Floral, tart, and not too sweet, this pretty-in-pink cousin to the margarita gets a kick from fresh ginger and vibrant hibiscus.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate Margarita Week, hosted by the lovely Kate of Hola Jalapeño, we’re drinking a whole lot of these palomas – and not just because I made way too many of them during this shoot. Also because YUM.
I’ve been hooked on palomas ever since discovering their existence at my favorite Marin restaurant, Marinitas. Although traditionally made with grapefruit soda, Marinitas makes their paloma with fresh grapefruit juice, good tequila, and housemade lime soda. They go down way too easy, especially with warm tortilla chips and a trio of salsas.
This paloma gets a pretty-in-pink hue from dried hibiscus flowers and a floral kick from freshly grated ginger. Pink grapefruits are sweet as candy right now in California. In addition to the sweet-tart juice, I love the bitter and floral notes in the peel, so I add it to the syrup along with hibiscus flowers to punch up the flavor: think really classy grapefruit soda. And since I love the bite of fresh ginger, I grate a whole bunch to steep with the syrup.
Tequila always tastes a bit salty to me, almost vegetal, making it the perfect spirit for hot climates. When mixed with ginger hibiscus syrup, a good pour of grapefruit juice, and a squeeze of lime, the result is a tart, not-too-sweet refresher that, as Jay put it, “Looks like Kool-aid but tastes a whole lot better.” The man has a way with words.
I hope you love these as much as we do! If you make them, take a photo and tag me on instagram (@The_Bojon_Gourmet and #BojonGourmet). And be sure to check out all the margarita goodness over at Hola Jalapeño.
- ¾ cup (175 ml) water
- ¼ cup (8 g) dried whole hibiscus flowers
- ¼ cup (25 g) organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 medium grapefruit
- ¼ cup lightly packed coarsely grated fresh ginger (30 g)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) strained pink grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) reposado tequila
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) hibiscus ginger syrup, above
- 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) lime juice, to taste
- sparkling water
- lime slices or grapefruit wedges, for garnish
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, hibiscus, and sugar. Use a vegetable peeler to pare away the colorful part of the grapefruit skin in long strips. Add these to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the grated ginger, cover, and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain through a sieve, reserving the liquid and pressing on the solids to extract all the good stuff. Discard the solids and chill the syrup until cold.
- To make a paloma, combine the grapefruit juice, tequila, syrup, and the smaller amount of lime juice. Pour into a glass filled partway with ice cubes, and top with a splash of sparkling water. Add more lime if you feel the drink needs it. Garnish with a lime slice or grapefruit wedge if you like, and serve.