The thought occurred to me earlier today that PAMA pomegranate liqueur and tequila might make for a happy pairing, and since I knew I had a fresh grapefruit waiting at home in need of a good squeezing, I naturally thought: Paloma, the traditional Mexican summer cocktail of tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda, accented with a pinch of salt.
Then when I realized that “PAMA Paloma” was too appealingly alliterative to pass up, I knew I had to run with it. And I’m really glad I did. In fact, at the risk of patting myself too hard on the back, I’m even a bit shocked at how well this came out. (True, the Paloma uses grapefruit soda rather than grapefruit and soda, but the effect is similar enough to warrant sticking with the name.)
The Cynar here was the wildcard; the artichoke amaro could have gone either way, but it seemed worth risking as a bitter counterpoint to the sweet-tart combination of PAMA and grapefruit (and would also benefit from a brief but cordial introduction to our flavor-enhancing friend, salt).
The teaspoon float of mezcal was a lucky last-minute decision; it adds a bit of smokey complexity and while it’s probably “optional” I would certainly recommend throwing it in.
As I sit here finishing the last few refreshing sips, I have to say I would actually not be surprised to see something like this on the summer drinks list at a respectable cocktail bar. It’s that good. (Now to go ice my arm from the strain of so much self-congratulation—or maybe I’ll just make another one of these).
1.5 oz Lunazul reposado tequila
.75 oz PAMA liqueur
.5 oz Cynar
.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz light agave nectar
pinch kosher salt
1 tsp Del Maguey Vida mezcal floated on top
Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled, ice-filled Collins glass. Top off with soda. Garnish by squeezing a long swath of grapefruit peel over the drink then add to the glass so that a half-inch or so sticks out above the rim (be sure to shave off as much of the bitter white pith as possible). Float a teaspoon of mezcal on top and enjoy with the straw of your choice.