I’ve written before in the depths of winter that now is grapefruit season and grapefruits were my first realization that food was in fact seasonal. It was 1989 and I’d grown up in a country where I could buy pretty much anything I knew about all year long and this was the natural way of the world. I’d fallen in love with Donna, who was a photographer for the Palm Beach Daily News, but I kept long-held plans and left her to travel Africa and Asia, only to find myself 10 weeks later on the porch of an American expatriate living in Ouagadougou. A monkey jumped onto my lap, and I thought What the hell am I doing in Ouagadougou when I’m in love with this beautiful photographer in southern Florida?
I couldn’t answer the question. I caught a train to Abidjan and from the Côte d’Ivoire a plane home. I packed my little Mazda 626 with everything I owned and drove from Cleveland to Florida, with dinner and a few hours’ sleep at the home of my mentor in Durham, NC.
A few months later, mid-February, there was grapefruit everywhere. I was astonished. Look at all these trees that used to have just leaves, in front lawns and backyards, trees heavy with grapefruit. AMAZING grapefruit. They grew in abundance behind a little cottage I was able to rent on that opulent plump island. I lived on the stuff.
So I wanted to honor the grapefruit in its season for this Friday Cocktail Hour, and I do so happily by reprising a summertime drink I’m so fond of, the Paloma, which also happens to be my favorite cocktail photograph by the woman who decided to marry me a year and a half after the monkey jumped onto my lap.
Cure the wintertime blues with a blast of vitamin C and some reposado tequila (any good tequila will do), 2 to 1 juice to booze, and a squeeze of lime to finish. That’s it!
The Donna Paloma
- 2 ounces añejo or reposado tequila
- 4 ounces freshly squeezed Florida grapefruit juice
- 1 fat lime wedge
- Combine the hooch and the juice in glass, fill with ice, garnish with lime. Put on some shades and listen to Ramsey Lewis’s “Sun Goddess.”
Check out these other links:
- My post on making margaritas.
- Be a member of the Tequila Interchange Project.
- Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill in Chicago has some pretty stellar margaritas; here are some of his cocktail recipes.
© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.