(Note: this post was originally published on August 27, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
Palomas are one of my favorite cocktails, and I'm excited to introduce you to the paloma variation I make most frequently- blueberry ginger! This cocktail is one that can transcend seasons and has such fun, interesting flavors.
If you're not familiar with the paloma, it's a tequila cocktail made with grapefruit juice. Being a huge grapefruit fan myself, I absolutely love the balance between sweet, tart, and bitter flavors in a paloma. Because grapefruit juice is sweeter than lime juice, this is also a cocktail that is often made without additional sweetener.
This Blueberry Ginger Paloma brings some additional flavors to the table as well. The tart grapefruit is complemented by sweet blueberries and spicy (and bubbly!) ginger beer, yielding the most wonderful combination. The blueberries are summery, while ginger always makes me think of fall flavors, and of course citrus season is in the winter... all of which mean that this is a drink you can (and should!) make year-round. That said, I think it excels most during late summer, when blueberries are still in season but the days are starting to get shorter.
One of the things I love most about this drink is its appearance. That color!! It's the most beautiful light purple.
And as if this drink couldn't get any better, it's also interactive! If you garnish the top of the drink with frozen blueberries, they actually color the drink increasingly dark as they thaw, meaning that it starts off more pinkish (see the photo above) and ends up more purple (see the photo below). Delicious AND fun!
One important point about color. If you want a colorful drink, opt for frozen blueberries rather than fresh. The freezing process concentrates the colorful juice, yielding that beautiful pink/purple hue. Fresh blueberries only get you a very subtle peachy/pink color that I honestly find sort of disappointing. So my solution? Use frozen blueberries to shake the drink initially and to float within the drink, then garnish with some fresh blueberries. The best of both worlds!
I can't tell you how many times I've served this drink to guests. In addition to being unique and festive, it's also easy to make. Mix up a big batch, keep it in the fridge, and just add the ice, ginger beer, and berries right before serving. I absolutely refuse to buy lime juice (it's gross and not even remotely close to fresh-squeezed), but store-bought grapefruit juice is much better and is a nice shortcut if you have a lot of drinks to make.
This pink beauty can also be easily customized, for example by adding a bit of sweetness for tequila skeptics or by altering the ratios to fit individual tastes. It's even a great mocktail for anyone who would like an alcohol-free sip because there are so many other flavors going on.
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
One final thought: other berries work beautifully here! I've done this drink very successfully with strawberries, although the color isn't quite as interesting. Blackberries are great too, and delicious with tequila. Raspberries would yield a sweeter, much deeper red drink. What is it about berries and ginger?? Clearly this means you should try them all... you know, for scientific purposes.
If you've never had a paloma before, you're in for a big treat! It's really a delightful cocktail, and adding in blueberries and ginger makes it even more wonderful. Cheers!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
A marriage of sweet blueberries, bitter grapefruit, and warming ginger, this Paloma variation is the perfect late summer sip. Plus look at those stunning colors!