Recipe: Blushing Duchess

Aside from sounding like an inn in medieval Europe, this is a delightful drink that makes for an excellent summer afternoon pick-me-up (or put-me-down – it may not taste like it, but the Duchess is blushing for a reason!).  It’s also one of the few drinks that needs no extra touches for presentation; a mint sprig would add a nice dash of color if one is feeling particularly ambitious, but otherwise, the drink itself is lovely to behold.

A few notes regarding the ingredients:

  • Turbinado sugar is a type of raw sugar that you can find for obscene prices in the supermarket’s baking aisle, or for quite reasonable prices in bulk at the local co-op or health food store.  (If you’ve ever tried Sugar in the Raw, you know what to look for.)  You can substitute plain white sugar in a pinch, but turbinado has the dual advantage of the superior flavor and prettier presentation.
  • The quality of your grapefruit will make a significant difference here; if you can get it, the Bartender especially recommends fresh Arizona grapefruit due to its soft texture and sweeter flavor.  Be careful, though – the stuff is like citrus crack.  Once you start buying it you may not be able to stop.
  • The recipe is originally from Grey Goose’s website (with, of course, a couple of tweaks); the Bartender discovered it as part of her ongoing campaign to find a drink that makes the stuff worth the $30ish price tag.  Having tried it with both Goose and with Skyy (her standby mixer), she can safely recommend that one use higher-quality vodka in this drink; the grapefruit helps hide the harshness, but Skyy’s bitter flavor still came out strongly.  If you don’t feel like shelling out for Goose, however, something less expensive but still quality like Ketel One would probably do the trick nicely.  Edit, 4/27/11:  Having tried it with Ketel One, the Bartender actually recommends it over Goose for this drink – K-1’s citrus overtones, rather than being overwhelmed as expected, in fact complement the grapefruit beautifully.

And now, the recipe!

Blushing Duchess

Turbinado sugar
3 wedges of grapefruit, peeled/seeded
2 ounces vodka
1 ounce triple sec
Lime wedge

Run the inside of a grapefruit peel around the rim of a rocks glass and coat it with turbinado sugar.  Roll the grapefruit wedges in remaining sugar and put them in the bottom of a shaker; muddle vigorously.  Add vodka, triple sec, and ice; shake, then pour everything (including ice and grapefruit wedges) into the rocks glass.  Squeeze the wedge of lime into the drink and serve!

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About Ambrosia Rose

Professional drinker, blogger, storyteller, and critic. With a healthy dollop of sarcastic wit on the side.

Posted on 10 April 2011, in On the Rocks, Recipes, Vodka-Based. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Three ounces of alcohol. I could see how that might make her blush.

    • Well, somewhat less than three ounces of pure alcohol – and the version I made used Hiram Walker triple sec, which is decidedly less potent than Cointreau (a common “upscale” choice). Still, one of them was pretty much enough to knock Brian on his back for the afternoon. 🙂

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