The Tatum – a Grapefruit, Lime and Maraschino Martini

March 2, 2015 – I heard from a reader today who made this cocktail for a group gathered to honor a young girl named Tatum Jackson who had gone too soon, on February 26, 2015, at the tender age of seven. Bill asked if I would consider naming this cocktail after her; apparently little Tatum, in Bill’s words, loved pink, was sassy and unique, fresh and memorable, just like this drink recipe. If this one small thing will in any way bring a bit of light to her grieving friends and family, how could I possibly resist? So ‘The Tatum’ it is. Won’t you share a toast when you share thisย Grapefruit, Lime and Maraschino Martini to the memory of little Tatum? Here’s to you sweet Tatum, may your journey be swift and your days be filled with the joy you so obviously brought to everyone around you…Cheers!!


The winter solstice this past year was December 21; when the sun reaches the most southerly declination. It marks the day of the year with the least hours of daylight; the official start of winter. Though we can certainly anticipate more winter weather in Colorado, for me the winter solstice also signals the beginning of the end; the days after this moment in time get longer every day and we can appreciate the advent of spring as the next season to celebrate; my personal favorite time of the year.

It’s this same time of the year that citrus starts to play a bigger role in our food choices. With good reason in particular in the warmer parts of the country as lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruit ripen and become plentiful, however, I find myself craving them as if they were growing in my garden yet there is not one tree within hundreds of miles of me. After the season of gluttony, I look forward to lighter dishes and especially love salad dressings and cocktails thatย  include the brightness that is brought to our palate by citrus. If you are lucky enough to have a tree (or several) of Meyer lemons, please, please do not lament to me that you simply can not use all of the little beauties coming from your tree. That is not a problem. You can make lemonade or if it would help, you can send some of them to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

I purchased grapefruits and limes from the market a couple of days ago so inspiration for this cocktail came from seeing that fruit bowl on the counter. I really wanted to concentrate on the grapefruit; it’s sort of become my new favorite citrus. To balance the tartness of the juice I decided to add some maraschino liqueur. I recently made some of my own maraschino cherries for holiday gifts which are simply cherries that soak in Maraschino liqueur; once you try these beauties there is no going back.

There might be some that would take me to task for calling a cocktail without either gin or vermouth a martini and I get it, I really do; purists have their cause and all. However, I can’t get beyond that word for something served in a conventional glass shape that we have come to know as a martini glass! Vodkatini? Nope, can’t do it. So I’ll continue to call any beverage I serve in a martini glass a martini and just ask that you try this; it will bring a bit of sunshine into the dreary days of winter and we can anticipate spring together!

Grapefruit, Lime and Maraschino Martini

Creative Culinary
A little tart, a little sweet and a homemade maraschino cherry!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ยฝ lime juiced
  • 4 tsp maraschino liqueur
  • Garnish - grapefruit lime and cherry


  • Shake all ingredients except garnish with ice and strain into 2 cocktail glasses. Thread the garnish onto a long skewer and place on rim.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. I never thought of pairing maraschino with grapefruit! but it sounds delicious! I have all of the ingredients on hand right now! Can’t wait to make this cocktail! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Hey there!

    Wonderful recipe, this was quite the hit for our gathering. We adjusted the lime juice up one tablespoon, just to cut the grapefruit juice a little.

    May I request a name for this fabulous concoction? Our gathering was to celebrate the life of 7 year old Tatum Jackson, who passed away Thursday, February 26, 2015. She loved pink, was sassy and unique, fresh and memorable, just like this drink recipe.
    Would you please honor her memory and officially name this drink, “The Tatum”?
    This would be such a wonderful gift you can give to her grieving family and friends.

    1. Bill, I was delighted to hear you enjoyed it and then weeped at your request. I will do that; she was far too young and that makes me so sad. My own daughter was diagnosed in 2013 with breast cancer at 29 and I was gripped with fear for her, thinking her too young. We were lucky and she beat it but it was too close for comfort and I can not imagine losing a little girl. The Tatum it is…I don’t usually name drinks but this seems so appropriate. Please give my best to her family; I’m honored to be asked.

