Texas Grapefruit Bitters

Last weekend I decided to step outside of the box and make a batch of homemade grapefruit bitters. I’ve been wanting to add them to my home bar for some time, primarily because I love the flavor of grapefruit and I thought they would add a layer of awesomeness to some of my favorite springtime gin and sparkling wine cocktails.

I originally came across the recipe in one of my new favorite cocktail books, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons. I read the ingredient list and became concerned: I knew where I could find the cardamom, coriander, and hops… but gentian root? What in the world is gentian root?

I made a few calls and found a pretty wicked apothecary store on Lower Greenville called The Labyrinth that had everything I needed. It was pretty much one stop shopping.

I have to admit the process was painless. I peeled and dried the grapefruit skins and then put everything into a jar, covered it all with some seriously strong vodka, and sealed the lid.

Outside of a daily vigorous shake in the morning the jars are left to infuse for the next couple of weeks in a cool dark place. I plan to write a follow-up post highlighting the next steps and eventually the end result, but for now I wanted to give you a sneak peek of what’s to come.

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  • Reply
    Stay at Home Cocktails
    April 4, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Thanks for the reminder! Sounds like a great way to use the last few grapefruit left in that 15 pound bag. I certainly didn’t use gentian root the last time I did it, though. I wonder if it makes that much difference.

    Nice to meet another fellow Texan, by the way!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      You should definitely give it a shot. I’m trying to keep it as Texas as possible with local vodka and zip code honey. I’ll let you know how it turns out with gentian root. What part of Texas do you live in?

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