Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vanilla Bean Paloma’s with Grapefruit Soda & Mixed Citrus Sea Salt

Vanilla Bean Paloma’s with Grapefruit Soda & Mixed Citrus Sea Salt
Vanilla Bean Paloma's... they don't even need an introduction because the picture speaks for itself. I had never heard of this tasty cocktail until I came across it in 25 Food Trends for 2013 by Bon Appetit, and I was immediately intrigued. A drink that is better than a margarita? I don't know if that's even possible. But, I had to make it. I absolutely adore grapefruit, maybe because they are sweet & acidic... maybe because their juice is pink (who will ever know). I wanted to put my own little twist on it, and eventually decided that it would pair amazingly with a homemade vanilla bean simple syrup. I just love the pairing of grapefruit + vanilla bean together, they are pretty much culinary soul mates in my book. Pair this drink with a Homemade Mixed Citrus Sea Salt to garnish the rim, a big 'ole glug of delicious grapefruit soda, and some zesty lime... and my friends, my new favorite cocktail. All I can think about is how I have literally tricked my body into thinking it's actually summertime. Too bad I'm still having to wear jackets outside. Who cares though, let's pretend that the sun is hot and beach is ready for me because I'll be drinking these all year long!! Enjoy :)
I love the yellow flecks of citrus in the Mixed Citrus Sea Salt. 
For the Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup:
2C Sugar
2C Water
2-3 Vanilla Beans, Split & Scraped for Seeds

For the Mixed Citrus Sea Salt:
1C Sea Salt
1T Each of Grapefruit Zest, Lemon Zest, & Orange Zest

For the Vanilla Bean Paloma’s:
Prepared Mixed Citrus Sea Salt, For Rimming
½ Lime, Zested & Juiced
3oz Fresh Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice, Chilled
2oz Tequila Blanco, Chilled (preferably Reposado or Agave flavored)
1oz Prepared Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup, Chilled
Grapefruit Soda, For Garnishing (we used Izze Grapefruit Flavored Soda)
Crushed Ice

1. For the Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup: Heat the sugar, water, and vanilla bean in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil. Next, pour the mixture into a bottle. Let the syrup cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate the syrup until chilled. Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
2. For the Mixed Citrus Sea Salt: Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Combine the salt and citrus in a medium bowl and mix well. Really work the zest into the salt, making sure there aren't any clumps of zest. Spread across a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the citrus is completely dried out. Flecks of zest should crumble when pinched between your fingers. Remove from oven and allow it to cool a bit. At this point you can pulse each salt a few times in a food processor if you like, which is what I do. Or, you can enjoy it as is. It will keep in an airtight jar for a couple of months. When ready to salt your rim, rub a spent lime around the rim and dip in the homemade citrus salt.
3. For the Vanilla Bean Paloma’s: Zest and juice half of a lime into in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, add in some crushed ice. Next, pour in the grapefruit juice, tequila, and simple syrup, and shake to combine (we used our large jigger at home to make our drinks, so we followed a ratio of 3 shots of juice to 2 shots of tequila to 1 shot of simple syrup… not exactly specific ounces, so keep that in mind). Fill a tall cup or glass with a little bit of crushed ice. Pour the strained liquid over the ice and fill the glass up to the rim with grapefruit soda for finishing. Stir until a frost forms on the outside of the cup. Enjoy in the sun with some guacamole.
The Perfect Summer Cocktail, Y'all 


  1. Yep, these are truly wonderful! I left out the mint though.It doesn't say in the recepie how much mint or lemon goes into the syrup so I only made it with the vanilla bean, and just wonderful. Thank you again for your time devoted to sharing. MissB

    1. Ahhhh good thing you are here to catch some of my misprints! I didn't mean to put that Lemon-Mint Simple Syrup, I was adapting the simple syrup ingredients and recipe to make this Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup. Obviously, lemon + mint would not be a good combo! So glad you enjoy them too, I think they really will be our go-to drink this summer. It's so refreshing :)