The grapefruit is a hybrid of sweet orange and pomelo, which is another gin botanical used by distillers. The grapefruit brings a light, zesty sweetness to the flavour profile.
Facts about Grapefruit:
Scientific Name: Citrus × Paradisi
Common Name: Grapefruit
Height of Plant: The grapefruit 5–6 meters tall though can grow to 13m and live for up to 50m
It was created in Barbados when the sweet orange and pomelo were accidentally bred together. Both ancestors of the grapefruit were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century. The fruit was first documented in 1750 by a Welshman, Rev. Griffith Hughes, who described specimens from Barbados in The Natural History of Barbados.
When found, it was named the “forbidden fruit”; and frequently, it has been misidentified with the pomelo. It wasn’t until the 1800s that a Jamaican farmer coined the term “grapefruit.”
The name grapefruit first appeared in English in a work by botanist John Lunan, Hortus Jamaicanensis (1814). While the name apparently arose because the fruit grows in grape-like clusters and can imaginatively be looked at as grapes when small and green, Lunan had stated that it was “known by the name of grape-fruit, on account of its resemblance in flavour to the grape.”
Botanically, the grapefruit was not distinguished from the pomelo until the 1830s, when it was given the name Citrus paradisi. Its true origins were not determined until the 1940s. This led to the official name being altered to Citrus × paradisi.
What it adds to Explorer’s Gin:
The flesh is segmented and acidic, varying in colour depending on the cultivars, which include white, pink, and red pulps and flavours range from highly acidic and somewhat sour, to sweet and tart.
Grapefruit was always going to be part of the botanical bill, bringing those bright, fresh and tart essential oils that enliven the spirit. We use both cut peel and fresh grapefruits in our process. The grapefruit are peeled and cut up and added to the onion head, where the ethanol vapours then infuse with these wonderful oils.