With all the unseasonably warm weather, I’ve been jumping the gun on spring. Maybe if I buy potting soil and sunscreen, just maybe I can will the season to change. That goes for drinks, too. I’ve been brooding with bourbon since Halloween. No more, I say. Give me something light and citrusy, and maybe the sun will get the hint.
Kara Smith, bar manager at Pajarito, tells me I’m not alone. Their paloma has been a bestseller since the restaurant opened during the most frigid week of this winter. A bubbly and fresh tulip of tequila is just the ticket with a plate of carnitas tacos and a steamy casserole of queso fundido.
“I wanted to add honey for some richness,” Kara says. “Palomas are tart, and depending on what grapefruit you use, they can be bitter. The Q Grapefruit Soda is super tart, with tons of grapefruit flavor. And the Grapefruit Crema from Tattersall is amazing because it’s not overpowering.”
You’d often make this drink with no added sugar and a sweeter soda, like Fresca or Jarritos Toronja. But this is a deft remix—using a bitter soda and a mellow liqueur allows you to add back in some nuanced sweetness with a good honey (see this month’s Spirits Close-up). Find one with a nice floral flavor to complement the aged tequila.
- 2 ounces reposado tequila (Cazadores)
- ½ ounce Tattersall Grapefruit Crema
- ½ ounce honey syrup (1:1)
- ½ ounce lime juice
- Q Grapefruit Soda
Shake the first four ingredients with ice and strain into a tulip glass with fresh ice. Top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a lemon wheel.