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Smoky Mezcal Paloma

three mezcal paloma cocktails with jalapeno slices and limes in them sitting on a grey plate with ice.

If you like the smoky flavor of mezcal, you'll love this mezcal paloma infused with jalapeño simple syrup! It's a smoky, spicy version of your favorite grapefruit and tequila cocktail.

Ingredients

Scale

For the Jalapeño Simple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 halved jalapeño

For The Rim:

  • Smoked salt
  • Chipotle powder

For a Paloma:

  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 oz mezcal
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Jalapeño Simple Syrup
  • Splash club soda or sparkling water (I like Topo Chico)

Instructions

  1. Make the jalapeño simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and jalapeño. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat, cover and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, strain (if needed) into a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the smoked salt rim. On a small plate, mix a small amount of smoked salt and a couple pinches of chipotle powder. 
  3. Wet the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Roll in the salt mixture. Fill the glass with ice. 
  4. Add mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup to the glass. Top with soda and give it a little stir.
  5. Garnish with jalapeño and lime slices (optional).

Notes

  • Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed jar for up to 2 weeks. I keep the jalapeño in the jar.
  • Adjust the amount of simple syrup to suit your taste.
  • Limes and grapefruits should only be juiced up to 12 hours in advance, as the flavor starts to diminish after a while.
  • For big batch/make ahead cocktails, stir together all ingredients besides soda in a large pitcher with NO ice. (For batch cocktail measurements, replace "oz" in the recipe with "cups".) Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with soda by the glass just before serving. 
  • If you don't have smoked salt or chipotle powder, you can use plain salt for the rim, or Tajin (if you have it) would be good too!
  • If you prefer to use a shaker instead of stirring, go for it! I'm lazy and don't want to dirty another dish. Just leave the soda out and our it on to pin the glass.

Keywords: mezcal paloma cocktail, paloma with mezcal, spicy paloma cocktail, jalapeño paloma