A trip to tropical destinations always stirs a desire to eat and drink locally. On a recent trip to Royalton Riviera Cancun with Sunwing I thought it would be cliché to order a margarita, a drink one associates with Mexico. Looking for alternative that didn’t involve shots I discovered a grapefruit and tequila cocktail known at the Paloma.
After my trip I was eager to recreate a little Mexico at home. Since I don’t have access to the hot sun or a beachfront property I looked to brining the taste of Mexico home in the form of the Paloma. I’m not like my friend Dee from Cocktail Deeva who creates cocktails as her job so I had to find a recipe to recreate.
I’m all about simple and the Paloma delivers in the form of Drizzle & Dip’s recipe. It uses 4 simple ingredients that you probably have on hand (grapefruit, tequila, soda, and simple syrup). I love the mix of sweet grapefruit with the tart tequila. The combination works wonderfully.
But drinks don’t have to be about the alcohol. I attended a tasting in the spring hosted by Premium Near Beer highlighting some of their non-alcoholic beers and spirits. I was impressed with the G&T (Gin & Tonic) using Arkay Alcohol-Free Gin so why not a non-alcoholic Paloma. I’m not a mixologist so I used the same recipe from Drizzle & Dip but instead I substituted the Arkay Alcohol-Free Tequila. The drinks didn’t taste exactly the same but when I asked my husband he couldn’t pick out the drink with the tequila versus the Arkay Alcohol-Free Tequila. The alcohol-free version didn’t have as much tartness but it was a nice drink. You can use store bought grapefruit juice (about 4 oz) to make up some of the tartness though a juiced grapefruit does seem to add some sweet freshness.
With holiday season around the corner I can enjoy a nice Paloma as a designated driver or as an alternative to pop and water for friends looking to stay away from alcohol.
Here are four other alcohol-free cocktail ideas you can add to your entertaining mix:
The Arkay New Fashioned
2.5 oz Arkay Whisky
0.75 oz Maple Syrup
2 Orange Peels
5 dashes Angostura Bitters
- In cocktail mixing glass, add Arkay Whisky, maple sytrup, Angostura bitters and one orange peel
- Add ice and stir to dilute
- Strain contents of mixing glass into a rocks glass glass filled with ice
- Express Orange oils from the remaining peel over top of the glass
- Twist peel and place on top
Dark N Normy
1.5 oz Arkay Spiced Rum
1.75 oz Maple Syrup
1.5 oz Lemon Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer
4 drops Angostura Bitters
- In a highball glass filled with ice, add Arkay Spiced rum, maple syrup, and lemon juice
- Add ice to rim (if necessary)
- Top with ginger beer
- Add 4 drops of Angostura Bitters
- Garnish with lime wheel on edge of glass
1.5 oz Arkay Vodka
1.5 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Diced Cucumber
2 oz Soda Water (I love using SodaStream to make our own soda water)
3 drops Cherry Bitters
Note: You can buy pre-made simple syrup but it’s pretty easy to mix up yourself following these instructions from Food52.
- In a shaker, add Arkay Vodka, simple syrup, lice juice, diced cucumber, and cherry bitters
- Add ice and shake
- Dump entire contents of shaker into a highball glass
- Top with soda water
- Garnish with skewered cucumber ribbon
2 oz Arkay Mojito
1 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 Lime, peeled and diced
7 Mint Leaves
2 oz Tonic Water
- In a highball glass, add raspberries, lime pieces, simple syrup, and mint
- Muddle ingredients together
- Add Arkay Mojito Mix
- Add ice
- Top with 2 oz of tonic water
- Garnish with mint sprig and raspberry
As suggested on The Kitchn, slap your mint before adding them into your cocktail to help release the flavour.
Whether you have expectant or breastfeeding moms, guests who avoid alcohol for religious or health reasons, or just want to enjoy a cocktail alternative on the weekend, Premium Near Beer’s Arkay alcohol-free spirits make it easy to mix together something fun. You can even find a great selection of alcohol-free beers that will fool even the most seasoned tongue.
Recipes have been reprinted with permission from Premium Near Beer.