Well, hello there! Can you believe it’s almost June 1st? We are officially in the height of summer and it is HOT outside! Which means that I’m practically living on chilled rosé and summery gin & tonics while relaxing by the pool, grilling on the deck, or working in the gardens. Yeah, I know you may think I’m crazy on that last one, but gardening is so relaxing to me, as is a sipping on a good cocktail or glass of wine – so I figured, why not do them together and feel extra relaxed, right?
Speaking of gin & tonics, I’ve been on a mission to create something delicious for any summer entertaining or leisurely outdoor activities we may find ourselves doing. Like I said, gin & tonics are my go-to during this hot weather, so after playing around with some fun combinations we fell in love with this very yummy Grapefruit Pink Peppercorn Gin & Tonic. It’s delicious, it’s pretty, and most importantly it’s refreshing! I love summer, but I don’t love being hot, so give me all of the refreshing cocktails I can handle (which is like two, because I’m a serious lightweight!)
The combination of grapefruit and pink peppercorn may not be anything original when it comes to a cocktail – I honestly have no idea, as I’ve never really researched it. For me, the inspiration for this cocktail came in a rather off the wall way. Last year, my aunt Susan gave me this incredible collection of perfumes she picked up on her trip to Germany. Each perfume is a combination of a fruit and a spice, or herb. The pink pepper & grapefruit has quickly become my favorite and every time I put it on, I would think to myself, “I wonder what this would taste like in a cocktail?” Well, turns out it tastes pretty fantastic!
When I set out to create this signature summer cocktail I wanted to join forces with a quality distillery that would really take the cocktail to the next level! I also wanted to team up with someone local to Minnesota and Vikre Distillery was the perfect choice!
Out of the three delicious gins they offer, we were excited to feature their Boreal Juniper Gin for it’s smooth, approachable flavors that include a distinctive touch of rhubarb. I love the combination of grapefruit, pink peppercorn and rhubarb and I very well may foresee a delicious dessert in my future with that combination, haha! Not only are their gins perfect for any craft cocktail, they are incredibly wonderful to sip on, due to the multiple layers of flavors and nuances.
Owner’s Joel and Emily Vikre are simply incredible and the genius force behind these beautiful spirits. The flavors and character of each spirit they’ve created is inspired by what can be found in the land and in the culture that makes up Northern Minnesota. The wild botanicals are foraged from the northern woods and the waters distilled from the pristine, cold waters of Lake Superior. They truly have a gift for their craft and it shows in every single delicious bottle they produce!
Vikre Distillery is located about 2 hours north of the Twin Cities in beautiful downtown Duluth, MN. A visit to their distillery is absolutely worth it if your already live in Minnesota and have yet to go! And if you don’t live here, then book a flight asap and experience how magical Northern Minnesota is… especially in the fall!
Learn more about Vikre Distillery
- ½ cups of white sugar
- ½ cup distilled water
- 3 tablespoon pink peppercorns
- 4-5 Tonic water ice cubes, optional (see note)
- 2 oz. Vikre Boreal Juniper Gin, or other quality gin*
- 1/2 oz. pink peppercorn simple syrup
- 1 oz. fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
- Tonic water
- Grapefruit slices dipped in crushed pink peppercorns, for garnish
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and pink peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allowing peppercorns to steep in liquid as it cools. Strain out pink peppercorns and reserve liquid. Store liquid in an airtight container, in fridge, until ready to use. Keeps up to 4 weeks.
- Fill a low ball glass with 4-5 tonic water ice cubes, or plain ice cubes. Add gin, pink peppercorn simple syrup, and grapefruit juice to glass. Top with tonic water and stir gently to mix. Garnish with a grapefruit slice dipped in crushed pink peppercorns and serve.
- To make tonic water ice cubes, fill ice cube trays with tonic water and freeze until solid. Ice cubes will keep fresh in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- *Pink peppercorn has a very delicate flavor to it. If you have the time, and want to amp up the flavor of pink peppercorn, steep 2 tbsp pink peppercorns in 1 cup gin for 24 hours. Strain gin; discard pink peppercorns; substitute pink peppercorn-infused gin for regular gin in recipe above.
SHOP THE LOOK
If you try this recipe, let us know. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #designsofanykind on Instagram. We enjoy seeing what you create! With love from my kitchen to yours,