
Nb. The Dockyard Gin for our original review was gifted, although we’ve bought many bottles ourselves since!
Let’s stay in England and get to another stonking English gin that goes with grapefruit. Palmers Gin is a small batch, classic dry gin bottled at 44% ABV. It’s a gin that has grapefruit in its botanical mix, and we found in our review that it was a lovely, clean gin that a grapefruit garnish really enhanced. We even suggested that you could try it with a grapefruit tonic too. Buy Palmers Gin in the UK from Master of Malt.
Granite North Gin
Granite North is a Scottish gin that has lemon pith, grapefruit and Grand Fir needles in its botanical mix. It’s a beautifully lively gin, and we found that those botanicals were hard at work upon tasting when we reviewed it. It has a very zesty quality to it, and we found that a grapefruit garnish really brought out the citrus notes.
Back we go to England, and to the dark, brooding Brockmans Gin bottle. Opening a bottle of Brockmans really does provide a hit to the senses. This is a very different type of gin to those above, and we found in our review that a grapefruit garnish really cut through its lovely sweet berry notes. It’s a smooth gin that works brilliantly with the contrasting acidic grapefruit in our view.
In our review, we found Pickerings Gin from Edinburgh in Scotland to have a slightly citrusy taste, but also plenty warmth. We found it to be quite a subtle and versatile gin though. A grapefruit garnish really helped lift this classic smooth gin – served with heaps of ice it makes for a fantastic gin and tonic.
So, those are some our favourite gins with grapefruit. If you have a favourite gin to pair with grapefruit, let us know in the comments below or at [email protected]. Enjoy!