On the Sauce: Fresh 'n' Tasty Cilantro Paloma

Using in-season ingredients, pretend it's summer with this citrus-forward cocktail.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Fresh 'n' Tasty Cilantro Paloma
Chris Fasick

Since the beginning of On the Sauce, I've favored the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. For me, they're what take an average cocktail and make it extraordinary. Kinda like how fast-food burgers don't stand a chance against the $12 piled-high alternatives found at imaginative burger joints.

With this week's drink, a paloma called Fresh 'n' Tasty, we've reached maximum freshness. The cocktail incorporates freshly squeezed in-season grapefruit and lime, plus tequila and fresh cilantro. But be careful not to overdo it with the herb, as some people find it overpowering. While the recipe is reminiscent to that of a mojito, which features mint rather than cilantro, cilantro isn't intended to be the dominant flavor here it's there to add just a bit of kick to the cocktail.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Fresh 'n' Tasty Cilantro Paloma
Chris Fasick

Traditionally, palomas also include a fizz factor for some effervescence and carbonation. Since we went with fresh squeezed juice all the way through, our soda substitute is... prosecco, of course. I used Il Cortigiano Prosecco for its dry profile and notes of apple and citrus.

And don't hesitate to add your favorite tequila to this one. I explored a little at the store and left with 3 Amigos Añejo Tequila. Aged in oak barrels and really smooth, the spirit's a fine choice in the under $30 range, with hints of agave, wood and vanilla, making it a great fit for our citrus-forward cocktail that'll help you pretend it's summer.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Fresh 'n' Tasty Cilantro Paloma
Chris Fasick

Fresh 'n' Tasty Cilantro Paloma

Makes 1

5-6 sprigs cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1.5 ounces 3 Amigos Añejo Tequila

Juice of 1/2 grapefruit

1-2 ounces Il Cortigiano Prosecco

In a cocktail shaker, add cilantro, lime juice and agave. Muddle until cilantro is well-bruised. Add remaining ingredients and ice, then shake until well-chilled. Fill a Collins glass with ice and strain in cocktail with a fine mesh strainer. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

Follow @cfasick on Twitter, or email him at [email protected] if there's a cocktail or recipe you'd like featured.

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