In my never ending search for the perfect refreshing adult beverage, I had something quite different yesterday, in that it required the addition of agave syrup (or nectar) to the naturally delicious combination of tequila and grapefruit juice. I found the agave syrup at my local New season's market in the baking section in with the natural sweeteners. It reminds me of a cross between simple syrup and a lightly flavored honey. I was inspired in this creative pursuit by the Washington Post's spirits columnist Jason Wilson's recent musings on the tequila, specifically the difference between blanco and reposado agave tequilas. It's a very informative column that only served to stoke my food and drink obsession, and he included the recipe below for the Paloma cocktail, practically the national libation of Mexico, because, as hard as it is to believe, Mexicans don't really drink margaritas. The 'rita is a relatively recent invention to feed the tourist hordes. He did state that traditionally they use Squirt for this drink, although his version called for fresh grapefruit, lime, and agave nectar. My verdict: It wasn't what I was hoping for. A little flat (although in full disclosure, my store didn't have fresh white grapefruit, so I used canned white grapefruit juice, which just isn't the same). I'll give it a try again with the fresh grapefruit juice, or I think better still I'll do what the natives do and grab a bottle of Squirt. In the end, and not to go all gringo, I think I'd rather have a perfect margarita any day.
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from The Washington Post
Summary (from Jason Wilson):
“In Mexico, Paloma cocktails are more popular than margaritas, and for good reason: Grapefruit flavor mixes perfectly with tequila, better than lime juice alone.
A traditional Paloma is made with a grapefruit soda such as Squirt. But this refreshing version, served at Apothecary in Philadelphia, calls instead for freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice and for club soda, to add fizz.”
2 ounces blanco or silver tequila
3 ounces freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Sea salt, to rim the glass
1 lime wheel, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave nectar. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled collins glass rimmed with sea salt. Garnish with the lime wheel and top with a splash of club soda.