I recently set to work researching CBD sparkling water, trying to find a high-quality product that would add not just bubbles to a cocktail, but flavor. And I found High Peaks, a hemp company out of South Carolina that makes everything from pet supplements to sleep-aids.
I ordered a sample pack of their yummy sparkling water selection (Highly recommend!), which comes in black cherry, grapefruit and watermelon mint flavors, and the grapefruit really spoke to me. I felt it was begging to be made into a Paloma variation because it was light enough for a hot summer day (they’ll be here soon enough!). So here is my creation of a mezcal Paloma variation. (I’m partial to mezcal, but I know it’s not for everyone. Tequila can certainly be substituted in this cocktail.)
Cut lime wedge and score it, pour a little salt onto small plate, rim glass with scored lime wedge then dip and roll in the small plate of salt, rimming the lip of the glass with salt
1 ½ oz Mezcal (Vida recommended)
¾ oz Pamplemousse Liqueur (Giffard or Combier recommended)
½ oz Lime juice
½ oz Agave syrup*
Pinch of salt
3 Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters
Build in Collins glass, stir briefly to dissolve the salt
Top with 2 oz High Peak Grapefruit Sparkling Water, stir lightly
Garnish with expressed grapefruit peel
The cocktail is going to be much lighter and less sweet than a traditional Paloma. This is because the High Peak sparkling water doesn’t have any sugar in it, and traditional Palomas are made with a grapefruit soda, making them sweeter. The sugar in this version will come from the liqueur and the agave.
The grapefruit from the sparkling water is a subtle complement to the smoky mezcal and bright lime juice, and the salt helps the flavors pop in this delightfully light marriage of cocktail and cannabis. Cheers!
* Agave syrup is equal parts agave and water, stirred until the two liquids become one. This is going to mellow the taste of the agave, but also make the product easier to mix.