It's officially spring! Cue the sandals, pretty drinks, and paper straws.
I know we still have a couple of weeks until Easter, but it's not too early to start working on the menu.
May I suggest including an irresistibly pink spritzer?
This is one of those drinks that feels luxurious while still being really refreshing. The grapefruit is bright and tangy and the strawberries are bold and sweet.
It's also really pretty, and I love it when a drink looks as good as it tastes.
We are making two components for this drink - a sweet, tangy grapefruit simple syrup, and something called a coulis.
A coulis is just a fruit-based sauce that has not been cooked. It is as simple as a couple handfuls of berries, a squeeze of lemon, and a bit of confectioner’s sugar for a little extra sweetness. Blend it up and then run it through a fine mesh strainer.
It is so quick and simple, and makes a wonderful drink base or morning yogurt topping.
Mr. Pedantic loves this sauce because it is full of strawberry flavor but is free of the seeds he hates so much.
Grapefruit syrup is whipped up in minutes by bringing equal parts water and sugar to a boil with a couple of grapefruit peels. It is amazing how much the grapefruit permeates the syrup in such a short time.
Like so many of my favorite drink recipes, most of the components for this drink can be prepped ahead of time. The sauce and syrup can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to assemble the drinks! Meaning that you could start working on your weekend refreshment options right now.
The grapefruit syrup is mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and a bit of bubbly - also known as sparkling water.
The bright pink coulis is drizzled in the bottom of each glass and topped with plenty of ice before our grapefruit-ade is added.
The combination of tangy grapefruit and sweet strawberries strikes a perfect balance.
This is what spring tastes like.
Strawberry Grapefruit Spritzer
for the coulis
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place strawberries, confectioner’s sugar, and lemon juice in the work bowl of your food processor or blender and pulse until completely smooth.
Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate until ready to use.
Coulis will last refrigerated for up to a week.
for the grapefruit syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
2 3-inch peels grapefruit zest*
In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar, water, and grapefruit zest. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring the syrup to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain to remove grapefruit peels.
Syrup will last refrigerated for up to a week.
*Use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove strips of grapefruit zest, being watchful to avoid peeling away the white pith, as this will make your syrup bitter.
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 cup sparkling water
fresh strawberries, for garnish (optional)
In a 1-liter pitcher, combine grapefruit juice and cooled grapefruit syrup; stir to combine. Top with sparkling water and stir gently.
Cook's Note: While the grapefruit juice and syrup can be mixed in advance and refrigerated, do not add the sparkling water until just before you are ready to serve the drinks.
Place three tablespoons of coulis in the bottom of each glass and top with plenty of ice. Fill to the top with grapefruit-ade (about 1/2 cup). Serve each drink with a straw or spoon for stirring and garnish with a fresh strawberry.