  3. Hi!
    This looks amazing but I can’t find the maraschino liqueur anywhere. I live in Denver and was wondering if you had any suggestions?


    1. Amy, I’m pretty sure I got mine from Heritage Liquors on Arapahoe Road (think it’s Centennial; just a bit west of I25). I called there to see if they had some but they’re out; they’re going to check availability and get back to me and I’ll let you know. I love the Luxardo…I made my own maraschino cherries and once you do…those nasty artificial bottled things will never be on your list again!

    1. Well, I am late to your party or I would have joined you! I’m playing hooky with Recipe Swap this month; too many things converged at one time…so thanks for dropping by.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know Lisa; I love nothing more than having a reader enjoy something I’ve done as much as I did!

  4. This is printing as I type- you had me at citrus. I crave it like crazy this time of year. You’ve even inspired me to seek out and plant a lime and a Meyer lemon tree! Must have my own stash pronto!

    1. Maybe only us landlocked high plainers really crave it the most? You know…we really want something that is harder to get. Not that we can’t get citrus but really good citrus? Not always.

    1. It made all the difference Amber; my friend Karen thought it a bit tart…a bit more of the maraschino liqueur made her happy!

    1. I’m jealous! I’m thinking of getting a little Meyer lemon tree that I would have to bring inside during the winter because other than that, citrus and places with snow are not compatible. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’ve heard some comment they might just use the juice from regular maraschino cherries would would be OK…sure not the same as this amazing liqueur but would add that touch of sweetness that is necessary.

  5. I”m not just saying this. This drink is up my alley. I love the color pink and it goes from there. I’ll be talking to you tomorrow Barb.P.S. I love how the fruit casts a shadow in your drink. Nice Pic.

  6. I love the fact that you are already playing with citrus – this drink sounds incredibly refreshing. We are just now starting to get our first glimpse of winter here in Ohio, so this post definitely brought a little sunshine to my evening!

    1. It brought some sunshine to my morning the other day…but I was good and saved it for getting together with friends later that evening. No drunk tweeting on the job for me!

      It is just that too…refreshing. Light, not boozy. Really was a perfect cocktail. It’s definitely tart as defined but my friend Karen just put a touch more of the maraschino liqueur into her potion and that suited her sweet tooth just fine too.

    1. We need to do a mutual cocktail/appetizer post one day. People want me to do appetizers too but it’s all I can do to get the drink made! Thanks Sylvie; it’s become something I really enjoy.

    1. Thanks Jayne; it’s simple and sometimes, especially this time of year, after the holidays when something more simple is just perfect. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thanks so much Anne Marie; it’s been a learning process certainly as I never took that many photos prior to doing them for this blog so compliments are truly music to my ‘I’ve learned this by the seat of my pants’ ears!

  7. Very pretty cocktail. I’m not a cocktail drinker but then maybe I need to be sitting around with a group of girlfriends for a drink, a nibble and a good gossip? Love citrus! Yum!

    1. That has to change. The day comes were are all together…it will be cause for celebration AND a cocktail!

  8. This is a bright glass of Spring! I think this is a martini that I’d really enjoy, especially with that maraschino cherry liqueur in it.

    1. My friends loved it. It’s light and citrusy and with a definite tang. A new favorite for sure. C’mon over…have one with me!

  9. Sounds delicious. And now I have a reason to use my maraschino liquor and my own homemade maraschino cherries. I also agree that anything served up in a martini glass should be called a martini, especially since I rarely ever put gin in my martinis. I’m straight up a vodka girl.

    1. Even though the liqueur made it a bit pinker…it really wasn’t much and I was pleasantly surprised at how pretty the juice from pink grapefruit turned out to be. A whew moment for sure.

  10. Gorgeous! I love citrus love:-) I have never had maraschino liqueur, which is crazy since I adore maraschino cherries:-) Love the flavor combinations, the bitter of the grapefruit and the sweet of the cherries sounds fantastic together! Cheers my friend! Hugs, Terra

    1. Try the liqueur than try making your own cherries and you will never go back to the store bought bright red ones again. Promise!

