All January and early February, as glacial winds smacked us in our face on the walk to school — and somehow back too (uphill, both ways, etc.) — I counted down the days until we would go to Florida to visit my parents (who winter-as-a-verb there like all the other smart retirees of the Northeast) and thaw our bones for five days. Instead, the warm weather found its way here and apparently it’s been full-out spring while we were away but I’m not mad, how could I be, I was sitting on a beach in the middle of winter and it was exactly what we needed, or at least the 3/4 of us that are willing to let our feet touch the sand. Spotty wi-fi, falling asleep shortly after the kids did each night (one who learned a new word “mom-MEE!”) and great heaps of fresh fruit at the hotel’s breakfast buffet (shamelessly one of my favorite resort things) all contributed to an overall feeling of wellness that I hope to carry with me at least for the next 15 minutes, because I believe in keeping expectations reasonable.
[Somewhere in here is a wry observation of how far this is from the kid-free cocktails-on-the-beach style vacations we’ve taken other years, but if there’s anything that the retiree population of Florida makes clear it’s that you get those days back, although you might spend them cooing over other people’s tiny children and telling them how much you miss those exhausting days. I’ll spare you.]
Before I left, however, I made us a holiday-ish cocktail that instantly became my new favorite winter thing. We usually think of margaritas as the go-to Mexican cocktail, but the unfussy and unfancy paloma is much more a bar standard, part tequila and part grapefruit-flavored soda (usually Fresca, Squirt or Jarritos), saved on the rocks with a lime wedge, sometimes with a salt rim too. A grapefruitjunkie, I like to make it with fresh juice and a splash of lightly sweetened seltzer, but when cleaning out the fridge before we went away I found both a full pomegranate (score!) and pomegranate juice and decided to make a version with both. It was fizzy, dark pink, tart-sweet perfection, all with a proper kick of tequila and I really, really think you should too.
Pomegranate Grapefruit Paloma
- 2 thin slices or small wedges grapefruit
- Kosher salt for rim, if desired
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 1 teaspoon honey, sugar or agave
- 1/4 cup white tequila
- About 3 medium-sized ice cubes
- 1/4 cup club soda or seltzer
- A few pomegranate arils (for garnish)