Inspired by this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, serve this light and refreshing cocktail at your next brunch.
Every December, I look forward to the announcement of Pantone’s upcoming color of the year. For those of you who don’t know, Pantone is a color matching system used by various industries. Despite the fact that I’m a typical New Yorker who wears tons of black clothing, I love looking to Pantone’s Instagram feed and website for some inspiration. The sheer variety of color is astounding. Pantone selected Living Coral as 2019’s color. It’s a bright and happy color, perhaps signifying a more hopeful attitude for 2019. Also, if you’re wondering how these colors are picked – this is a great article about from the NYTimes. Pantone draws on inspiration from design, film, art, among other resources.
When the 2018 color was announced (Ultra Violet), my blog was merely an idea, but even then, I thought it would be fun to create a cocktail or dessert inspired by Pantone’s annual color. I guess I lucked out this year. Living Coral was pretty easy to work into a cocktail idea. I put together a coral palette and figured a grapefruit based cocktail would work perfectly.
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My Recipe Notes
This cocktail is light and refreshing. It would be perfect for an event involving day drinking, such as a brunch. Although it does have Lillet Blanc which is an apertif wine and vodka, it doesn’t feel or taste particularly boozy (although that might be dangerous, haha). If you’ve never had Lillet Blanc before, it’s made from Bourdeaux grapes and liqueurs from macerated fruit and has been around since the late 1800s. It’s somewhat citrusy in nature and to me has a thicker consistency, which makes sense given that it’s an apertif wine. It can be found in most liquor stores.
My first introduction to Lillet was at a law school friend’s annual summer barbecue many years ago. She served it with vodka and some club soda as a simple cocktail. It’s actually great to have on hand at any party as it can be used to make a relatively quick cocktail – it pairs well with gin or vodka and something bubbly. The bottle is also pretty – which never hurts. I used Kettle One vodka for this cocktail – which is my favorite, but use whatever you like or have.
For this cocktail, I recommend using fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. The grapefruit I purchased were quite large and I found half of one yielded enough juice for one drink. Be sure that you have a cocktail strainer on hand though so that when you pour the drink you don’t end up with a ton of pulp in the glass. Once you’ve strained the drink into the glass, top with cold club soda.
Lastly, this cocktail is sweetened with homemade simple syrup. I’ve also included the recipe below.
Serve this refreshing drink at your next brunch instead of the usual mimosas or bellinis.
- 1.5 ounces vodka, I like Kettle One
- 1/2 ounce Lillet Blanc
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice, squeezed from 1/2 to 1 grapefruit
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce club soda
Squeeze the juice from 1/2 to 1 grapefruit and set aside.
Fill a chilled cocktail shaker with ice. Add in the grapefruit juice, simple syrup, Lillet Blanc, and vodka. Shake to chill and strain into a cocktail glass. I used this coupe glass from CB2.
Top with club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit slice if that suits your fancy.
An essential for cocktail making.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
Add one part water and one part sugar to a saucepan (I went with 1/2 cup each). Bring the saucepan to a simmer and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
Once the sugar is dissolved, take the saucepan off the heat and let cool.
For another brunch friendly drink, be sure to check out my Pomegranate Prosecco cocktail recipe. Also, what’s your favorite cocktail to serve at a daytime event?