Cocktail of the Week: The Officina Milan Paloma

With the clean kick of tequila and a citrus burst of grapefruit and lime, this Milanese spin on the classic cocktail is the perfect crowd-pleaser…

It’s all very well stirring a single, delightfully-balanced homemade martini on a Monday night, but what happens when it comes to *whisper it* hosting? We’ve all perfected the art of mixing single serve cocktails during the last two years, but perhaps we’ve also forgotten that cocktail making en masse can be quite a faff. There’s a reason the world’s sophisticated cocktail bars do such a roaring trade, after all.

Enter the Paloma; a zingy and bitter — yet refreshing — tequila cocktail believed to have first been mixed in Mexico. Subtly sweetened with natural agave, it’ll keep chances of hangover low and has lashings of natural vitamin C to see you through this frightfully frosty autumn. It’s also very easy to make in big batches, a little theatrical with those salt-rimmed glasses, and a comely pale pink colour thanks to the grapefruit.

"Subtly sweetened with natural agave, it’ll keep chances of hangover low…”

So, as models and paparazzi flocked to Milan for Fashion Week last month, we headed to one of the city’s destination bars to learn the art of the Paloma with head bartender, France Rainteau. Officina is housed in an old mechanic’s garage in the historic Navigli neighbourhood of the Italian city, and has retained that no-nonsense, industrial edge when it comes to mixing cocktails. 

The place even featured on the World’s 50 Best Bars list for the last couple of years, which surely helps explain the buzz, but there’s still an air of in-the-know secrecy about the place. The Paloma is a house favourite here, and the drink epitomises the venue’s artisanal aim; “to highlight the beauty of what’s simple and delicious”. Rainteau recommends, if you want to spice it up, using El Sueno Watermelon Tequila Liqueur or VIVIR Tequila Blanco. Or if you really, really can’t stick tequila — there’s always mezcal. 


How to make the Paloma Cocktail from Milan’s Officina Bar

Ingredients:

  • 45ml Altos Tequila
  • 30 ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 15ml Agave Syrup
  • Three Cents Grapefruit Soda, to top up
  • Salt, to garnish

Method:

  1. Rub fresh lime over half the rim of the highball glass
  2. Dip the rim in salt 
  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  4. Pour in the tequila, lime juice and agave syrup
  5. Shake, and strain into the glass to serve 

Want more cocktail recipes? Here’s how to make Jack Savoretti’s ‘Portofino & Tonic’…

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