Tuesday, February 25, 2014

blood orange palomas

I was really excited to see blood oranges appear at the market in the last couple weeks. They reminded me that winter is on the turn, despite the snow and rain and wind and grey that have permeated Victoria lately. I bought up a whole bunch of them and started scheming exciting ways to use them. 

They are just so pretty, with mottled orange and deep red skins or with deceptively plain orange exteriors that bely their jewel toned flesh. I wanted to use them in a recipe that would show off their colour. 

I am planning a little vacation in Mexico in a few weeks and I have had tequila cocktails a little bit on my mind, so I decided to make palomas. Palomas are tequila based cocktails with grapefruit soda and lime. Perhaps when you think of tequila you think of margaritas and shots; while I am thoroughly in favour of both of these tequila options, I urge you to consider the paloma. Tart and  refreshing palomas are not as ubiquitous as margaritas but they are just as tasty.

I tested every grapefruit soda that I could find at the market and I determined that the San Pellegrino grapefruit flavour was the best. It was less sweet, with a stronger, tarter grapefruit flavour that all the others I tried. Any grapefruit soda you like can be used though; I like these very tart so I would increase the lime if you use sweeter soda. Or just make them however sweet you want them. 

mise en place

blood orange paloma:
4 ounces/shots tequila
two limes, juiced
four medium blood oranges, juiced
grapefruit bitters (optional)
grapefruit soda
lime slices for garnish, if you wish

In a cocktail shaker, or a reasonable facsimile such as a mason jar, combine tequila, lime juice, blood orange juice, grapefruit bitters and ice. Shake vigourously. Divide between four tumblers and add grapefruit soda to fill glasses. Garnish glasses with lime slices. Share palomas with friends and remember that spring is coming.

Photo credit: Tyrel Hiebert

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