At Sitti, an authentic Lebanese restaurant in downtown Raleigh, N.C., every table gets greeted with fresh pita and a dish of za'atar-infused olive oil for dipping. From this, bartender Whitney Neal envisioned a cocktail using the savory-sweet blend of spices like sumac, sesame and thyme for a fresh take on a Paloma. Her version mixes Patrón silver tequila with fresh grapefruit juice and an ounce of za'atar simple syrup, served over ice with a lime wheel garnish. Sip on its own or enjoy it with grilled meat.
This recipe originally appeared as part of “Those Middle Eastern Spices That Chefs Love Are Great in Cocktails Too.”
- 1 1/2 oz Patrón silver tequila
- 1 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 oz Za’atar simple syrup*
- Garnish: Lime wheel
Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with a lime wheel.
Serve with a straw.
Za’atar simple syrup: Add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup za’atar while syrup is still hot to let spices steep. Let sit for at least 3 hours. Strain out sesame seeds and refrigerate. Good for up to 1 month.