Most times we think salt with cocktails like a margarita. Never whiskey or rum or gin. There is a science behind this though. Salt does soften the bite from bitter compounds. Think coronas with salt and lime.
Better yet the best example is The Paloma. The Paloma can be argued as a true Mexican cocktail, where as The Margarita is a Mexican-American (specifically Californian) cocktail.
2 oz. Tequila Blanco
1/4 Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp. Rich Syrup
Combine all (with the exception of the soda water) in a cocktail shaker, shake until cold and serve in a tall glass. Finish with soda water and garnish with lime wheel or grapefruit peel.
This above recipe is my version, due to the lack of desirable grapefruit soda. If you are lucky to have a store which has a bitter-sweet grapefruit soda you love then adjust the recipe as follows.
The Paloma (using Grapefruit Soda)
2 oz. Tequila Blanco
3/4 oz. Lime Juice
Build over ice, and top off with grapefruit soda.
The salt rounds out the drink adding a level of umami and a savory characteristic. Speaking of salt you should be using Kosher Salt that contains no iodine. Sea salt is a great choice as well.
Next I have a cocktail that touches on the Greyhound/Salty Dog which is vodka and grapefruit juice, the salty dog is an addition of salt rim.
English Sea Dog
1 oz. Genever
1/2 oz. Smith and Cross Rum
3/4 oz. Grapefruit Cordial
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
Combine in a cocktail shaker, shake until cold. Double strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with salt. To rim: run a lime wedge along half the glass, roll glass into salt.
To make the grapefruit cordial, weigh out 700 grams of fresh Pressed and finely strained grapefruit juice. To that add 100 grams simple syrup. Stir to incorporate and keep refrigerated.
And lastly something a little more seasonal, salted caramel.
So I’m making my caramel a little different.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup orgeat
3/4 oz. bourbon
1 tablespoon salt
To make caramel add water and sugar to a deep pan, let cook over high heat occasionally stirring until golden brown. This should take 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool, slowly add in the orgeat stirring to incorporate completely, add salt and lastly bourbon. Return to heat to dissolve any remaining salt crystals and cook off some of the alcohol from bourbon.
Fall St. Lawrence.
1 1/2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
1/2 oz. Denizen Merchant’s Reserve
3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon salted caramel
1/4 oz. Fresh Pressed Red Apple Juice