signature cocktails: the paloma

It was the summer of 2015, and I had, historically, only served wine and beer for evening entertaining. (I was a smidge intimidated by cocktails, thinking they were safest in the hands of mixologists in bars with sweet brass seats that swivel.)

Our Creative Manager, Jennings Ross, suggested making a batch of Summer Beer for our customers on Friday and Saturday afternoons - a chilled mix of vodka, beer and lemonade. Temps were hitting Texas-style highs in our first year of business in Dallas, and so we dove in…and her idea was a HIT. Summer Beer was effortless. Magical-delicious-refreshing. And a conversation starter for customers as they mingled and shopped.

I quickly learned signature cocktails are the ultimate short-on-time-but-looks-like-I-planned-all-week kinda move when you’re entertaining. They can often be made in batches and stored in the fridge pre-party, and then self-served from an attractive single-tap dispenser or pitcher - which means more time for you to kick back and enjoy your guests. Or fuss over something else, entirely, like keeping tacos warm. : )

Fast-forward a few years, and we now host a happy hour in our Dallas and Plano stores the third Thursday of each month, from 5-8pm. It’s such a fun time to visit longer with our regular customers, meet their friends and family, and enjoy seeing brand new folks stroll into the store and enjoy a beverage/wind-down with us. We also offer 15% off all purchases that night, so it’s a drink/shop/win kinda evening!

This month, we served up Palomas - a citrus-laden, slightly effervescent tequila cocktail that’s a real crowd-pleaser, and a bit of a break from the norm.

Recipe:
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 grapefruit wedge
  • 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup mescal or tequila
  • 1/4 cup club soda
Pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip rim of glass in salt. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mescal or tequila, add ice and top off with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

According to Bon Appetit magazine (from which our recipe is sourced), it’s the Paloma, and not the Margarita, that’s Mexico’s favorite cocktail. Cheers (salud!) to that!


 
Pro tips:
  • Have premium bottled spring water and sparkling water on hand to keep guests happily hydrated. (We love Perrier's beautifully-designed, single-serving cans in regular and fruit flavors like peach and lime, available at Target.)
  • Stock some non-alcoholic beverages, so every guest feels special and cared for. Fever Tree’s Ginger Beer, a non-alcoholic beer and/or high-end sparkling juice (comes in champagne-looking bottles) are all crowd-pleasers for adults who aren’t drinking alcohol, as well as younger guests. Each is available at the same liquor store as your mixers, so it’s a one-stop errand for beverages!

Is there a favorite signature cocktail you love serving up? Share with us in the comments, below!

And please join us when you can for Happy Hours at our stores - we’d love to have you.

xoxo,
- Melinda

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