I guess we need to face the facts, winter is here. We’ve been lucky this fall with some pretty mild weather. However the gusty winds & frigid temperature drop have slapped us hard to wake us up. Time to start thinking about cocktails that will make us feel all toasty as we welcome the winter wonderland that’s upon us.

When you think of winter holiday flavors, I’m sure cranberry or pomegranate come to mind. These fruits are used in many recipes simply because they are in season during this time, especially pomegranates as they ripen during the winter months. So naturally this drink we are making involves these cold weather fruits.

As some of you may have read previously, we traveled to Mexico back in February before the Covid-19 lockdown happened. The drink of choice there is a Paloma, so I started researching variations of the delicious recipe and stumbled across a winter version. The one I found combines cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, tequila and soda water to give this summer drink a cold weather twist. As per the usual, I mixed it up a little bit and tweaked the recipe.

I figured why give tequila all of the attention? There’s another fantastic spirit from Mexico called Mezcal. Mezcal gets a smoky flavor since the agave is smoked in a pit, and unlike tequila up to 30 varieties of agave can be used to make mezcal. As I thought about this winter cocktail, I decided that the smokiness of the mezcal would make a nice addition to the flavors of the juice (We have an excellent selection of mezcal at the store, feel free to ask if you need a recommendation).

My first round I made this cocktail with regular cranberry juice, and it was quite tasty. Then remembering I had some white cranberry juice in the fridge, I opted to give that a whirl my second time around. The lightness of the white cranberry gave this drink the right balance that it needed. Mild tartness, a smoky finish, and a little effervescence from the soda water to give it a sparkle. Sounds delightful, am I right?

So as we settle down for a long winter’s nap (or a long winter of drinking), why not shake things up and give this libation a whirl. We are headed out of 2020, on to a new year with endless possibilities. Drink up! 

A Winter Paloma

1 1/2 oz Mezcal

2 oz Cranberry Juice or White Cranberry Juice

1 oz Pomegranate Juice

Juice from 1/2 Lime

Soda Water

  • Combine mezcal, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, and lime in a shaker. Fill with ice to top of the liquid.
  • Shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass (your choice) filled with ice.
  • Top with soda water.
  • Garnish with lime wheel or a few fresh cranberries if desired.
  • Drink, be merry, and stay healthy.