One of my favorite words of all time is the French word for grapefruit: Pamplemousse.
Say it! Pamplemousse. It’s hilarious, right? It sounds like it should be Liberace’s favorite color. “Why yes, we had the whole living room done in pamplemousse and mauve. It’s divine.”
I also love that it’s a pretty effective insult in French, meaning an annoying, pesky, person who is immature. And of course, it also means boobies. So many uses!
Of course the best use for un pamplemousse, as it is for most citrus in my opinion, is to juice that thang and mix it with some spirits. In this case vodka and elderflower liqueur.
St. Germain with fresh grapefruit is one of my all-time favorite cocktail combinations. While too much of the elderflower liqueur can be cloying, a hint of the sweet floral note is just right with the slightly bitter tang of the citrus. The name “French Tart” is a play on our other cocktail, the French Blonde (or Red Head), in which we add gin and Lillet, but I wanted to do something different here.
Poking around online, I found a grapefruit and rosemary cocktail called The Romarin (served at a restaurant called Le Diplomate), which combines elderflower and grapefruit with vodka and rosemary syrup and decided I had to try it. I added a little lemon juice to tart things up a bit more and it’s so good! I hope you like it as much as I do.
Rosemary syrup may sound odd but it’s incredibly tasty. Matt and I have made it for years to add to cocktails or as non-alcohol option mixed with club soda. I especially love it combined with lime but now I love it with grapefruit too. Store it in a clean jar in the refrigerator and it will last for weeks. We hope you’ll add our grapefruit and rosemary cocktail to your repertoire. Invite us over!
The French Tart (Grapefruit, Elderflower and Rosemary Cocktail)
For rosemary syrup
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 4-inches each)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 oz vodka gin would work too
- 1 oz elderflower liquor recommended: St. Germain
- 1-2 oz pink grapefruit juice fresh squeezed and strained
- 1/4 oz lemon juice fresh squeezed
- 1/4 oz rosemary simple syrup (see below)
To make rosemary syrup
- Add rosemary along with sugar and 1 cup water to a small saucepan. Bring to simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and allow it to steep for 30 minutes until it cools. Remove rosemary and store in an airtight jar in refrigerator.
To make cocktail
- In a mixing glass three-quarters filled with ice, combine all liquid ingredients. Stir until chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a small slice of grapefruit or rosemary sprig.
26 thoughts on “The French Tart – Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail”
I love that word too! And champignon, which sounds like a thoroughbred. Lovely cocktail. Pinned!
Ha, I love the word ‘champignon’ too! Not sure why but I love it 🙂
I what a gorgeous drink! Love gin. Love pamplelmousse and starting to appreciate rosemary.
Poubelle is one of my favorite French words. It’s too adorable for a garbage can!
Oooh that’s good one!
I love everything about this cocktail! The name, the rosemary and the colour! will def try it at our next dinner party!
Thanks Kiki! I hope you like it if you give it a try!
I can’t tell you how yummy this drink is! If you do not care for grapefruit, you should still give it a try, the grapefruit flavor is not strong. Thanks for the recipe!
Is there something you could use instead of grapefruit? I love it but it doesn’t like me!!
Hi Joyce, any citrus juice would work – orange, lemon or lime – obviously add more syrup if you want it sweeter. Adding a drop of bitters can add that grapefruit flavor, without the harshness.
I would suggest using less than 2 oz of grape juice, for me 1 oz is plenty… otherwise, my new favorite !
such an amazing drink! We used 1oz vodka in our. So tasty!
This is my wife’s favorite cocktail at Le Diplomate. We’ve talked about making it at home so I’m glad to have the recipe (and save some money!). This would be great in a pitcher and serve on the rocks for a socially distanced gathering.
Dumb question: how big are the sprigs you’re using for the syrup?
So glad! This is probably my all-time favorite cocktail as well. And your question was not at all dumb! In fact, i updated the recipe to add the info. We used rosemary sprigs that were about 4-inches long (though the strength of rosemary can vary greatly depending on the variety and the season), but that should be a good amount. Enjoy!
This is my favorite cocktail at Le Diplomate and this recipe is spot on. Thanks so much for recreating it!
Awesome! So glad you liked it!
This is a great recipe! It was slightly too sweet for my taste, so I reduced the amount of Elderflower liquor to 1/4 tsp and it was perfect for me. Thank you for such a unique and delicious recipe!
^^^^ 1/4 oz for the Elderflower reduction, not 1/4 tsp.
Oh, this is sublime! My absolute favourite cocktail. I bought pretty glasses and made the drink to the recipe and I just can’t fault it. Lovely to sip whilst getting ready to go out and just as lovely, if not more so, sitting in the garden on a summers eve. Thank you x
So glad you liked it! It’s one of our all time favorites as well.
One to make a batch of these to serve for Christmas dinner. Would there be any reason I couldn’t make this ahead and store in the fridge?
Hi Traci, you can absolutely make a batch in advance. Keep it chilled and then shake with ice before serving (or serve on the rocks, if you like). Hope you have a great Christmas!