Gin and Grapefruit Cheesecake - The Sweet Rebellion
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Gin and Grapefruit Cheesecake

I’ve been waiting somewhat impatiently for ruby grapefruits to come into season. Not only is their beautiful red flesh a delight to look at, but their zesty and slightly bitter flavour is unlike any other fruit. Grapefruits work wonderfully in desserts, where that refreshing citrus flavour offsets both the sweetness and richness that could otherwise be cloying.

There’s no question that gin and grapefruit work well together in cocktails, and the same is true for this cheesecake! Although adding it is technically optional, a touch of gin really brings this cheesecake to life and makes it something special. A neutral or citrus-infused gin works best.

It seems many people fall either into the baked cheesecake or fridge cheesecake camp, but I truly love them both equally. One department where baked cheesecakes score extra points is that extra toasty and crunchy biscuit base. To balance the scales I have included a short base baking step here too. Once you taste it, I think you’ll agree it’s worth doing!


For the base:
200g Tennis biscuits or Digestives
100g salted butter, melted

For the filling:
150ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
7,5ml gelatine (1½ tsp)
45ml gin (3 tbsp)
100g castor sugar (½ cup)
375g full-cream cream cheese (room temperature)
10ml finely grated grapefruit zest (2 tsp)
30g icing sugar, sifted (¼ cup)
250ml cream (1 cup)

For the gin and grapefruit jelly:
200ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
7,5ml gelatine (1½ tsp)
35g castor sugar (3 tbsp)
45ml gin (3 tbsp)

a few grapefruit slices, to decorate


  • Line the base and sides of a 20cm diameter loose-bottomed tin with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Add the biscuits to a food processor and blitz until you have fine crumbs. Pour in the melted butter and blend again. Press this mixture into the prepared tin and push down well. Bake for 6 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
  • To make the cheesecake filling, place 2 tbsp of the grapefruit juice into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine over and leave to bloom for 5 minutes.
  • Place the remaining grapefruit juice, castor sugar and gin into a small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 4-5 minutes until slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Place the cream cheese and grapefruit zest into a bowl. Beat with an electric or stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and mix well. Add the cooled grapefruit and gin syrup in a thin stream, mixing constantly.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peak stage. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture until just combined. Pour this over the cooled biscuit base, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • To make the jelly topping, place 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over. Leave to bloom for 5 minutes. Place the remaining juice, castor sugar and gin into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue heating until the mixture comes to a boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine mixture. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Once the cheesecake layer has set, gently pour the cooled jelly liquid on top. Refrigerate for at least another 3 hours before serving.

  • Nicky
    Posted at 21:44h, 11 May Reply

    It looks so beautiful and I can almost taste each layer in my head. Need to ask my sister to make this for me!

    • Astrid
      Posted at 08:53h, 15 May Reply

      Thanks Nicky! I’m sure she will oblige!

  • Itumeleng
    Posted at 00:05h, 20 May Reply

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it
    Thank you so much

    • Astrid
      Posted at 17:19h, 25 May Reply

      Hi Itumeleng! Thanks so much for the feedback. I hope you enjoy the cheesecake!

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