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Jewel Toned Cocktails!

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

It is not hard to be inspired by beautiful, fresh fruit and vegetables. A bowlful of tangerines, fresh lemons, slices of juicy red watermelon or a few ripening mangoes is a sure way of getting my creative juices flowing and fresh inspiration going in the kitchen.

Food & prop styling by Donna Noble

Just now, I am obsessed by the pretty pinks and jewel tones of grapefruits. These colourful citrus varieties are hard to find in Jamaica. We have tons of delicious white grapefruits, but the pink and ruby fruit are rare finds in our markets and I am on the hunt for a plant for the garden.

On a recent trip to the US, my daughter, Robyn and I put our heads together, as we love to do whenever we get the chance, and set to work on a few new food and drink photos. I wanted to do a drink featuring delicate pink grapefruits paired with the earthy, woody flavour of thyme. Robyn came up with this delicious cocktail and photographed the result.

As well as gorgeous colour, pink or ruby red grapefruits are rich in nutrients, powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre! And thyme, well apart from being one of my favourite herbs, thyme is used in nearly every savoury dish in Jamaica. It is a popular culinary herb and a powerful medicinal as well. 'Thyme has antiseptic and medicinal qualities and is said to help with ailments such as sore throat, coughs, and bronchitis' (extract from our cookbook, My Goodness! Greens, available at our Home page on this site). A dash of rhubarb bitters adds another layer of tart flavour complementing the thyme simple syrup.

But, can there be such a thing as a healthy alcoholic cocktail, I wonder! I doubt it, however, the bright fresh fruit flavours and the unexpected hint of herbs make these drinks oh so worth enjoying occasionally!

So with the flavours in our minds, off we went to the market, gathered a few dozen luscious fresh grapefruits and fresh thyme. After extracting the beautiful fresh juice, we mixed it with grapefruit vodka and a thyme infused simple syrup and agreed that testing and tasting was never so delicious or more fun! In fact, we think that the next in the Goodness cookbook series should be a little bar companion of botanical cocktails. Purely for medicinal purposes of course!

Martinis are traditionally strong drinks, but feel free to make your lighter and to your taste!

Here's to health and happiness!🍃

Grapefruit & Thymetini

Per cocktail


2 - 4 oz. - grapefruit vodka or plain vodka (the grapefruit vodka is really delicious if you can get it)

1 oz. thyme simple syrup or to taste

2 - 4 oz. - fresh grapefruit juice -If you can't find the pink or ruby grapefruits, the white grapefruit juice is just as delicious!

2 - 3 - dashes rhubarb bitters


Start by making the simple syrup

We used a 1 to 1 ratio of sugar and water. The simple syrup will last for weeks in the fridge so it is worthwhile making more than you need and storing the leftovers for future drinks.

8 oz. water

8 oz. sugar

Place the water and sugar in a pot.

Stir and bring to a boil and place a bouquet of thyme (tied) in the pot.

Turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the water evaporates and liquid thickens to desired contingency. Thinner is better for drinks as it mixes easier.

Discard the thyme bouquet and let the syrup cool.

Store in airtight container or squeeze bottle until ready to use.

To make the martini

Place the simple syrup and the bitters in a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka and juice, Shake, well, strain and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with springs of thyme and grapefruit slices.🍃

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