Recipe: Derek's Spicy Paloma

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La Paloma is a combination of tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit juice or grapefruit soda with an optional salted rim. This version adds jalapeño for a spicy but not overpowering twist.

    • 2 ounces jalapeño-infused tequila (recipe below)
    • ½ ounce lime juice
    • 3 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
    • ¼ to ½ ounce agave syrup
    • soda water

To make the jalapeño-infused tequila, add two jalapeño peppers—sliced, with the seeds removed—and two slices of green pepper about two inches long and a half inch wide to a 750-milliliter bottle of silver tequila. Allow it sit for about one hour, then taste the tequila and remove the peppers when the desired spiciness is achieved. (The green pepper adds depth of flavor without adding spice.)

For the drink, combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake the mixture and strain into a glass with fresh ice and a salted rim. Be careful not shake too hard, as this may lead to over-dilution. Top with soda water and serve.

To read Derek's account of how he discovered the Spicy Paloma, and why it's best to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on a day other than May 5, click here.

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Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He sits on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail. More

Derek Brown is a writer, illustrator, bartender, and co-owner of acclaimed bars The Passenger and Columbia Room in Washington, D.C. He travels throughout the country and around the world in search of great drinks, and the stories behind them. Derek's methodical approach to cocktails was profiled in the Wall Street Journal's "A Master of Mixological Science" and his martini lauded as the best in America by GQ. He's been in numerous media outlets featuring his approach to better drinking, including CNN, The Rachel Maddow Show and FOX. Derek is a founding member of the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild and on the board of directors for the Museum of the American Cocktail.
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