Pretty In Pink: The Paloma Cocktail
Combining grapefruit, tequila, lime, and a salted rim, the Paloma resembles a margarita, but with the added fizz of club soda or grapefruit soda. The Paloma is one of my favorite cocktails, particularly on a hot summer afternoon.
It’s a shame that the Paloma is reserved for summertime though. Its main ingredient — the grapefruit — is in peak season during the New England winter. Citrus is having its moment right now, while we’re all pulling on our wool socks and comfy sweaters. Let’s not let Old Man Winter get us down. Grab some fresh, in-season grapefruits, break out the tequila, and let’s clink glasses to warmer months to come!
I tend to play with my Paloma ingredients depending on what's in the fridge (and in my liquor cabinet). Currently, my favorite way to mix it up is adding some Giffard Creme de Pamplemousse Rose - which is a very fancy way of saying grapefruit liqueur. It adds deep grapefruit flavor and a sweetness that allows me to omit additional simple syrup. The drink gets topped off with with Spindrift Sparkling Grapefruit Soda to add fizz - and even more grapefruit taste!
I never make a Paloma without a salted rim. If it's your thing, feel free to add some more flare by using a specialty salt. I used black Hawaiian lava salt that my sister gifted me for Christmas but you could also use pink Hawaiian sea salt, or a pepper-infused salt to add some heat! If you're not into either, you can't go wrong with kosher salt.
1. If you're adding a salted rim: With a paring knife, slice into the pulp of your lime wedge, being careful not to slice through the skin. Use the cut in the lime wedge to evenly wet the entire rim of a pint glass with its juice. Dip the wet rim of your pint glass into the salt. Shake off excess.
2. Carefully add the tequila, grapefruit and lime juices, and grapefruit liqueur to your glass.
3. Fill the glass with ice, then top with the grapefruit soda or club soda.
4. Garnish with a lime wedge. If you skipped the salted rim, consider adding a straw for sipping.
Martignetti Liquors is a great one-stop shop for liquor of all kinds. Salt and Olive has a wide selection of specialty salts that would be great for cocktails. Spindrift Soda can be found at your local Whole Foods Market, or use their store locator online to find a location near you.
Martignetti Liquors - 1650 Soldiers Field Rd., Brighton, 617-782-3700, martignettiliquors.com
Salt and Olive - 1160 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 857-242-4118, saltandolive.com