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Transfusion

The Transfusion is a refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for a day out on the golf course or just a relaxing evening at home. This delicious drink is a favorite among golfers and non-golfers alike, and it’s easy to see why.

transfusion cocktail served with lime

The transfusion has become a beloved drink in the golfing community. Its refreshing taste and easy-to-make recipe have made it a go-to drink for golfers around the world. Some variations of the recipe call for a splash of lime juice or a garnish of frozen grapes or crystallized ginger. Whether you’re a fan of sweet or sour flavors, you’re sure to love this cocktail. So why not mix up a batch and enjoy it with friends at your next BBQ or cocktail party?

History

The history of the Transfusion cocktail is largely unknown, but it is believed to have originated in golf clubs and courses. It is said to be a favorite drink of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was an avid golfer. In fact, some sources claim that he even introduced the drink to Augusta National Golf Club, one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world.

Cranberry Vodka Cocktail transfusion with lime and ice on black table.

The Transfusion is often referred to as “golf’s greatest drink,” and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that has become a staple on golf courses and at country clubs around the world. The drink’s popularity has even led to the creation of “links drinks,” a category of cocktails that are specifically designed to be enjoyed on the golf course.

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Arnold Palmer, the legendary golfer, is also associated with the Transfusion. He was known to mix his own version of the drink, which he called the “Arnold Palmer Transfusion.” The recipe for his version of the cocktail included vodka, lemonade, and grape juice.

There are a few different theories as to where the name Transfusion comes from. One likely reason is because of the drink’s vibrant blood-red color, or the belief it offers electrolytes along with a boozy punch.

How to Make It

transfusion cocktail served with lime

Transfusion

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Making a Transfusion cocktail is easy and requires only a few ingredients. Here is a simple recipe that you can follow to make a delicious Transfusion drink at home:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 2 oz Concord grape juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz ginger ale
  • Ice cubes
  • Frozen grapes and lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add vodka, Concord grape juice, and fresh lime juice to the glass.
  3. Stir the mixture well to combine the flavors.
  4. Top the glass with ginger ale to add carbonation and sweetness to the drink.
  5. Garnish the drink with frozen grapes and lime wedges for a refreshing touch (optional).

Notes

  • For a fruitier and sweeter Transfusion drink, you can add an extra shot of Concord grape juice to taste.
  • You can use other carbonated beverages like Sprite, Fresca, or ginger beer instead of ginger ale for a variation in flavor.
  • If you don't have fresh lime juice, you can use lemonade or cranberry juice as a substitute.
  • To make a mocktail version of the Transfusion drink, you can omit the vodka and replace it with electrolyte-rich coconut water or black olive brine for a unique twist.
  • Use a shaker to mix the ingredients if you prefer a smoother and more blended drink.
  • You can also strain the drink into a glass to remove any pulp or seeds from the grape juice.
  • Use Ketel One or any other high-quality vodka for the best taste and quality.
  • To add more sweetness and flavor to the drink, you can use crystallized ginger or grape jelly as a garnish.
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Variations

There are many variations of the classic Transfusion cocktail drink recipe that you can try out to add some variety to your drink menu. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Ginger Beer Transfusion

Swap out the ginger ale for ginger beer to add a bit more spice to your drink. This variation is perfect for those who prefer a stronger ginger flavor and a bit more carbonation.

Cranberry Transfusion

Add a splash of cranberry juice to your Transfusion for a tart and refreshing twist. This variation is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter drink with a bit of tang.

Blood Transfusion Cocktail

For a spooky Halloween twist, add a splash of black olive juice and garnish with a skewered black olive to create a blood transfusion cocktail. This variation is perfect for Halloween parties or horror-themed events.

Mocktail Transfusion

For a non-alcoholic version of the Transfusion, simply omit the vodka and replace the ginger ale with Sprite or Fresca. Add some fresh lime juice and a lime wedge garnish for a refreshing and zesty mocktail.

Spicy Transfusion

For a bit of heat, muddle a small piece of crystallized ginger in the bottom of your shaker before adding the other ingredients. Strain the mixture over ice and garnish with a slice of fresh ginger for an extra kick.

BBQ Transfusion

Garnish your Transfusion with a skewer of grilled Concord grapes for a smoky and savory twist. This variation is perfect for summer BBQs and outdoor gatherings.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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