Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Vida Paloma

Vida Paloma cocktail in a chile piquin-rimmed rocks glass, garnished with a grapefruit wedge, jalapeño round and cilantro
Image: Olivia Romano

The Paloma is a refreshing cocktail featuring tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda. It’s unclear from when and where, exactly, it hails, but most reports peg its creation to 1950s Mexico.

The Vida Paloma, on the other hand, can be traced firmly to the now-closed Chicago restaurant, Fat Baby Tacos. This riff on the classic calls for mezcal rather than tequila, and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice combines with simple syrup and club soda to form the grapefruit soda component.

At Fat Baby Tacos, the bar served Vida Palomas on tap to quickly quench patrons’ thirsts. You don’t have to batch up a keg full of cocktails to enjoy it at home; just shake the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup together with ice, then top it all with club soda for a fresh, made-to-order drink.

The Vida Paloma is earthy, savory, refreshing and citrusy—everything you want in a good cocktail. However, the real wild card is the spicy chile piquin, a dried and pulverized hot pepper with a smoky-citrusy flavor that’s used to rim the glass. It provides a dose of spice that begs for another cooing sip.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Del Maguey Vida mezcal

  • 3 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 ounces club soda, chilled, to top

  • Garnish: chile piquin, to rim glass

  • Garnish: cilantro sprig

  • Garnish: grapefruit quarter-wheel

  • Garnish: jalapeño round

Steps

  1. Wet a rocks glass and rim half the glass with chile piquin.

  2. Add the mezcal, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and lime juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.

  4. Top with the club soda.

  5. Garnish with a cilantro sprig, grapefruit quarter wheel and jalapeño round.