Tequila can be polarizing — many people have an unfortunate relationship to the agave-based spirit thanks to some ill-fated college experience. Others think of it as simply a shot to be quickly thrown down the hatch. But, thoughtfully cultivated, organic tequila with zero additives, like that made by second-generation tequila producer Azunia Tequila, changes the discussion. Whether sipped neat (yes; good tequila should be sipped, not shot) or used in a cocktail, tequila deserves a second, third, and fourth look. Best known as the base spirit for a margarita, tequila has a range of other cocktail personalities, including the refreshing Paloma. Bartender Pete Christensen at Westward in Seattle interprets this classic cocktail in the following way:
1 1/2 oz. Azunia blanco tequila
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 dash Scrappy’s grapefruit bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice, and strain into a Collins glass with a half-salted rim. Top with Grape Jarritos soda and a large grapefruit swath for garnish.