Spice it up with a Sizzling Sunset

Bold name for a cocktail? Well she is bold. And spicy. And harsh.

This drink has so many layers; sharpness inherited from grapefruit juice, a warm depth from the ginger, and a hot kick from the chili… all in an impactful dance with the simplistic dryness of the gin and tonic.

Don’t worry if you don’t like G&T, the powerful flavours of this drink really mask the traditional gin and tonic taste. This is by no means a modest recipe.

There’s something unique about this drink – not only its colour, a kind of Grecian sky at dusk, a blend of warm orange and a hint of pastel pink- but in its juxtaposing warmth and freshness. This would ideally work well as a winter warmer as its does now as a refreshing mix in summer.

I’ve messed with this recipe back and forth to perfect it, and found there is a fine line between hitting impactful flavours and overreaching… often pronouncing this drink as a fiery and sophisticated cold remedy more than an enjoyable cocktail. And so the message is, don’t be tempted to add more and more chili, remembering the ginger too adds its punch.

Makes 1


  • Half a grapefruit juiced
  • 2cm piece of ginger finely grated
  • 1cm chili finely sliced
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1 shot of sugar syrup
  • 2 shots gin
  • Tonic water
  • Ice


Juice half a grapefruit.

Pour the juice into a shaker or a jar with a lid, and add the ginger, chilli, and sage leaves.

Muddle together well, to infuse the flavours into the juice.

Add the sugar syrup and gin.

Shake vigorously.

Strain into a glass half filled with ice.

Serve with a slice of grapefruit or a sage leaf.

For an added wow factor, if you happen to have any in the garden, serve with a nasturtium flower perched on top. As well as the bright red colour which adds to the drink’s great visual, the flower’s strong pepper taste compliments the heat perfectly.

If you’ve tried out this recipe at home, let us know what you think in the comments below.

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