The Secret to a Better Gin Smash Cocktail? Add a Little Heat

An upscale twist on the classic gin smash with an extra serving of nutrients.

Photo: Maya Visnyei

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The gin smash is a summertime staple, with its cool, crisp flavor and a handful of freshly-grown basil picked right out of your herb garden, But who says you have to save this fizzy cocktail for warm weather only? We’re making a few tweaks that’ll make this delightful bev perfect for cooler weather. Just add a little grapefruit and some heat from your stove to create a winter-ready drink.

A quick sear on sugar-sprinkled slices of grapefruit takes the classic smash to wholly new heights. It caramelizes the sugar and sweetens up its typically tart flavor profile, taking the grapefruit from garnish to tasty treat.

Plus, if you think cocktails are all about unhealthy ingredients, you’ll be thrilled to discover that each sip of this gin smash actually includes some super nutrients. That’s right: You can drink this smoky-sweet cocktail and feel good about it. Like any classic gin smash, our version includes leaves of fresh basil. One tablespoon of basil contains roughly 13% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin K, an essential nutrient that plays an important role in blood clotting, bone mineral density and cardiovascular health.

And you can’t overlook the grapefruit, either. Featuring a whopping 64% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, plus vitamin A, potassium, folate, fiber and magnesium, this tart fruit rounds out your drink with some extra nutrients. Now that’s worth raising a glass to!

Burnt Grapefruit Gin Smash



  • 5 grapefruits, halved, divided
  • 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 10 basil leaves, finely chopped + more for garnish
  • 6–8 oz gin
  • 2 cups ice, divided
  • 1⁄2 cup soda water


  1. Preheat a skillet on medium-high for 4 minutes. Cut 1 grapefruit half into 4 quarters. Sprinkle quarters with cane sugar on both sides and place in skillet. Sear for 30 to 40 seconds per side, until charred.
  2. Juice remaining grapefruit halves into a cocktail shaker.
  3. To shaker, add chopped basil, gin and one-half of the ice. Shake 5 to 6 times. Pour mixture into lowball glasses. Top with remaining ice and soda water. Garnish each with 1 wedge seared grapefruit and additional basil leaves.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 223
  • Carbohydrate Content 27 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 0 g
  • Fiber Content 0.5 g
  • Protein Content 1 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Sodium Content 9 mg
  • Sugar Content 6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g

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