Palomas are one of life’s simple pleasures. Tequila and grapefruit soda were meant to be combined in the same glass and sipped on while sitting the sun on a warm day or savored over a long dinner. Simply put: they are refreshing AF. Add in some of summer’s farmers market bounty and you have yourself a next level Paloma. This Strawberry Fennel Paloma is the great balance of tart, sweet, and savory with a kiss of salinity from the salted rim. I made a pitcher of these recently and there was not a drop left by the end of the evening (let’s just say I looked rather ridiculous trying to lick ever last bit from the the pitcher, but so worth it!)
I recently got a CSA box from Green Thumb Farms through CUESA at the San Francisco Ferry Building. It was brimming with green veggies and they also had the first harvest of strawberries for sale at the stand. The fennel from the box was so fragrant and lovely, I just knew i needed to use it in a cocktail! Combined with celery bitters, it adds a lovely snappy, savory flavor that I love in a cocktail and ripe strawberries puts the Strawberry Fennel Paloma over the top. I love summer cocktails!
A sweet and savory Paloma using the farmer’s market summer bounty of snappy fennel and juicy strawberries.
- 1 medium strawberry, sliced and muddled
- 20g fennel, a few slices
- 2 1/4 oz blanco tequila, I used Forteleza
- 1 oz grapefruit
- 1/4 oz 2:1 simple syrup
- 3 dashes celery bitters
- 1 oz soda water
- garnish: grapefruit slice, fennel frond, course salt
- Wet the rim of a Collins glass with water or grapefruit slice. Dip into course salt to coat.
- Muddle the strawberry and fennel well in a shaker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the soda water and shake with ice.
- Double strain into a Collins glass with ice. Top with soda water.
- Garnish with grapefruit slice and fennel frond.
- I prefer to add simple syrup, fresh grapefruit, and soda water vs. a grapefruit soda for a juicier Paloma. But if you have grapefruit soda on hand and prefer this, you can replace these ingredients in the recipe with 3-4 oz grapefruit soda.