FALL'S ANSWER TO A PALOMA THAT IS EQUAL PARTS EARTHY AND DELICIOUS!
If this isn't easy entertaining...I don't know what is. Infusing flavor into your favorite spirit is one of my BEST (certified) entertaining hacks. You are able to impart SO MUCH FLAVOR in a short period of time with little to no effort. The payoff? People are IMPRESSED and with the right flavor combos in tow, you are able to make a somewhat boring beverage into one that is exciting, so pretty to look at, and not to mention tastes pretty fantastic.
Palomas are such an excellent drink and I for one, don't think they should be reserved for the summertime. I know I am not one to talk (I live in San Diego, California and the weather is more often than not always on my side), but this take on one- should not be reserved for a single season.
When recipe developing for the holiday season, I wanted to be sure to create an easy batched cocktail that fits the bill up against three criteria: 1. your guests would LOVE it, 2. it wouldn't require too much effort on your part and 3. takes a fan-favorite cocktail and remixes it in a Tash Mashup fashion. You'll see what I mean when you take your first sip! :)
If citrus is king during this time of the year, this take on a paloma is a queen. I love citrus this time of the year and call me crazy but I've found that grapefruits during late fall/winter are sweeter and more palatable.
When hosting for Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving, I usually like to offer a fun batched cocktail to snack on as everything goes in the oven one last time to warm up before SHOWTIME. This one is fabulous because it pairs nicely with spicy savory small bites and appetizers beautifully. I also will add, if you need something to pair with a Tandoori turkey...this cocktail would be the perfect match. It stands up nicely to Indian flavors (without any competition at that) and if you are hosting this time of the year with a "fusion" menu- you'll NEED to be serving these!
2 cups of blanco tequila (I used Tequila Revolución )
6 bags of jasmine tea (I used the Twinnings brand)
1 cup of lime juice, roughly the juice from 6-7 limes (I used Santa Cruz 100% Pure Lime Juice)
4 1/2 cups of grapefruit-flavored Italian soda (I used an Italian grapefruit soda like this one)
2 oz of agave syrup
3 tablespoons of pink salt
Grapefruit slices, for garnish (optional but highly recommended)
Fresh mint, optional, for garnish,
Edible flowers, optional, for garnish
In a large mason jar (I used a 64 oz one)- pour in 2 cups of blanco tequila. Add in your 6 bags of jasmine tea and close the lid tightly. Gently rotate and flip upside down to make sure everything is combined.
Let it sit for 15-30 minutes. The flavor will naturally get stronger the longer it sits, but I think this is the perfect sweet spot. Any less, you won't get enough of the floral scent from jasmine and any longer, you risk the tequila getting bitter.
Once ready to serve, pour your infused tequila into a pitcher. Add in your lime juice.
Then, top with grapefruit soda. This next step is totally optional but I recommend adding in a bit of sweetener to balance things out. If this floats your boat, add in 2 oz of agave syrup at this point.
Stir to combine.
When ready to serve, rim your glasses using grapefruit slices and pink salt. Then, fill your glassware with ice. Add in the same grapefruit into your glasses (I'd recommend no more than one in a single glass) and pour in your paloma. For a final touch, garnish with fresh mint and edible flowers.
~ Serves 6-8
If you want to make this advance, feel free to infuse the tequila and then add the lime juice and agave if using, into your serving pitcher. Cover with saran wrap until you're ready to assemble your cocktails. When ready to serve, simply top with grapefruit soda and then stir to make sure everything is combined nicely. Make sure to not add ice to the pitcher and only to the glasses when you are ready to drink!
I used Italian soda for this recipe and highly recommend using Italian soda if you can find it. It is much more crisper than regular sodas and uses less sweeteners. Italian sodas are most often flavored with syrups made from natural fruits, vs. the artificial sweeteners typically used in soda. I am a big fan of making cocktails as simple as possible and Italian soda is my secret to a perfect paloma. Palomas typically require both grapefruit juice AND a club or grapefruit soda to top and using an Italian soda is a 1-2 punch in this version. :)