In my wanderings I pick up bits here and there to try and give everyone a good overview of drinking culture and to hopefully learn a bit myself. One such stumble was on the website of World Famous Chef Michael Ruhlman. On his site he does a regular Friday Cocktail hour and this particular drink was called the Paloma.
The basic ingredients for this cocktail appear daunting at first.
- 3 ounces tequila
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 3 ounces grapefruit soda
A fairly simple drink but if you look closely there’s two shots of tequlia in there and what amounts to a splash of lime juice.
Chefs are know for being able to put away a few drinks but that seems a bit excessive for a refreshing sipper.
Additionally Ruhlman recommends a couple of brands of grapefruit soda that I would live to try out. Sadly the grocer that stocked the best in oddball beverages has folded and now I’m stuck with a vanilla assortment of coke products and Jones Soda co. offerings.
On the plus side my recent birthday netted me a fine bottle of Sparkle Donkey Silver which I have been dying to put through its paces.
Ingredients in had I took the drink to a party and let a couple of friends play with the results.
Instead of a fancy grapefruit soda I started with squirt. Not a bad addition, it covered the bases for bubbly, citrus and sweet. The sparkle donkey was pulling more than it’s share of freight. In hindsight I wish I had brought some ruby red squirt to try some other variations but I also wish I had a reposado to do this with so we’ll have something to do next time.
Some other variations. I bought grapefruit juice and club soda, as Ruhlman suggests, but was disappointed with the results. I used white grapefruit juice from a bottle which is much more bitter than the alternative ruby red. The resulting cocktail was sharp and bit pretty hard after the lime.
The saving grace was the selection of syrups I had brought. A spoonful of agave syrup into either version brought up flavors and brought down bitterness enough to make them each an excellent concoction.
In the end I think I would suggest the following:
1.5 oz Sparkle Donkey Silver
1 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1.5 oz club soda
0.5 oz lime juice
1 tsp agave syrup
Stir in a tall glass and sip slowly on a hot day.
Flavor wise this is tart and bubbly. If you’re using a quality tequila the flavors will blend nicely across the palate and let you savor the agave.