Smoked Mandarin & Ginger Paloma by Chef Claudette Zepeda

April 22, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food & Prop Styling By: Alexis Anthony.
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes 1 cocktail
Author Notes

Smoked mandarin orange juice and ginger make a pitch-perfect combo in this paloma riff from Chef Claudette Zepeda. No smoker? No problem—fresh-squeezed mandarin orange juice (or any orange juice with a splash of lemon juice) makes an excellent swap. —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Don Julio. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1 ounce smoked mandarin juice (if you don’t have a smoker, just use fresh-squeezed mandarin orange juice)
  • 3/4 ounce ginger simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the ginger simple syrup and smoked mandarin juice:
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups sugar, preferably zulka (unrefined sugar)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 mandarin orange, sliced into 4 quarters
  1. For the cocktail:
  2. Add all the cocktail ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 30 to 40 seconds.
  3. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass, and garnish with candied ginger and marigold petals, if you like. You can also rim the rocks glass with a mixture of salt, sugar, and mandarin zest if you really want to dress things up.
  1. For the ginger simple syrup and smoked mandarin juice:
  2. To make the ginger simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the sliced ginger and let the mixture come to a low boil. Then, lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let cool (this should take about an hour). Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the syrup and store in an airtight container in the fridge, where it will keep for about 2 weeks.
  5. To make the smoked mandarin juice: Place your smoke box on a charcoal grill over flames (if using a gas grill, set the temperature to medium-high). Once smoke starts to rise from the box, add the slices from 1 mandarin orange to the grill; you can estimate about 1 mandarin orange per cocktail.
  6. Smoke the mandarin slices for about 5 minutes, or until your desired level of smokiness is achieved. Remove the mandarin slices from the smoker and let cool.
  7. Using a citrus juicer or your hands, squeeze the mandarin slices, reserving the juice (you’ll need 1 ounce for the cocktail). Discard the spent mandarin slices.

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