Friday Night Done Right: Spicy Paloma Cocktails!

So I’m a big fan of a spicy drink, any spicy drink but I think this one takes it over the top.  Be sure to invest in good, quality ingredients like fresh squeezed lime and grapefruit juice and good tequila; if you wouldn’t sip it, don’t put it in a drink. I’m not advocating you use Clase Azul Extra Anejo but I do think something a little more top shelf than Don Julio is in order but that’s just my opinion (I am a bit of a tequila lover so do what you think is best for you).

What you will need (for 2 drinks):

  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 2 oz simple syrup infused with jalapeño
  • 1.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz organic grapefruit shrub (I use Shrub & Co. that you can get at Binny’s or Amazon)
  • a rock glass with Tajin on the rims (you can also get Tajin at Amazon), don’t skip the Tajin!

Earlier in the day (or in the day(s) before) make your simple syrup.  What you’ll need for that:

  • 1 large jalapeño
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water

Slice the jalapeño into rings (keeping the ribs and seeds) and place in a saucepan with the water and sugar, bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and stir until the mixture looks clear (maybe 5 minutes), set aside to cool until you can put into a container and place in the fridge. Don’t discard the jalapeño, put it in with the syrup too.

If you’re squeezing the grapefruit and lime yourself, do that earlier too and put that in containers in the fridge; it all keeps for a good week so make enough for your after work libations. Don’t discard the pulp, it makes the drink even better.

Now to make the drinks!

Wipe the rim of the glasses with a sliced lime and “turn” in the Tajin making sure it adheres all the way around the glass with maybe 1/8 inch depth (some people like more, some like less so know your audience), fill the glass with ice to just below the Tajin (see note).   Grab a cocktail shaker (or a cup with a tighter fitting lid) And fill it with ice to start compiling the ingredients.

[Note: I sometimes use one large ice cube but any type of ice works, the larger cube is better for outdoors since it is slow melting but that’s my only advice about the ice.]

Pour all ingredients (except the Tajin of course) into the shaker and place on the lid. If you like it a little spicier, muddle a jalapeño from the simple syrup in a little of the simple syrup and add that to the mixture then shake it like you’re trying to kill it!  This will break up the ice and help the flavors meld together and get really cold.

Using a cocktail strainer or anything to prevent any large solids from the mixture getting into the glass and pour into the glasses; top with a cayenne floater if you like it really spicy.  That’s it, enjoy and don’t drink and drive please!

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