Holiday Cocktail: The Paloma

You know what’s fun about Palomas (besides everything)? They’re light and fruity – so you’d imagine they’d be a strictly-for-summer cocktail – but the deep pink color and snowy (or, to be specific, sugary-salty) rim and general fabulousness make them perfect for the holidays.

(MAN that sugar-salt rim is good. I’ve never tried doing this before, and for real: you have to give it a shot.)

Tequila hasn’t really been my beverage of choice for…oh, maybe a decade now (due in large part to a couple of tequila-inclusive incidents during my college years that turned me off the stuff for awhile), but I’ve recently rediscovered it. Not the bottom-shelf swill that we used to drink straight from the bottle during our dorm room dance parties – ohhhh god, I get a headache just thinking about that – but rather the good (or at least pretty good) stuff. When it comes to tequila, it’s always worth spending a little extra money, because bad tequila is a bad time. And good tequila? Whee.

The most important thing to know about this drink is it’s only going to be as delicious as you let it be. If you use cheap tequila and poor-quality grapefruit juice it’s certainly going to be drinkable, but it’s not going to be the kind of transcendently phenomenal cocktail that it has the potential to be. Go to Whole Foods and get the annoyingly expensive freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice. Juice those limes. Use good salt. It’s worth the extra effort, I promise.


Adapted from this recipe.

What You Need:

  • 1/3 cup decent (or excellent) tequila
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • The juice from 1 lime
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • For rim: 1 lime, cut in half, plus good-quality salt and sugar
  • For garnish: Fresh grapefruit slices

What You Do:

  1. Pour some sugar and salt onto a flat plate and lightly mix to combine. Run the lime around the edge of each glass to moisten it, then dip into the salt-sugar mixture to coat the rim.
  2. In a shaker, combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, sugar, and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously, then strain into the rimmed glasses. Add a few ice cubes to each and fill to top with sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with fresh grapefruit slices.

Paloma cocktail with grapefruit juice and tequilaA grapefruit and tequila cocktail perfect for holiday entertaining Deep pink lily and pink and yellow flowers

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