Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Squid Mixes: Red-Spotted Newt

In September 2017, I included a photo of a red-spotted newt with one of my posts.  My dear friend Nancy Mock suggested that the name of this handsome amphibian might make for a good cocktail moniker when I invent my own.  Well, the thrilling moment has arrived.

Red-Spotted Newt:

6 parts fresh grapefruit juice (3 oz.)
4 parts cranberry cordial (2 oz.)
3 dashes orange bitters
orange slice

Shake with ice.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with orange slice.

We got a bunch of cranberries with our CSA share and my wife wanted something interesting to do with them.  She made the cordial with the understanding that I would sort out an appropriate cocktail application for it.  I used the sea breeze (vodka, cranberry, grapefruit) as my starting point, then shaped the new drink around the available ingredients.  Fortunately, we still had one grapefruit from our daughter's high school band citrus sale.  I struck upon adding bitters in Trial #2.

The reviews were glowing.  "We need more grapefruit juice so we can drink these all weekend," my wife said.  Every drink book I've read stresses the importance of fresh juice.  I will admit that I usually don't bother but I can't deny that it made a huge difference with these and probably would with others.  One thing that's cool about using fresh fruit:  each drink will taste subtly different because each grapefruit tastes subtly different.  One will be sweeter, another more tangy, yet another more bitter.  Store-bought juice from concentrate is far more uniform.  It'll do in a pinch but fresh is more adventurous.  In an odd coincidence, every grapefruit I tried yielded almost exactly six ounces of juice - perfect for two drinks!


  1. This sounds so fabulous and I drink it ! Flavors I really love.
    Your weekend sounds like fun, feet up, fireplace, comfy chair, a good book and a Red Spotted Newt !

    cheers, parsnip and badger

  2. Hmm... That sounds interesting enough that I might give it a shot.

    By the way, I actually tried to buy some vermouth the other day, but I couldn't find it and, also, couldn't find anyone to help me find it. I'll try again some other time.

    1. Still catching up on your vermouth adventures. Stay tuned.