How To Make a Grapefruit Rosemary Gimlet

Students at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts can learn early on in their education that the right combination of...

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March 24, 2024 4 min read

Students at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts can learn early on in their education that the right combination of flavor profiles can turn a basic dish into a star! Complementary flavors enhance and balance each other, resulting in a more harmonious and enjoyable taste experience.

One of the most common ways complementary flavors work is by providing a contrast in taste. For example, pairing sweet with salty or sour can create a balanced and interesting flavor profile. The contrast helps to stimulate different taste receptors on the tongue, making the overall flavor experience more dynamic. And while most people think of this in terms of cooking or baking, the same can be said for cocktails. Take grapefruit and rosemary for instance. Grapefruit is known for its tangy, slightly bitter taste with a hint of sweetness, while rosemary offers a woody, pine-like flavor with earthy undertones. The contrast between the bright citrus notes of grapefruit and the herbal, aromatic qualities of rosemary creates a balanced and interesting flavor profile. The two also complement gin’s aroma and flavor profiles nicely. Stir in a few more interesting characteristics like the balancing of the sometimes bitter grapefruit and the visual appeal of the pair, and you have the making of a great cocktail.

Escoffier’s Director of Education, Dr. Stephanie Michalak White, recently shared her recipe for a Grapefruit-Rosemary Gimlet. This refreshing cocktail might wind up as your go-to on a warm summer night complete with fresh rosemary sprigs from your garden.  Watch Chef Stephanie make this delightful twist on a classic Gimlet cocktail, then follow her recipe below.

“For this cocktail, I recommend London Dry gin because I find the grapefruit helps to balance the spirit’s herbaceousness. There are some interesting non-alcoholic gins on the market that could also be used instead of the gin. Alternatively, substituting tonic water for the gin can produce a refreshing drink. Still, I recommend adding the tonic water to the glass directly after shaking and straining the grapefruit juice and simple syrup to keep its carbonation.”
Dr. Stephanie Michalak White, Director of Education, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
Dr. Stephanie Michalak White
Director of Education at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Rosemary Simple Syrup


  • ½ cup Cane Sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 3-5 Rosemary Sprigs


  1. Place the sugar and water into a small sauce pot and heat until the sugar has fully dissolved into the water.
  2. Remove from the heat, pour into a heat-proof container, and add the rosemary sprigs.
  3. Allow the rosemary to steep for at least half an hour or up to overnight (while allowing the simple syrup to cool to room temperature).
  4. Strain and use as desired.

Make sure to keep any leftover simple syrup covered in an airtight container.


Grapefruit-Rosemary Gimlet


  • Ice
  • 2 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz Rosemary Simple Syrup
  • Grapefruit Spiral or Swath
  • Rosemary Sprig


  1. Place ice into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour grapefruit juice, gin, and simple syrup into the shaker over the ice.
  3. Shake to combine the liquids, chill the cocktail, and allow some of the ice to break into the mixed drink.
  4. Strain into a coupe glass (or glass of choice).
  5. Garnish with grapefruit spiral and rosemary sprig, and enjoy!

To release more of the aromas from the rosemary sprig garnish, smack the rosemary stem between your hands to help release some of its essential oils.


If you’re interested in more cocktail recipes, check these out next!

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