Mezcal Paloma

The majority of the time, I'm the one who prepares dinner.  It makes sense. I'm home before Eric, I can often get to the store... plus, I enjoy doing it. It's not that he can't cook or that he's not good at it (he's actually very good), it's just become a task that I've taken over. But why not find some time to cook together? The idea has been lingering in my mind ever since I read Ashley's Date Night In, a cookbook featuring recipes and stories from the evenings she and her husband spend preparing dishes. I found the whole thing truly inspiring and at one point even suggested it... but over a year went by gone and we never followed through. A few weeks ago, however, after a particularly hectic week, Eric suggested that we spend our Saturday night at home. The lightbulb flickered on. "Hey, we have all of these cookbooks around. Why don't we make something from one of them?" We pulled out a recent addition to our collection that features authentic Chinese recipes, made a list, went to the store, and cooked up a storm. The food was incredible. Probably the best we've ever made. And we did it together (all while sipping on palomas). This past weekend we did it again, this time going in a more Mediterranean direction: braised octopus, roasted eggplant, whipped goat cheese, and homemade pita (that evening we went with martinis).

The paloma, featured here, is an easy, refreshing drink. Typically it includes tequila, but I like the slightly smoky notes the mezcal provides. A simpler version of the recipe can be made by using grapefruit soda instead of the fresh grapefruit juice, sugar and soda water, but if you have grapefruits on hand, I prefer this method. 


Highball or rocks glass

1 drink

Kosher salt
1 lime wedge
1/4 ounce lime juice
2 ounces grapefruit juice
2 ounces mezcal (or tequila)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces soda water
1 grapefruit wedge, for garnish

1. To rim the glass, pour salt onto a plate. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge and then dip the rim into the salt, spin slowly until rim is lightly coated in salt.

2. Pour lime juice, grapefruit juice, mezcal and sugar into a glass. Using a spoon, stir until sugar has dissolved. Fill glass with ice cubes and top with soda water. 

The Harvest Spritzer (Featuring Truly Spiked & Sparkling)

This post is sponsored by Truly Spiked & Sparkling. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Thought For Food possible.

The other weekend, Eric and I were invited to a tailgating party/BBQ at our friend Dan's apartment. Massive piles of grilled sausage and hot dogs were served (it was a little lost on me, the non-meat eater of the bunch). Despite being the odd man out, I had a blast hanging with a bunch of food-loving folk on a beautiful autumn afternoon (plus, there were lots of fun photo ops). My contribution was a corn salad and a cooler of Truly. So, I have this cooler that's about halfway filled with bottles. Shortly after things get started, a few more people arrive with... yup... more Truly! Of course, no one complained. You can never have too much boozy sparkling water on hand, especially when you're washing down giant hot dogs (in fact, most of it went). Just thought it was funny. Apparently it's the IT drink. Who knew?!?!

Of their three flavors, I'm a bit partial to the Colima Lime Truly Spiked & Sparkling. So many beverages try to replicate "lime flavor," but this tastes just like lime. It's subtle, but definitely noticeable. Each can or bottle is only 100 calories, which is nice and low for an alcoholic beverage, and is 5% ABV. While they're super refreshing on their own, I am sharing a little creation here that I came up with to ease into fall. As to not detract from its delicate lime flavor, I simply muddled some ginger, and added tequila (because a little extra booze never hurts) and a few dashes of cranberry bitters. Topped with Truly, it's a great sipper, one that can be served at an upcoming holiday or tailgating party. 

The Harvest Spritzer (featuring Truly Spiked & Sparkling)

1 drink

1.5 oz tequila
2-3 peeled ginger slices
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (see recipe below)
3-4 dashes Cranberry bitters
1 bottle or can of Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime

In a mixing glass, add tequila, lime juice, simple syrup and ginger slices. Using a muddler, mash ginger to infuse the tequila and lime juice. Strain into a highball glass. Add 3-4 dashes of cranberry bitters. Fill glass with ice. Top with Truly Spiked & Sparkling Colima Lime

Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before using. Store in a lidded jar in the fridge for up to a month.

