Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku’s East Village outpost Oiji has garnered quite a bit of buzz for its modern Korean menu, but head bartender Ryan Te’s crafty cocktails deserve equal praise. While the classic Paloma is usually a simple mixture of tequila and grapefruit soda, this version is a more elevated take on the recipe. The addition of a popular, sweet, unfiltered Korean rice wine called Makgeolli and slightly bitter and citrusy China-China liqueur add unique flavors to the tequila and grapefruit base.
“The Paloma was one of our first creations at Oiji, we wanted to take something accessible and easy drinking and make it a bit richer and complex with the addition of Makgeolli. It’s very light and refreshing lightly sweet with a hint of spice,” says Te.
2 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Cold pressed grapefruit syrup
.5 oz China-China liqueur
.25 oz. Lime juice
Splash of Makgeolli
Shake all ingredients together except Makgeolli. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with Makgeolli and garnish with a grapefruit twist.