    1. Making my own maraschino cherries has been one thing I’ve loved about seeking food adventures. So easy Greg, ridiculously easy even. You can use fresh cherries in the spring, but these were packaged in a glass jar in light syrup. I rinsed them well and let them dry a bit and then immersed them in Luxardo maraschino liqueur. I not only love their subtle taste but now that I’m used to the darker color and softer end result, those other things are simply like eating plastic. Try it!

        1. I’m making some now using fresh cherries and will leave them for two weeks. I don’t worry in winter so much but in summer I think it’s better to be safe and keep them in the fridge. They won’t last long. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Oh that looks good! This will be so good tonight while I’m catching up on White Collar reruns and watching sappy movies. Surferboy’s off on an adventure is beautiful Barbados. Good thing this recipe makes more than one glass ;D

  12. Between you, Nancy (A Communal Table) and Pam (My Man’s Belly), I can host a wonderful cocktail party, with glamorous looking and tasty drinks:) It’s sunny here in SoCal, but this martini (I am not a purist:) can brighten any gray day.
    BTW, a couple of weeks ago several of LA food bloggers (including me) went to Melisa’s Produce warehouse for a great lunch and an educational primer on seasonal produce. they served juice from cocktail grapefruit that was sweet and orange, unlike any grapefruit I have ever tasted. I like bitterness of grapefruit, but this would be a nice change.
    Have a great weekend, Barb!

    1. I go through periods of ignoring grapefruit and then wonder why…I do love them. This cocktail has a nice tart punch; I like the color and just touch of sweet that the Maraschino Liqueur brings to it…without I think the pucker power would be overwhelming! I’m ready for a party. A spring party. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think my renewed love affair with grapefruit actually started last year when I made a marinade for flank steak using grapefruit because I had it on hand. It was so good, the meat was SO tender…and I’m was impressed enough to not forget it again!

  13. This needs a name…like cranberry-vodka = tartini’s etc. Citrini? Naah, but I’ll think of something! I think I want to start imbibing a little…not in an ‘alkie’ way, just a kick off the heels, languid ‘Martini or cocktail after work’ way. As always, a beautiful, delicious Friday buzz. Still craving the Vootbeer!

    1. How about Grapefruitini – reminded me of trying to spell Mississippi! Truth is, I imbibe very little. Never alone and even with friends always in moderation. Having a mother who imbibed a lot will do that to you! I love a great cocktail with emphasis on the ‘a’ part. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Although we have an abundance of citrus any time of year, I look forward to this time of year with Meyer Lemons and the best of the tangerines and grapefruits. And, I love grapefruit martinis and agree, if it’s served in a martini glass, it’s a martini! Usually I prefer tart over sweet and am not a maraschino cherry fan – but I bet your homemade ones could change that. The weekend is off to a great start ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You should try making your own maraschino cherries; really easy and so much better than those artificial things we normally are used to. Even with a bit of the maraschino liqueur this is still a nice, tart drink. One friend needed it a bit sweeter and we doctored hers a bit but that reminds me of how I season everything…I would rather err on the side of too little and correct it than overdo and wish I could take away.

  15. The drink is fantastic! Thank you Barb for serving it to me last night. The flavor is so refreshing with the citrus blending beautifully. Even though citrus is in season now I think this would be excellent for a summer cocktail party on the patio

    1. I agree Jane…really any blend of citrus juices with a bit of the sweet maraschino liqueur and vodka would be perfect anytime, don’t you think? Guess what I had for breakfast this morning? Yes I did…I mean it does have croissants in it right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes I can! I actually made this in the morning and it would have gone VERY easily right then and there. Thankfully I had friends coming over for drinks, so was a good girl and saved it for them too…but it would be a nice change from the requisite bloody Mary for a morning libation

    1. I love Colorado but in truth I love Colorado summers. I’m not a skier so this winter stuff is for the birds. I’m ready for a change for sure!

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