This traditional Mexican cocktail is made with fresh grapefruit juice and tequila. My version has a subtle kick of heat from a chili-infused simple syrup.
With the holiday season quickly approaching, I am always looking for easy cocktail recipes for entertaining. My friend Kristy is hosting Friendsgiving this year and I’ve been assigned cocktails. Since Friendsgiving is more relaxed and less structured than the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, I decided it was a great opportunity to whip up a pitcher of spicy grapefruit Palomas.
While Palomas aren’t your customary Thanksgiving drink, this seasonal cocktail is made with winter citrus fruits which are ripe and affordable this time of year. Typically made with grapefruit soda such as Squirt or Jarritos, I decided to come up with a healthier version. Instead of using store-bought soda I decided to combine fresh grapefruit and lime juice with a chili-infused simple syrup. If you don’t want this to be spicy, simply omit the chilis. Ginger would be a great alternative as well.
To bring all the flavors together I like to rim the glass with a combination of coarse Kosher salt and sugar. The subtle sweetness from the grapefruit juice, tartness from the lime juice and spicy-sweet simple syrup create the ultimate well-balanced cocktail. Tequila is used traditionally but gin or vodka would work too.
Your straw is waiting.
Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail
- 8 ounces tequila
- 1 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice (roughly two juiced)
- 1/4 cup lime juice (roughly one juiced)
- 12 ounces club soda
- additional lime and grapefruit slices (optional garnish)
Chili-Infused Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 fresno chili (thinly sliced)
Sugar Salt Rim
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- Start by preparing the Chili-Infused Simple Syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add chili slices and remove from heat. Let chilis steep in simple syrup until syrup is cooled. Drain then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Note: If you need the syrup sooner, place in the freezer to quickly bring down the temp before draining the chilis.
- When you're ready to make the cocktail, place the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and chili-infused simple syrup in a large pitcher and stir well. Place the sugar and salt for the rub on a small plate and mix with a fork to combine. Run a lime wedge along the rim of each glass then carefully dip the glasses into the sugar-salt rub until coated.
- Fill the cocktail glasses with ice and pour mixture until 3/4 full. Top off each glass with club soda and fruit garnish to serve.
Disclosure: I am honored to be in a long term relationship with Sabra. All thoughts are my own.
Check out more of my drink recipes on my Pinterest board!