It has been a hot minute since I’ve shared a cocktail recipe here! Honestly, I haven’t been drinking very much this year, I just haven’t really felt like it. At times it’s made me wonder – have I accidentally gone totally sober now?? But as we get into spring weather and warmer days here in Sydney, my thoughts have turned to creating fun cocktails. I love to approach this in the same way as I would create a new recipe. I love to use fresh, seasonal ingredients and put a little twist on a classic.
A Paloma is a tequila based cocktail, very popular in Mexico. It is usually some combination of tequila blanco and grapefruit soda. I had never tried it before, but loved how zesty and refreshing it sounded. When I was researching the history of this drink, I was surprised and inspired to find that it has so many modern interpretations.
Creative folks have added different flavours to their Palomas (honey, chilli and herbs for example) and fruits from pomegranate to blackberry and watermelon. However, everyone recommended fresh grapefruit juice as the star ingredient, rather than a grapefruit soda. Sounds perfect to me!
Tequila is not a spirit I often reach for, so that made it all the more surprising how much I loved this drink. And in news that surprised the heck out of me, high end tequila also has numerous health benefits. Obviously I mean when enjoyed in moderation, because excessive amounts of alcohol will have the opposite effect on your body!
But tequila blanco has been proven to be prebiotic and probiotic, aid in digestion, and the mollecular structure of the agavin (sugar in the tequila) can help to regulate insulin and aid in weight loss. I now feel totally justified in indulging in the occasional tequila cocktail when the mood strikes, and hopefully I can forget my bad tequila memories!
I wanted my Paloma to use roasted strawberries. I can’t imagine a spring without strawberries. They are definitely among my top favourite fruits, and are loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols. I go through several punnets a week during this time of year because they are so delicious and affordable.
Roasting them for as little as 15 minutes just intensifies their beautiful flavour, and also produces a sweet syrup – so you don’t have to make a simple syrup as some other recipes use! Win win! Roasted strawberries are great to have in the fridge as a topping for yoghurt and granola for breakfast or almost any kind of dessert, from ice cream to chocolate cake to panna cotta.
If you live in Australia, you would know about the recent incidents, where a sewing needle was found deliberately put into a strawberry. This sparked a massive recall around the country and countless tons of stock were dumped. Of course, this hurts our farmers and is terrible from a food waste perspective. I love the movement that has sprung up to Buy, Cut & Eat Strawberries and support the farmers who work so hard to produce the fresh food that we often take for granted.
This Roasted Strawberry Paloma is seriously easy to make. First, the strawberries are muddled in the bottom of the glass, and then basically everything else is just stirred together. Add some ice and top with soda or ginger beer. The result is a delicious drink that is like spring in a glass. The pink salt rim is definitely optional but it definitely adds an extra little zing of flavour when combined with the sweet, citrussy drink.
Related Post: Pomegranate Gin Smash
Roasted Strawberry Paloma
A delicious tequila cocktail, using seasonal roasted strawberries which is just perfect for spring!
- 200 g strawberries, sliced in half
- 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
- Pink salt, optional
- 1 ruby grapefruit, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 60 ml tequila (I used Jose Cuervo Silver)
- Ginger beer or soda to top up
- Strawberries, extra, sliced for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place cut strawberries into a baking dish and scatter with raw sugar. Roast for 20 minutes, until strawberries are softened and have released some juice. Set aside to cool.
Dip the rims of your glasses in lime juice or water and press into the pink salt evenly to coat the rim. This is optional, but it definitely does add something to the drink.
To make the cocktail, place about half of the strawberries and some of the syrup in the bottom of each glass and muddle.
Add the grapefruit and lime juices, and the tequila evenly between each glass and stir to combine. Add some ice and top up with ginger beer. Add extra sliced strawberries, for garnish if desired.
If you prefer, you can strain out the muddled strawberries and add fresh, sliced strawberries.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest