If I had a £1/$1 for every time someone told me how much they dislike Tequila, I’d have retired and lived happily ever after in my grand-cabin the woodlands of Arizona.
As it is, I don’t get a single penny – which really does make it hard to listen too. Tequila has a bit of a bad rap and, whilst this is slowly being repaired by some of the artisan brands out there, it still needs a little helping hand to get people falling in love with it.
The biggest hurdle is that of the ‘cheap’ brands creating below-par tequila with shots and heavily mixed drinks the aim. To avoid any uneasy feelings by naming those brands, let’s just say anything less than 100% agave is considered by this blog to be ‘below par’.
The best way to get over the hurdles surrounding Tequila is to share the best ways to re-introduce yourself to this earthy and unique spirit. Tequila is, in my opinion, always a difficult spirit to simply sip. Whilst there are brands that specialise in ‘sipping’ quality tequilas, I am not a straight drinker and prefer my spirits lightly mixed into long summer-perfect drinks. Think about the Mule category for a snapshot of my preferences.
So, when it comes to tequila, what is the best way to mix it so you can really enjoy its complex flavour? Yes, there are literally hundreds of cocktails out there that contain tequila, some are classic (for good reason) and others are, at best, dreadful. All too often these ‘poorly created’ cocktails add to the stigma around the spirit.
The best way, by far, is the cocktail known as the Paloma. I’ve written a few posts that have included Paloma recipes before, and it is my favourite cocktail containing Tequila. A lot of people prefer a margarita but I find it to be a little savoury and have had far too many bad margaritas for my own liking.
All you need for a Paloma is 3 things: Tequila, Grapefruit Soda, and Lime.
There are more complex recipes out there, and the 3 recipes I want to share with you will show the differences between easy, medium, and difficult recipes.
The tequilas used are all high quality and whilst you can choose your own brands please try to make sure whatever Tequila you buy is 100% agave. Click here to find out why this is important.
Scroll down for the 3 recipes that I believe, will restore your faith in Tequila…
Easy – Paloma
50ml Ocho Tequila
12.5m Lime Juice
125ml Grapefruit soda
- Build the ingredients over ice in a tall Collins glass.
- Top up with the grapefruit soda, swizzle and top with more ice.
- Garnish with a lime wedge/wheel or some zest peelings.
Medium – Paloma
50ml Aqua Riva Reposado Tequila
25ml grapefruit juice
15ml grapefruit syrup
Top up soda water
- Combine the juice, syrup, and tequila in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Around 10-15 seconds should do it.
- Strain into a tall ice-filled glass and top with the club soda.
- Garnish with a lime wheel/wedge or a selection of zest peelings.
Difficult – Paloma
50ml Patron Blanco Tequila
15 ml sugar syrup
15 ml fresh lime juice
25ml fresh grapefruit juice
Top up sparkling mineral water
1 lime wedge
1 lime wedge / zest peel, for garnish
- Optional: Moisten the rim of a tall glass with a cut lime wedge and dip into a fine salt powder.
- In an ice-filled shaker, combine the tequila, sugar syrup, fruit juices and shake well. For around 10-15 seconds – until the shaker tin ices over.
- Strain into your ice-filled serving glass (the one you garnished with a salt rim earlier).
- Top up with the mineral water and garnish with a lime wedge or zest peel.
Easy – This is a basic Paloma cocktail. Combining lime juice, tequila, and grapefruit soda; this cocktail is simple yet highly effective at giving you a new found liking for the quality tequila you use.
Medium – This is a slightly more difficult recipe in that it involves a home-made grapefruit sugar syrup (the recipe can be found here). This version of the Paloma is slightly heavier on the grapefruit’s bitterness but is counterbalanced by the sweetness of the sugar and dryness of the soda water. This cocktail brings together a rather more complicated version of a simplified cocktail and delivers a higher depth in flavour for a little extra work. This cocktail is, by far, full of more flavour than its simplified form.
Difficult: This is where the Paloma cocktail really comes into its own. Once broken down into its many parts, this cocktail can become a thing of true magnificence. Combining a home-made sugar syrup with one of the best tequila’s on the market (not merely opinion, but fact) and by using sparkling mineral water [instead of soda water] this cocktail is elevated from simple pleasure to a true summer evening delight.
The difficult recipe is by far my favourite version of this cocktail [so far]. I love its increased flavour profile, the quality of the tequila is outstanding and to top it all off, the use of mineral water adds to the earthy feel of this long, sweet summer cocktail.
I hope this post has helped you resume your potential love affair with, tequila. Tequila truly is a stunning spirit that has so much to offer. It’s versatile and with so many high-quality brands now available, it would be blasphemous not to give it a second chance!
I trust these 3 Paloma recipes have restored your Faith in Tequila and with luck, you’ll be drinking a lot more of it in the future!
What’s your favourite Tequila cocktail? Do you have a preferred straight drinking tequila? Why not leave a comment below and help me spread the word: Tequila isn’t all bad!