The Blinker Cocktail: Variations on a Cocktail Recipe

Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind ThemCredit Ted Haigh, Dr. Cocktail, for bringing back the Blinker Cocktail from obscurity. He published it in his book Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails: From the Alamagoozlum to the Zombie 100 Rediscovered Recipes and the Stories Behind Them. He got it from a 1934 cocktail book.

Dr. Cocktail’s Blinker
Dr. Cocktail’s version is great. It’s served up and uses raspberry syrup. In a shaker, combine

  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry syrup

and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. This is a good, refreshing cocktail. The sweetness of the raspberry syrup is just right. Nothing more needed for this one. 

The Original Blinker Cocktail
The original recipe is similar to what I found in my search of the Cocktail Database while looking for some cocktail recipe containing grapefruit to use up the grapefruit juice I have been trying to get rid of. That version called for

  • 1 1/2 oz rye whiskey
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 6 dashes grenadine

shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Grenadine just doesn’t work that well for me. I need to try making my own, but I still buy the fluorescent red stuff, and I can’t stand it. I wouldn’t bother with this one.

Bulleit Rye Blinker
So I went searching elsewhere, but then I remembered that Camper English had just posted about a Blinker variation in this Fine Cooking article. You’re supposed to use Bulleit Rye for this one, but I generally buy Old Overholt, so I just went ahead and used it. This one is put over ice in a Collins glass. In a shaker, combine with ice

  • 1 fl. oz Bulleit Rye
  • .25 fl. oz Raspberry Liqueur
  • .75 fl. oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 fl. oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • .5 fl. oz Simple Syrup

and then strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice.

This one is really just a great cooler. With these 100 degree days of summer, it works great. Beautiful and refreshing with the brightness of lots of citrus. Not much liquor in it, but I like how it uses raspberry liqueur instead of raspberry syrup like Dr. Cocktail’s version.

Quite a few versions of a great drink, yes, and eventually we should get around to trying the original one, I guess. But for now, I will stick with Dr. Cocktail’s and the new Bulleit Rye Cooler. They’re just so good.

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