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Meet the Pomegranate Paloma, a Mexican-Inspired Holiday Cocktail Like No Other

This bubbly-sweet, ruby-red cocktail is a bright and refreshing addition to your repertoire.

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In the realm of great Mexican and Mexican-inspired cocktails, there are several giants. There is the margarita, of course, with its sour hit of lime and salted rim, and its icy, beach-ready cousin, the frozen margarita. There’s the fruity, beer-spiked Michelada (which is technically a shandy and not a cocktail, but let’s not parse words) and the charro negro (also called the batanga), which marries tequila with fizzy cola and lime. And yet there is perhaps no more sought-after mixed drink in Mexico than the paloma, a bubbly, salty-sweet brew of tequila, tart grapefruit soda, lime juice, and salt.

The libation’s appeal is multifold. Spanish for “dove,” the paloma manages to be both refreshing and bracingly salty, both balanced and complex. And it takes well to experimentation: Cocktail Courier’s paloma is a holiday-ified version, made with organic pomegranate juice (which turns up the contrast on its ruby-red hue) and effervescent, pale-pink Q Mixers grapefruit soda. ST~GERMAIN Elderflower Liqueur adds a delicate layer of botanicals, while Tequila CAZADORES Reposado lends sweet-and-spicy notes of baked pear, caramel, cinnamon, and vanilla. A salt-rimmed glass, garnished with a crescent of dehydrated grapefruit, brings it all together.

It’s an ideal cocktail to serve up at boozy holiday shindigs, or to gift your favorite at-home mixologist. Cocktail Courier’s Pomegranate Paloma kits come with everything you need to make a trayful of these drinks; go for the classic-sized one for groups of up to eight, or the mini-sized kit if it’s just you and a friend. Don’t forget to choose just-right glassware, though. The drink demands tall, crystal-clear glasses that will showcase its brilliant ruby hue. Luckily for those who order the classic-sized kit, it comes with the perfect vessel: Tequila CAZADORES prayer candle-shaped glasses.

These days, the paloma is beloved in both Mexico and the United States. But its origins most certainly can be traced to somewhere south of the border—even if the exact circumstances of its invention remain up for debate. The reigning story places the paloma’s birthplace in San Pedro de Tlaquepaque, a once-small town just outside Guadalajara (that was absorbed by the latter city as its population exploded in the late twentieth century). The city was a popular shopping destination, and an old plaza in the center of town was the spot for shoppers to rest, listen to mariachi, and, most importantly, drink. The local stalls served up a potent brew of tequila, lime juice, ice, and the American grapefruit-flavored soda Squirt. Eventually, a version of the drink, by then dubbed the “Paloma,” traveled north to a restaurant in the California town of Placentia — also called Tlaquepaque. Whatever its true provenance, the paloma is indisputably popular in the year 2020. It’s perhaps buoyed by the rise in popularity of tequila, the second-fastest growing spirits category in the world over the past three years.

We like to serve the Pomegranate Paloma alongside a next-level spread of seafood, perfect fare for cocktail hour. Go for a platter of cocktail shrimp or a plate of thinly-sliced scallop carpaccio drizzled with herb-infused oil and lemon juice. Alternatively, the acidity in the Pomegranate Paloma is a great match for lime-splashed fluke ceviche cut with fiery slivers of hot green chiles.

Ready to mix up the perfect Pomegranate Paloma? Grab your kit and follow along below. And for even more tips on mixing up the perfect holiday cocktail, RSVP now for our Holiday Happy Hour Cocktail Class — December 10th at 6pm ET. At this exclusive virtual mixology class, you’ll learn how to make three great festive cocktails for holiday entertaining at home. Cheers!

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 1.5 oz Tequila CAZADORES Reposado
  • 0.5 oz ST~GERMAIN Elderflower Liquer
  • 2 oz Pomegranate juice
  • 4 oz Grapefruit soda
  • 0.5 oz Lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Garnish: dehydrated grapefruit crescent

In a tall glass with salt rim, combine all the ingredients with ice, stir and enjoy. Garnish with dehydrated grapefruit crescent.

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