How gorgeous is the Paloma! Visually stunning and a treat for the taste buds, I like to think of this lovely drink as the perfect salmon pink sunset on a tropical beach and as an ode to the incomparable Paloma Picasso! Without doubt one of my favorite summer mocktails, the Paloma is sensational in taste and a guaranteed crowd pleaser when entertaining.
My earliest memory of something like a “cocktail” or technically a mocktail, goes way back to the 80s.
I was born in Karachi and my family and I moved to Daharki in 1987. The Exxon Chemical Pakistan Limited (now known as Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited) community in Daharki, which we became a part of, was a like a small family and it had the most amazing culture that involved a lot of activities to keep the residents of Exxon’s small and stunningly pretty colony engaged and occupied.
I have had the good fortune of having been exposed to the best baking I’ve known anywhere right in the middle of a tiny colony in a quaint little town in interior Sindh. The fine desserts, chic cakes and assorted fancy bakes that the larger cities of the country have begun to have access to for the last decade or so, the Exxon community ladies were making these and more back in the 80s – probably since the 70s actually. Like me, most of the girls who grew up in Exxon Daharki learnt to bake years before they learnt to cook.
Cooking and baking classes were a regular feature for the Exxon ladies. I remember the cooking class leaflets (they were called “notices” back in Daharki) that would be delivered to each house a few days in advance, printed with details about the latest upcoming cooking class, plus which recipes would be taught and by whom with the time and venue of the class mentioned. Since the classes were for the community ladies only, kids like me would wait in anticipation for their Moms to return from cooking class with a printout of the recipe and an account of how good it tasted. Good times!
At one of the cooking classes a recipe for a fruit punch was demonstrated. This was a refreshing mix of different flavored fruit squashes and a fizzy drink, usually Sprite, topped with tiny bits of fresh fruit. It quickly became a popular party drink and for many of us, it was the first introduction to something mocktail-like. I used to love it – still do! Now that I think about it, it was like a delicious cross between a punch, a fruit spritzer and a non-alcoholic Sangria. I will share that fruit punch recipe soon along with other timeless recipes from Exxon Daharki’s legendary baking diaries but for now let’s get back to the Paloma.
The word “paloma” means ‘dove’ in Spanish and contrary to popular belief, the Paloma and not the Margarita, is said to be Mexico’s most popular cocktail. The basic way of preparing the Paloma is to mix silver tequila with grapefruit soda or fresh grapefruit juice. Club soda or soda water is also added to some versions. Believe me when I tell you that my refreshingly zingy alcohol-free version will have you swooning!
Going through the produce section at HKB the other day I came across a gorgeous pile of ruby grapefruit. I knew right away what I was going to make with those beauties – yes, the Paloma.
You can obviously use regular grapefruit to make the Paloma but ruby grapefruit will give you a beautifully rosy drink, perfect for when you’re having your girl friends over for a mocktails-and-canapes-meets-gossip session or at any occasion really – this makes a really awesome “welcome drink” when hosting formal parties, lunches or dinners.
So give the Paloma a try; I know you will adore it!
Recipe Type: Drinks Author: Alice In Eatland
Prep Time: 2 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes Total Time: 7 Minutes Serves 1
Pretty peach-pink & refreshingly zingy, the Paloma is perfect for a girly get together or for whenever you’re looking for a deliciously impressive mocktail!
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup sparkling soda water / club soda
- 1/2 – 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Good pinch of salt
- Quartered lemon
- Coarse salt
- Grapefruit slice, quartered
- To make the simple syrup, put sugar and water in a small pan and swirl over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and chill.
- Rub the rim of the serving glass with the quartered lemon. Put the coarse salt in a small plate or bowl and dip the lemoned rim of the glass in the salt.
- Make a cut on the quartered grapefruit slice and fix it on the rim of the glass.
- Add fresh grapefruit juice to mixing glass, pour in soda water / club soda, 2-4 teaspoons of chilled syrup, lemon juice and pinch of salt.
- Stir and taste to see if it needs more syrup or lemon juice depending on how sour the grapefruit juice is and how sweet you like your mocktail.
- Pour into serving glass.
- Keep any leftover simple syrup tightly bottled in the fridge for up to 1 month.