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Top-down view of spicy paloma cocktail with grapefruit and habanero rim

Spicy Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Courtesy of Dylan Garret, bar manager-at-large, Chez Oskar, Brooklyn, New York

This spicy take on the Paloma, the national drink of Mexico plays on the punch of citrus provided by the lime and grapefruit with a warming hit of habanero. Rather than the traditional topper of Jarritos grapefruit soda, this Paloma recipe opts for the added boost of grapefruit hefeweizen beer. If you’re having trouble finding the beer, Garret suggests substituting a mixture of equal parts grapefruit juice and soda water.


2 ounces Tequila blanco (such as Espolón)
1 ounce lime juice
¾ ounce simple syrup
Two dashes habanero tincture (recipe below)
Schofferhofer grapefruit hefeweizen (or grapefruit shandy of your choice), to top
Spicy-salty rim


Pour the Tequila, lime juice and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. Add two dashes of the habanero tincture, or more to taste. Fill with ice and shake vigorously before straining into an iced highball glass rimmed with spicy-salty mix. Add Schofferhoffer grapefruit beer (or grapefruit juice and soda water) to top.

For the habanero tincture:

Wearing gloves, remove stems from 2 habanero peppers and roughly chop. Remove seeds if you prefer less heat. Combine with 2 cups of vodka or grain alcohol in a sealable jar, and allow to sit for up to one week at room temperature. Start tasting your tincture after the first day until it reaches the level of spiciness and flavor you prefer. When the taste is to your liking, strain out the peppers and save the liquid in a clean bottle.

Habanero peppers can be substituted with jalapeño peppers if preferred.

Spicy-Salty Rim

For spicy-salty rim, combine equal parts coarse salt, paprika, and chili powder. Adding Old Bay seasoning leads to increased deliciousness.

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