What’s not to like about a Paloma? The classic Mexican cocktail pairs up tequila with refreshing grapefruit for a colorful and heat-beating summer drink. And while there are some signature recipes, it’s also a drink you can play around with.
We got our hands on a recipe from Martinelli’s, the iconic sparkling cider brand. As you may have guessed, the drink involves some fizzy apple juice, which turns out to be an ideal pairing with the rest of the Paloma contents. Check out the recipe below as well as a few other ideas we have on riffing on this classic tequila cocktail.
With tequila as a base and grapefruit juice bringing lively acidity to the table, there are many directions you can take the Paloma drink. We like to go spicy and not just with a good salted rim. Try adding a splash of Ancho Reyes, the stellar liqueur out of Puebla. Adding jalapeños is advised as well — just be sure to include the seeds if you like added heat.
One can play around with additional fruit as well, especially in the summer when different things arrive fresh at the produce stand. Watermelon juice is a great option as is peach, which can be grilled and used as an attractive (and delicious) garnish.
While tequila is boss in the Paloma cocktail, it can be subbed out now and again. Try some Mezcal instead, or even a bit of Sotol. Consider small amounts of other boozy things too, such as tepache (the wild-fermented pineapple beverage native to Mexico), a sour or fruit beer, or a little bit of tasty sparkling wine.
And if you like a touch of sweetness in your cocktail, add some honey syrup or agave syrup to your Paloma recipe. Also, consider a splash of Aperol for added color and a bittersweet punch that goes extremely well with grapefruit. That, or some Lillet, the trusty French aperitif.
Sweet, spicy, salty, and thirst-quenching, this cocktail offers all of the things. As you’re sniffing around for the right grapefruit at the store, look for the heavy ones as they tend to have the best and ripest juice.
- 1 3/4 ounces tequila blanco (100% agave)
- 1/2 ounce Giffard Pamplemousse
- 2 1/2 ounces Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider
- 3/4 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 grapefruit wheel
- 1 small apple
- 1 tablespoon Tajin
- 1 dash of salt
- Mix Tajin & salt together on a small plate and set aside.
- Add tequila, pamplemousse, lime and grapefruit in a cocktail shaker,
- Shake vigorously and strain over ice.
- Top with Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, and stir briefly.
- Add one wheel of fresh grapefruit, placed inside glass against one side, slightly curved.
- Cut 3 apple slices, “fan” them, and place them on top of the cocktail.
- Serve with a straw.