Once a year, usually late December or early January, we receive a case of the sweetest pink grapefruits delivered to our doorstep. At first we love them. For breakfast, in salads, in cake and juiced. Then our citrus enthusiasm slowly begins to wane. There's no avoiding the mound of softball- sized fruits each time I step into the kitchen. As with anything abundant in our culinary arsenal over to the bar they went. I decided it was time for them to have a go at the shaker.
I'm literally sucking grapefruit juice off my finger as I sift through my neglected pile of magazines, which includes the January issue of Bon Appetit (which I've had since early December). And what to my wondering eyes did appear but an image of a giant grapefruit cocktail they claim is a must have for this year. How perfect, they shared their take on the Paloma, a drink as beloved if not more so than the margarita, pending which bar you belly up to.
The Paloma is a traditional Mexican cocktail made with grapefruit soda and of course tequila. While Bon App magazine likes theirs with mezcal I stuck to the traditional tequila, skipped the sugar* (since I too am currently counting calories) and pumped up the grapefruit. I juiced half a pink grapefruit, grabbed a can of my new favorite flavor of Perrier-pink grapefruit in lieu of soda for the spritz, some silver tequila, ice and my trusty shaker. You should follow suit, serve some warm gooey queso fresco and chips alongside it, and you'll be enjoying a killer grapefruit-infused happy hour in 10 minutes time.
*Note:My pink grapefruits are very sweet on their own. However, if your grapefruit juice is a little bitter you can add a teaspoon of sugar or some simple syrup to your shaker to sweeten it as you like.
The Pink Paloma Cocktail
2 ounces of silver tequila 1/3 cup pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed (about half a 4- inch pink grapefruit) Wedges of lime 3 ounces pink grapefruit Perrier Coarse salt, optional
Use one lime wedge to run around the edge of the glass. Dip into a shallow plate with salt if you want a salted rim. If not skip this step.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add the tequila and the pink grapefruit juice. Shake until chilled.
Strain into the salt rimmed glass. Squeeze the lime from a wedge into the drink and stir. Top with soda, and serve with an additional lime wedge for garnish.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices, and advice with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on twitter @maureenpetrosky