I have to admit that I count grapefruit juice as a perfect mixer. Despite it’s not as popular as lime juice, grapefruit juice brings richer flavour, fresher fragrance and unique bitter and tart aftertaste.

I prefer pink grapefruits because I think they give more constant taste than white ones.  Pink grapefruit juice combines perfectly with gin, vodka and tequila. But does it work with scotch?

Recently I’ve found simple cocktail recipe at CocktailDB in which blended scotch mixes with grapefruit juice and dry vermouth. It’s called Woodward, and I was going to learn how it works.

Trying various blended scotches, I’ve surprisingly found that here I like harsh whiskies such as Grant’s or Dewar’s White Label. They were strong enough to compete with juice and vermouth while my favourite White Horse got weakened in the presence of grapefruit juice that eventually harmed the cocktail taste.

So Dewar’s White Label became my choice for the first experiment.


  • 30 ml blended scotch (Dewar’s White Label),
  • 25 ml dry vermouth (Cinzano Extra Dry),
  • 25 ml fresh grapefruit juice.

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.


First sip comes with dry and smoky whisky flavour with delightful citrus notes. On the swallow it turns to fresh sour taste where winy and spicy hints of vermouth comes to the foreground.

With delicate dry aftertaste, this Woodward version is very bright thanks to unexpected smoky and peaty undertone I can’t  find in Dewar’s White Label neat.

Later I’ve made this version stirred. The main difference was in more transparent and bitter taste but on the other hand the flavour became too sharp and inharmonious.

My next move was to try this recipe with better components so I prepared 12 years old scotch and elegant French vermouth.

Woodward De Luxe

  • 30 ml aged blended scotch (Dewar’s Special Reserve),
  • 20 ml dry vermouth (Noilly Prat Original Dry),
  • 20 ml fresh grapefruit juice.

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

This version starts with mellow grapefruit  and moment later develops into subtle whisky flavour full of oak and earth tones. Pleasant bitter aftertastes of vermouth, grapefruit zest, leather and wood prevail in the finish.

For me, this Woodward cocktail is better because of its clear, smooth and well-balanced taste. But definitely these advantages are reverse side of lacking individuality. Which one do you prefer – with ordinary scotch or with aged one? What vermouth will be perfect for chosen scotch?

How about your own Woodward? Would you like to create it?