A grapefruit whiskey sour with star anise is a lovely way to start the month of February. After all, it can be a bit gloomy this time of year anyway, so why not indulge in something light and citrus-y? Whiskey sours were my first cocktail drink – I can’t recall exactly why it was that I liked them, other than they were a pretty straight forward cocktail to order at a restaurant or a bar. This was many years ago – well before – well, before Google, for one. I’m pretty sure I would order them because my ex liked them (talk about being original). Had I had Google, I might have discovered gin and tonics much earlier, or the glorious Sazarec or Negronis…but I digress. I loved the whiskey sour as much as I loved Beringer’s White Zinfandel and as much as I loved mochas. (Right – didn’t know what to order for wine, so stayed with the cheap pink stuff. Didn’t know what to order for espresso drinks, so stayed with what my friend, Laura, ordered – sense a pattern here?).
But back to the grapefruit whiskey sour with star anise. I’ve definitely branched out in my tastes for cocktails, wine and coffee. Every now and then, though, I like to go back to a classic. In this case, the sour comes from grapefruit juice and a hint of sweet comes through in the brown sugar anise simple syrup. If you are adventurous, try a bit of the simple syrup in a shot of whiskey – it tastes like root beer and will get you singing Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” in the kitchen at the top of your lungs in no time. Wait – is that just me?
Star anise has become my new spice obsession. I love the lovely little seed pods and they smell so good! They are a great compliment to the whiskey and grapefruit in this cocktail.
- 1 ounce whiskey or bourbon
- juice from one grapefruit
- 1/2 ounce star anise infused brown sugar simple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 star anise pods
- Combine all the ingredients for the cocktail and stir. Serve on the rocks over ice.
- Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once all the sugar is dissolved, pour into a small jar and set aside to cool. Once cool, refrigerate. Let the star anise infuse overnight for the strongest flavor.