The Greyhound. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

The grapefruit, as I’ve mentioned before, was my introduction to the notion of seasonal. It was 1989, I was not yet 26, and I’d moved into a little bungalow on the sweet island of Palm Beach to work on my novel. Deep into January and through February the trees in back of my hutch hung heavy with grapefruit. The best grapefruit I’d ever had. I don’t know what I was thinking before I actually saw grapefruit on trees, Cleveland boy, that I was. I suppose only that citrus grew in warm weather places pretty much year round, since I can buy them year-round.

Well, no. They have a time of year when they naturally appear and this is when you should eat them (which is now). You should also know that if you buy grapefruit in August in the U.S., it’s likely been shipped by cargo container from South Africa.

Is it wrong that it’s only Wednesday, and morning at that, that I have a Friday cocktail on my mind? My favorite vodka mixer had long been grapefruit juice—because I’m a fan of bitter. Bitter is good. But then those tangerines floated into the house and I have to say, The Robertson is one bright cocktail. This post is in praise of the grapefruit and what it taught me.

Please, now is the time—and for this cocktail, fresh grapefruit juice only. That’s what makes the drink. Squeeze it by hand if you don’t have a juicer or a reamer. It’s all about the freshness of the juice.

The Greyhound

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 to 4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Wedge of lime
  1. Combine the fluids over ice in a highball glass and add a wedge of lime. It’s winter. Embrace it.

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© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2016 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.