Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
The Paloma is a simple and delicious cocktail that showcases grapefruit (the super citrus) alongside tequila, lime and soda. It is refreshing, simple to make and surprisingly tasty. I like palomas, but my spirit of choice as of late has been tequila’s smokey cousin, Mezcal. I often find myself combining mezcal and tequila which gives you the subtle smokiness of mezcal with the clean minerality of good blue agave tequila.
My mezcal preference is Ilegal Mezcal, an amazingly smokey and complex spirit that originated as a bootlegging operation in 2004. It has garnered some good press since the old days and is now more readily available. If you can’t find it in your area, Del Maguey is always a good mezcal choice as well.
The simple preparation for this drink is tequila or mezcal, lime, and grapefruit soda. That works, but I prefer fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and something bubbly. I typically opt for either club soda or a dry cava if I have one available. Today, I went for club soda. I also like to add bitters, typically a grapefruit variety and a more traditional variety such as Angostura. You get an amplified grapefruit undertone from one and depth and complexity from the other. It’s a win/win. Without further ado…
1 oz Ilegal Mezcal
1 oz Milagro Silver Tequila
3 oz Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
1/4 oz Agave Nectar
1 Dash Bittermens Grapefruit and Hop Bitters
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
2 oz Club Soda
To make, combine all ingredients except the club soda in a shaker with ice and shake to combine. Double strain into a coupe and top with club soda. Garnish with an obnoxiously large piece of grapefruit. Alternatively, you can double strain this cocktail into a high ball glass with ice, if that’s what you’d prefer. If you did that, it would look more like this.