When you choose your drink of choice this summer, it’s important that you know what it says about you. The Paloma, for instance, will tell people that you like to keep things simple, while still maintaining a high bar for taste. Perhaps you’re a Libra or a Gemini. Or maybe you’re neither of those things, but you really like grapefruit. What we’re trying to say is: Palomas are good. Here’s a guide to everything you need to make these tall, fizzy, tequila-based drinks this summer. It has all the key ingredients, as well the proper (pink) glassware, a stylish cutting board to display your picture-perfect grapefruit wedges, and a source of bottomless of seltzer.
Not sure how to make a Paloma? You can find our recipe right here.
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A Necessary Ingredient
Honestly, you could always make a virgin Paloma, and it would almost definitely be delicious. But Tequila is the traditional spirit of choice for this drink - specifically blanco tequila, which you’ll recognize as the clear sort of tequila that says “blanco” on the bottle. There are countless kinds out there that we like right now, but if you want a quick suggestion, try Fortaleza. It has notes of both peach and grapefruit with a robust agave flavor, and it’s smooth enough to sip neat. Also, it isn’t super expensive.
A Classic Mixer
On the most basic level, a Paloma is just blanco tequila and grapefruit soda. We make ours a little fancier sometimes, but if you choose to go this supremely easy route, grab a six pack of Jarritos (and squeeze a lime wedge into the finished product).
A Source Of Infinite Palomas
Want to skip the grapefruit soda and make your Palomas from scratch? If so, we respect the decision. You can always pick up a bottle of seltzer - but that seltzer is going start turning flat before you make a second round. Get yourself a soda stream, and you’ll have an endless supply of perfectly bubbly water, as well as a few heavy-duty glass carafes you carry around your home as you ask any guests if they’d care for still or sparkling.
Your Path To Homemade Syrup
Making your own syrup for homemade grapefruit syrup is remarkably easy. Just get yourself a zester, then mix grapefruit zest with white sugar (around a heaping tablespoon of zest per each cup of sugar), then let that sit overnight. Next, throw that on the stove with equal parts water, and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so (I also like to throw in a grapefruit wedge or two for some added bitterness). Once it’s cooled down, strain and enjoy your own grapefruit soda.
Some Complimentary Glassware
Do everything right, and your Paloma should be a light shade of pink. If you want to throw your drink into a clear glass in order to fully appreciate the color, that’s a perfectly acceptable choice - but we at The Infatuation are fans of [colorful glassware]https://www.theinfatuation.com/recommendations/features/best-colorful-glassware). That’s why we’re partial to these highballs from Bormioli Rocco. They’re the perfect size, they have an ornate pattern around the outside, and your Paloma will still look pink after you pour it into one of these things.
The Traditional Route
As much we love colorful glassware and like to encourage other people share our enthusiasm, you’ll never go wrong with some classic, clear options. These ones from Cocktail Kingdom are exactly what we picture when someone says “highball,” and you can use them for everything from G&Ts to Gin Gin Mules.
A Key Piece Of Equipment
It is our uncontroversial opinion that Palomas taste better with a spritz of lime juice. But have you ever tried juicing a lime with your bare hands? It’s demoralizing. Fortunately, all you need to make you life a whole lot easier is a quality hand juicer. This one is technically a lemon juicer - but limes are smaller than lemons, so they’ll fit just fine in here. (Don’t every buy a lime juicer, by the way. They’re too small for lemons, and you don’t need two separate hand juicers.)
An Indispensable Garnish
Margaritas aren’t the only drinks that get salt rims. Palomas need them as well - and we’re fans of using a flaky sea salt, such as Maldon. Obviously, you can use it on food as well, but Palomas are the priority here.
An Immediate Upgrade
What’s the quickest way to turn your Paloma into something that tastes like it should cost at least $15? Rim your glass with a flavored salt. We particularly like smoked salt with our tequila and grapefruit, but this Saltverk pack comes with a few other kinds you can mess around with.
Some Useful Salt Vessels
When you rim your highball with salt (or smoked salt), you’ll need two small plates. (Here’s a rundown on the process.) And it’s especially helpful when your plates have tall lips, because then you won’t throw salt all over your floor. These dishes (bowls, but close enough) from Ichendorf Milano are perfect.
A Stylish Way To Cut Your Grapefruit
We doubt we’re psychic - in part because physic people should probably be aware of such things - but we’re pretty sure you need a new cutting board. Preferably, an attractive one. That’s where the reBoard from Material comes in. It’s sustainably produced, 50% of the profits go to good causes, and it looks nice enough to use as a display platter for any grapefruit wedges you slice for garnishes.
A Workhorse Knife
As long we’re on the subject of Material (check out their saucepan, by the way), you should know that we use their 8″ chef’s knife several times a day. It’s sturdy and immaculately balanced, and the handle has a comfy ergonomic grip. It also isn’t so outrageously expensive that we get anxious when pulling it off the knife rack. Grab one, and your grapefruits will learn to fear you.