Tarragon Tequila Swizzle


We've really struggled with our garden this year, mainly because we've had little rain this summer. I've been religiously watering it every morning. The tomatoes are slowly coming in. I've been picking each cherry tomato off the vine as soon as it ripens, afraid that some critter might get to it before we can enjoy it. This happened a few weeks ago with our first cucumber. We returned home from a couple days away and I went out to water our pots. I was so excited to see something had grown and it looked like the most beautiful cucumber. Upon further inspection, though, I noticed that a big chunk had been taken out. The culprit, most likely a squirrel, also devoured a couple of peppers! So, yeah, I've been keeping a careful eye on things. We have another cuke growing and in a few days it'll be ready for picking. 

The herbs, however, have been doing very well. The parsley has exploded, as has the basil. I love our herb garden, to go outside and pick whatever I might need for dinner. Having access to fresh herbs also comes in handy when I want to spruce up a cocktail. I've surprised Eric with gin and tonics garnished with fresh rosemary (he doesn't quite get what the big deal is, but I think it looks and smells awesome). One of my favorite herbs (and one that I think is underused in cocktails) is tarragon. It holds up in drinks but also adds its own unique flavor (I find that it tastes a lot like vanilla, maybe with a touch of anise/black licorice). The easiest way to incorporate it in a cocktail is by making an infused simple syrup, which I did here for this swizzle. It's not a complicated drink to make, but it does require some crushed ice. It's very light and super sippable... just how a summer cocktail should be. 

This post is a part of the #DrinkTheSummer collaboration organized by Sherrie at With Food + Love. She got a bunch of us together to share original alcoholic and non-alcoholic creations. Heres the full list for everyone to check out: 

A Little Saffron | Beach Bum’s Rum
A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle
Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme
Heart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint Cooler
Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander
The Green Life | Spiced Plum Fig + Kombucha Cocktail
Hummingbird High | Watermelon + Mint Agua Fresca
Floating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea + Bourbon Cocktail
Beard and Bonnet | Easy Melon Mojitos
EGD | Backyard Peach Sweet Tea
Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil + Black Pepper Gin Sour
Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch
Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted Rims
Domesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita
The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita
my name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys
Sevengrams | Cucumber Gin + Chartreuse Cocktail
Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin + Tonic
Eat Boutique | Sbagliatos + Homemade Sweet Vermouth
Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Piña Coladas
Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito
The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler
HonestlyYUM | Watermelon Fresh Herbs + Sotol Cocktail
Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey
Salted Plains | Frozen Honeydew Daiquiris
The Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot Mojitos
Fix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail
Turntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two Ways
Foolproof Living | Blueberry Dark Cherry + Calvados Cocktail
Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush
The Wood and Spoon | Honey Basil Margaritas
Milly’s Kitchen | Golden Watermelon Ginger Basil + Tequilla

Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir
TENDING the TABLE | Raspberry + Fig Hibiscus Cooler
Snixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream Floats
The Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream Floats
Gratitude and Greens | Hong Kong Style Crushed Watermelon Ice
My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake
rooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel Soda
The Modern Proper | Vanilla Plum Shrub
Feed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha Coolers
Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda
dolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso + Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte
happy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel Orange + Cardamom
I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas
Tasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond Milk
Let’s talk evergreen | Iced Earl Grey Yuanyang With a Hint of Rose
Kale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green Spritzer
Earthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca
Now, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot + Purple Basil Shrubs
The Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes
Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea
Sweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolate
holly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut
Pure Ella | Fresh Mint Tea


Tequila Tarragon Swizzle

1 drink

2.5 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
1/4 oz tarragon simple syrup (recipe below)
Crushed ice
Angostura bitters

Add tequila, lime juice, pineapple juice, and tarragon simple syrup to a collins glass. Fill 1/2 way with crushed ice. Immerse a swizzle stick (or a bar spoon, which is what I used) into the glass and, between both hands, rub the stick back and forth for about 15 seconds. Fill the remainder of the glass with crushed ice and swizzle again for 10 seconds. Top ice with approximately six dashes of angostura bitters (or until the top is covered) and then add a straw.

Tarragon Simple Syrup

1 cup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 sprigs tarragon

Whisk together water and sugar in a saucepan. Set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add tarragon sprigs and remove the pot from heat. Let tarragon steep for 15 minutes. 

Let the syrup cool completely before using. Can be stored in an airtight container (a jar with a lid works well) for up to 2 weeks.