Fresh out of Memorial Day Weekend, you’re favorite booze hound is bringing you a new recurring segment about what’s in my cup. From beer to cocktails, straight liquor to the occasional wine, I drink it all. With summer officially underway, I can’t think of a better time to start this up.
So, what am I drinking? This guy:
A classic for many bartenders, I’ve found not many people I hang out with are familiar with this cocktail. It has all the refreshment and summery vibes of a margarita but with less sugar and the addition of grapefruit. I can crush a bunch of these things in the summer heat, and you will too once you try this out.
You’ll need blanco tequila, grapefruit soda and fresh or unsweetened lime juice at the minimum for this cocktail. Professionals sometimes use fresh grapefruit juice and club soda to provide the bubbles. Personally, I don’t like club soda and find that grapefruit San Pellegrino or other name brand soda’s work just as well. For an added level of complexity, sub in mezcal for tequila to provide some smokiness on the finish.
Stir together 2 parts tequila or mezcal, 2 parts grapefruit soda, and 1 part lime juice. If you prefer your drinks a little sweeter, stir in a teaspoon of sugar until it dissolves. Pour over ice. Serve in a highball glass, rimming the glass with salt if you so choose. Garnish with a lime or grapefruit wedge.
Right now, I’m drinking my Paloma with Riazul Plata Tequila, Organics Italian Grapefruit Soda, and Realime juice. That’s it. Riazul is one of my favorite tequilas, but does tend to run in the $40-$45 range. You by no means need to spend that much on a tequila in order to make a tasty Paloma. I find Espolon works great in cocktails and is half the price.
For those not familiar with Mezcal, it’s like the Scotch of the agave world. Like tequila, it is distilled from any type of agave, not specifically blue agave like tequila has to be. The agave’s piña, or heart, is roasted to give it a distinct smokiness, which works great in many cocktails that also use tequila. For intro brands, I recommend the Del Maguey and Fidencio lines, which deliver high quality products without being overly expensive. In particular, I’d try Del Maguey Vida and Fidencio Clasico.
I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do! Stay tuned to find out what I’ll be drinking next!