Pink Grapefruit Saketini


Somewhere around 6 pm on a summer day – or any day –  is when I get thirsty for a cold grown-up drink- I usually stick to chilled rosè or light refreshing whites like pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, and my recent favorite, gruner veltliner, to sip while I cook dinner. It’s a relaxing ritual, and I find myself looking forward to it daily – sometimes a little too much if you know what I mean  (and I think you do!).

I’ve been known to sling cold summer cocktails every now and again, though, and the other night I decided to experiment with sake.

I like the idea of using sake in place of a hard liquor like vodka or gin – I’d rather drink a cocktail without feeling the toxic effects of high-proof alcohol, which is sometimes too much for me.  Sake can contain a little more alcohol than wine; about 15% or more by volume, but that’s still less than distilled liquor.

Sake also has a lightly sweet, delicate nature that plays nicely with things you might want to mix it with, like fruit juices, liqueurs and fresh herbal infusions.

I wouldn’t use an expensive, premium sake to make a cocktail, since you’ll be missing its finer qualities, not to mention that the sake purists out there would cringe – just use what you can find for less than $20 a bottle.



  1. oh Karen this sounds perfect for these 100 degree days! Going to give it a try!

  2. Oh my, this drink is totally right up my alley. I’m more of a beer and wine lady, but I do enjoy a nice SOUR cocktail now and then. Grapefruit juice is such a great mixer for summer drinks… and pairing it with sake sounds delish. I am totally going to whip this up and bring it to the next pool party/cookout this summer!

  3. What a great idea — I always-always want to sip a little something before supper and so usually go for a ‘tall’ drink with club soda. But the idea of using wine as the base, hmm, lovely!

  4. Karen, great recipe! Will make this tonight. I would suggest that when making a saké cocktail that a more premium saké should be used. It doesn’t have to be an expensive import but can be one of the Momokawa premium saké made in Oregon. These are equal in quality to the fine imports but usually less than half the price of an equivelant one. Generally around $11 or $13. Using basic cheap saké is kid of like using the cheapest vodka or gin, it has the alcohol but not the best of flavors.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe.

  5. Wow that looks so refreshing looking, would love to have one of those now at the end of the working day even if it isn’t exactly what you would call a typical blokes drink 🙂

    • Candy, yes, this drink and a dark, air-conditioned room. Stay cool!

      Hi Kirby – Grapefruit is overlooked, I think, just because it’s not so super-sweet. Love it, though.

      Alanna, let me know what you think of a tall glass of sake!

      Dewey, I appreciate your expertise on sake selection. I will definitely seek out some premium sake for future cocktailing.

      Howdy Ben – Come on, don’t the color pink hold you back! Cheers.

  6. Sake is delicious cold and in cocktails – an elegant alternative to hard alcohol. I cannot think of a single thing I don’t like about this drink! (Includinig the apero-with-cooking ritual…)

  7. Oh my goodness. Yes! I need one of these.

  8. Yum!!

  9. I have never had sake, but this sounds like a great excuse to try it!!

  10. All my favorite drinks in one drink! Can’t wait to give this one a try.

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