A hybrid of the pomelo and sweet orange, the grapefruit was discovered by Europeans in the West Indies in the 1700s. Today, the United States is the world's second largest producer of the citrus fruit. Texas is famous for its Ruby Red grapefruit—pink-fleshed orbs that ripen extra sweet over long, hot summer nights. Texas red grapefruit, the official state fruit, is harvested October through May. To celebrate the harvest, we sampled three red grapefruit vodkas.
Skyy Infusions Texas Grapefruit, $18.95
Released in January, Skyy Infusions Texas Grapefruit joins a long line of fruit-flavored spirits from this San Francisco distillery. Candied grapefruit flavors dominate the nose—think liquid Starburst, Squirt, Tang—and the palate continues the sweet-fest, with powdered grapefruit and a notably sugary finish.
Absolut Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, $21.95
Made from winter wheat in the town of Ahus, Sweden, Absolut's flavored vodkas don't use any added sweeteners. That makes the nose on Absolut's Ruby Red much less cartoonish—one taster picked up citrus peel, pine and juniper. The palate is grapefruit and vodka; "It smells real and tastes real," added another panelist.
Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, $18.95
Deep Eddy's is the only grapefruit vodka we tasted that's distilled in Texas, and the only one with color. Distilled 10 times using corn, Deep Eddy's classic vodka is then blended with real grapefruit juice. This 35 percent ABV sipper pours a viscous pink with straightforward grapefruit juice notes on the nose. The palate boasts plenty of tart to counter the sweet. "It tastes like booze with citrus juice," said one taster; "Dangerlicious," added another.