The Blinker is one of those textbook examples of an early 1900’s cocktail. It is a simple combination of strong spirit, citrus and a sweetener where the whole is greater than the sum of all its’ parts.
Ted Haig really helped bring the Blinker back to life in his book, Distinguished Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, which was where my first encounter happened. He notes that some of the recipes he referenced used grenadine, but goes on to say that you can use raspberry syrup as the two were commonly switched out for one another. Use grenadine to give the drink a slightly darker fruity molasses flavor, or use raspberry syrup to provide a lighter bright fruit taste.
This is certainly a whiskey forward drink and the complex spicy notes of a good rye will really shine through, so I suggest you grab a strong and spicy rye such as Rittenhouse.
Other solid bold ryes include: Dickel, Redemption, and Sazerac. If you wanted to make this a more mild drink, you can try it using a more gracious and fruity rye like Old Overholt or Wild Turkey Rye. Grabbing a bottle of light rye for the Blinker will bring the grapefruit to the foreground so if it is a bit too dominant just dial the juice back a tad.
You have three choices when garnishing this drink; use lemon peel to add more depth, grapefruit peel to fortify the existing flavors, or don’ garnish at all. All three options create tasty outcomes so test them all. Feel free to taste the drink before deciding if you feel it need any citrus oil.
This is a simple one so don’t overthink it.
- 2 oz Rye Whiskey
- 1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
- 1/2 oz Raspberry Syrup
- Lemon Peel
- Add all the ingredients to your shaker.
- Add ice and shake for about 12 seconds.
- Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Express the oils from your lemon peel over the drink and drop it in for garnish.