With the long dark nights of winter upon us, we are always looking for ways to bring a splash of sunshine into our lives. One way we love to do that is to use some of the amazing fresh citrus that starts appearing on supermarket shelves in the winter months.Fresh citrus evokes feelings of warm climates and bright sunshine, and that brightness makes for some fantastic cocktails like today’s drink, The Grapefruit Smoked Salt London Mule.
Most people think of a Moscow Mule’s as a summer drink as it is full of fizz and ice, but we love a good mule anytime of the year. For this drink, we decided to substitute a good gin in place of the classic vodka that is typically found in a Moscow Mule, which makes this mule a London Mule. We also chose a gin that had some bold flavor so it could stand up to the big flavors we used to mix up this drink.
We love the way grapefruit and gin play together, the bright acidic tartness of the grapefruit brings out the herbal and citrus notes of the gin. The grapefruit also has a hint of an evergreen aroma that really mixes well with the juniper in the gin, which makes for a great perfume that teases the nose, especially when we add in the smoked salt. Since a good cocktail experience should engage more than just your taste buds, having a fantastic aroma really engages your senses when you drink it.
Grapefruit can be somewhat bitter as it is extremely acidic and most people dump a whole bunch of sugar to help make it sweeter. However, rather than dump a whole bunch of sugar, if you sprinkle a little salt into the mix, the bitterness goes away! Hooray for science! Channeling our inner nerds just a bit, the salt ions interact with your taste buds and blocks the bitter notes which makes the grapefruit sweeter.
While adding a little plain salt would have worked for blocking the bitterness of the grapefruit, we wanted to really bring more flavor to the drink, so we went ahead and smoked the salt. Store bought smoked salt would work perfectly fine, but since we got a smoking gun for Christmas, we had to play with our new toy! We chose to smoke our salt with hickory wood, which is a very familiar smoke flavor and a wood that makes for a nice lingering smoke.
We used the salt to rim the mule mugs. Rimming the mugs serves two purposes, not only serving as an attractive garnish, but also bringing the smoked salt right up to the nose when you sip from the mug. The smoked salt helps bring balance to the bitterness of the grapefruit, but also brings another layer of flavor to the drink.
Any mule has to be finished with ginger beer, which brings a great spicy warmth to the mule while adding a refreshingly crisp fizz. When combined with the salt, grapefruit and gin, the ginger beer finishes the drink with a perfect fizzy freshness.
Give our Grapefruit Smoked Salt London Mule a try and help chase those cold dark winter nights away with some fresh citrus and smoke! Interested in some other mules? Check out some of our other great variations here! Cheers!
- 2 oz Gin
- .5 oz lime juice
- 3.5 oz fresh squeezed strained Grapefruit juice
- 4-5 oz ginger beer
- Smoked salt for the rim
- Crushed ice
- Grapefruit wedge for garnish / rimming
- Use a grapefruit wedge and wipe the rim of the mug or rocks glass with the wedge to wet the rim.
- Dip in the smoked salt to rim the mug.
- Mix the gin and juices in the mug.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice.
- Top with the ginger beer..