Smoky and Spicy Paloma

March 31, 2015
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

It's counterintuitive, but on a hot summer day, one of the best ways to beat the heat is to eat and drink spicy things. This recipe takes a classic summertime drink—the Paloma—and turns it on its head. Quintuple the recipe for a crowd. —Hi, I'm Brian.

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Someday I'll Live Simply is a master mixologist-in-the-making living in Brooklyn, New York.
WHAT: A happy marriage between mezcal and citrus.
HOW: Give simple syrup a kick with some jalapeño and grapefruit zest. Shake it up with grapefruit juice and liqueur, then double strain it over ice. Hear the ice cracking? That's the sounds of cocktail success.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is a cocktail of oxymorons—it's bitter yet sweet, smoky yet refreshing, and spicy-hot yet cool. Somehow, the combination works to create a perfectly balanced drink that we'll be sipping all summer long. —The Editors

  • Makes 1 cocktail and 1 cup of jalapeño-infused simple syrup
  • For the jalapeño-infused simple syrup:
  • 2 jalapeños, halved
  • Zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • For the Smoky and Spicy Paloma:
  • 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce mezcal
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce jalapeño-infused simple syrup (see ingredient list above)
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit liqueur or Triple Sec
  • Ice, to serve
In This Recipe
  1. Begin by making the jalapeño-infused simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the jalapeño, grapefruit zest, sugar, and water. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Strain into a clean glass jar. Syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks refrigerated in an airtight container.
  4. To make the cocktail, combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice. Double strain into a glass with ice.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melanie K.
    Melanie K.
  • StraighttotheHipsBaby
  • hardlikearmour
  • cookinginvictoria
  • lapadia