Update: Rhulman’s Paloma

Issa PalomaThe previous article about this drink can be found here.

After a bit of hunting I finally found a couple of local places where I could find Izze Sparkling Juice on a regular basis.

I can see why they are useful in this context.  They are unsweetened and are about 70% juice and 30% soda water.

If you wanted to do something similar a bottle of ruby red grapefruit and a splash of club soda would be pretty equivalent.

Using it here was a good, I used the same amounts as the original simply replacing the squirt with Izze.  It still needed a dash of agave syrup to round the whole thing out.  Without it they were bitter and sour without being tart.

Ruhlman’s Paloma

palomaIn 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.

Botticelli: Drink Review – Turning Prayers into Sins

botticellidrink

The Third of my drink reviews from my trip to Oven and Shaker is the Botticelli.

1 oz Vodka
1 oz Aperol Italian Bitters
0.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
2 oz Cava

Now if you’re like me at least two of the ingredients on that list are a bit unknown.  Aperol is similar to Campari at about half the strength, a bitter orange liqueur with a reddish coloration.

Cava is a sparkling wine produced in Spain.  Since it’s not from the Champagne region you can’t call it Champagne so it gets a more regional appellation but the taste and concept are pretty similar.

Like the French 75 this takes some citrus and a good quality spirit and adds bubbly to the mix.  Only here we have a much more complex blend of flavors and colors.  I like the pink hue that comes out of the Aperol and the drink itself is very well balanced on the tongue.  It isn’t really complex and doesn’t challenge any expectations.  Very light on the alcohol taste, the citrus sees to that but the overall made grapefruit juice taste good which for me is a miracle in itself.  As billed on the drink menu this is a Fresh and light drink, good for early on when you’re not sure you want something that is going to sour you on dinner or lunch.

Lacking two of the major ingredients i’m not likely to make one of these at home without some major modifications and that would take some experimenting that I don’t really want to do.

I would buy another the next time I go to Oven and Shaker but their list of awesome drinks has at least another 10 that I haven’t tried yet and this one isn’t fantastic enough to bring me back on its own.

5/5 Shakers on this one, brilliantly executed.