Classic Cocktail: Spicy Shrub Paloma

Graciela Cattarossi
Florida - February/March 2014

A kicked-up version of the Tex-Mex staple

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Bartenders: Gabriel Orta & Elad Zvi
The Bar: The Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami

At the beachside hostel that was once the art deco–era Indian Creek Hotel, Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi craft riffs on classic cocktails, like this kicked-up Paloma. The Tex-Mex standard is traditionally made with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice. Orta and Zvi spice theirs up with a pepper-infused syrup and a bubbly grapefruit shrub modeled on early American mixers.

2 oz. Herradura Silver tequila
1 oz. spicy syrup  (see below)
¾ oz. lime juice, plus lime wheels
2 oz. grapefruit shrub (see below)
Sage sprigs
Chile powder

In a tall glass, combine tequila, spicy syrup, and lime juice. Top with grapefruit shrub and garnish with lime wheels, sage, and a dust of chile powder.

Spicy Syrup

2 jalapeños
1½ dry chipotle peppers
3 cups sugar

In a saucepan, cover peppers with 3 cups water, bring to a boil, and cook 5 minutes. Add sugar; simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and store in refrigerator. Yields about 20 drinks.

Grapefruit Shrub

4 grapefruits, peeled and chunked
4 cups apple cider
Club soda

Combine grapefruit and vinegar in a container, and infuse for 1 week. Then, strain the mixture. Before serving, add soda to taste. Yields about 20 drinks.

Illustration by Joe Ciardiello