Cinnamon Cherry Paloma

Do you guys ever get a bit confused about what sorts of food (and drink) to make this time of year? It's not summer anymore, but not quite fall either. I find myself making things that straddle ingredients and flavors of the two seasons, and this paloma is the perfect example.
You may have realized that I've been in a bit of a paloma phase recently (well, actually for a long time, but I've now posted two in a row!). I did this Blueberry Ginger Paloma for my August cocktail, which is also a bit of a summer/fall combo. This Cinnamon Cherry Paloma is one more step toward fall.

In case you're unfamiliar, the paloma is a grapefruit juice and tequila cocktail. It's actually one of my favorite classic cocktails to use as a jumping off point for fun, interesting, and seasonal flavor variations. I think that's because grapefruit pairs beautifully with such a wide variety of ingredients.

In this September-appropriate version, juicy late summer cherries meet cozy cinnamon for a wonderfully interesting combination. The sweet, tart, slightly bitter grapefruit helps unite them. The combination reminds me of late-season cherry crisps and pies, which often have some warming spices in the mix.

This is a cocktail that will work beautifully from late summer all the way through citrus season in the winter. The combination of fruit and spice makes it really versatile, and it could pair with anything from September BBQs to cozy winter fare.

While this isn't quite a layered cocktail, it's close. To make this beautiful color stratification, you'll muddle cherries and cinnamon simple syrup right in the bottom of your serving glass. Pour the tequila and grapefruit mixture over top (gently!) and you'll get the dark pink to light pink gradient that I love so much in this drink.

There are two big flavor powerhouses here. One is cinnamon simple syrup, which you can make easily at home. It's delightful and will keep in the fridge for a long time, so make a big batch and use it in everything from cocktails to fruit to yogurt.

The other big flavor comes from Luxardo cherry liqueur. While this drink will still work without it, it provides immense earthiness and deep, dark cherry flavor. Long-time readers of this blog will be familiar with my Luxardo obsession, which I also use in my luxurious Cherry-Chai Old Fashioned, my wintry Tom and Cherry, and my mysterious Deep In The Forest Old Fashioned. In case you can't tell, I absolutely love the stuff.

Are you guys having fun with paloma variations?? I hope so! Let me know if you try any of my palomas or any of your own flavor combinations. I think they're so fun- I could easily come up with a seasonal one for every month of the year. Maybe a Paloma of the Month calendar??

Cheers! This is the perfect drink for these September weekends that aren't quite summer but aren't yet fall either.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

You made that gorgeous cinnamon simple syrup... now you need to use it! These Mexican Coffee Margaritas use it too. Boozy brunch, anyone??

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Small handful of red cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 0.5 oz cinnamon simple syrup. Make this by boiling 1:1 sugar:water with a few cinnamon sticks until the liquid is amber-colored and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Store it in a jar in the fridge, it will keep for a couple months.
  • 3 oz unsweetened grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 oz blanco tequila. I prefer blanco in palomas so that the tequila doesn't interfere with the color of the drink. 
  • 0.5 oz Luxardo cherry liqueur
  • Additional cherry for garnish. I used a maraschino here, which I don't usually do! But this allows it to become a triple-cherry cocktail... fresh cherries + Luxardo cherry liqueur + maraschino cherry. I couldn't resit the temptation!
Thoughts About Method
(These are just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Right in your serving glass, combine the cherries and cinnamon simple syrup. Give it a good muddle so the cherries release their sweet juice and beautiful color. 
  2. Add a few large ice cubes to the glass.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, combine the grapefruit juice, tequila, and Luxardo. Add ice and shake.
  4. Strain into your serving glass, pouring gently so as not to completely mix the bottom and top layers.
  5. Garnish with a cherry.


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