I must confess that I have gone the majority of my life without even knowing what a Paloma was. But ever since having one at Rosa Mexicano in New York City, I've been hooked. It was so simple. It was so delicious. It was so amazing. When I ordered it, they gave me a Collins glass filled with ice and garnished with a lime, a shot glass of Partida Silver Tequila and a bottle of Jarrito's Toronja grapefruit soda. Holy shit. It blew me away.
Like anything else that I love in the name of alcohol, I wanted to carry Jarrito's in my wine shop. But, for some reason, I couldn't find the vender for Jarritos. So, in typical "me" fashion, I decided to give it a go myself. Of course, I geeked out. I needed to dissect the All Mighty Toronja.
Ingredients: carbonated water (water, carbon dioxide), natural sugar, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preservative), yellow 5, yellow 6. Look for yourself.
Now, I don't know about you but I HATE yellow #5 and yellow #6. Actually, that statement isn't entirely true. I never understood the point of food coloring. Just kidding. I do understand why companies use it. It's another marketing ploy to make you believe something is more delicious than it actually is. It keeps the food coloring companies in business. I blame the Irish. After all, I am half Irish. What does that mean exactly? I don't know. It just makes me feel better when I blame the Irish. It's just like using food coloring.
Okay. Enough rambling and on to the recipe.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 cups fresh squeezed Grapefruit juice
Grapefruit oleo saccharum
Cold process the sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. You can find my cold process method here. Add grapefruit and oleo saccharum and shake. Let it sit over night. It makes all the difference in the world. Remove grapefruit peels and press out remaining juice of peels. Store in fridge up to one month.
Oleo saccharum of grapefruit
Grapefruit rind of 3 grapefruits1/2 cup granulated sugar
Combine ingredients in a sous vide bag. Rub sugar and grapefruit peel together to release oils from the rind. Vacuum seal and let sit at room temperature for a few hours until the sugar and oil combine. You see what I mean when you do it.
Here's how to make the most amazing Paloma you'll ever have in your life. Seriously.
1 1/2 oz of your favorite blanco tequila (I use Partida)
1 1/2 oz Grapefruit syrup
2 oz carbonated water (club soda)
*2 drops Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
juice of 1 lime wedge (a 1/4 lime)
Combine ingredients in a Collins glass filled with ice. Give it a quick stir. Garnish with an orange peel.
*A note on the bitters: You can use any bitters you like. I've tried Fee Brothers Grapefruit and it ended up offering more floral notes on the nose and a sweeter taste profile. It didn't work as well with the syrup, in my opinion. You can also sub in Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters if you'd like. It works well and it adds a different dimension to the cocktail that is truly refreshing. If you use Adam's bitters, I'd bump it up to three drops. If I make two of these cocktails for myself on a hot day, I use Bittermens in one and Adam's in the other. I like the contrast.
If you're not a fan of tequila cocktails, you can sub in gin in this recipe.
Gins that work in this recipe:
Plymouth - Nice, well balanced. The grapefruit brings out more herbaceous notes in the gin
DH Krahn - Sweet and citrusy. Very playful on the palate. I would garnish this with a lemon peel
Beefeater Summer Edition - Floral and airy. The sugar in the syrup pull the botanicals together nicely
No. 3 - Citrusy and soft - The orange peel in the gin plays nice. Use Adam's spanish bitters
209 Gin - Rich and complex. I tend to use Fee Brothers Grapefruit bitters in this one.
The only thing that I ask of you is, make sure there are no children around when you say "That's fucking delicious."