The Paloma-Inspired Oyster Shooter

Most oyster shooters suck and aren’t worth my time or super low alcohol tolerance. But on occasion, I stumble across an oyster-friendly drink that’s truly delightful.

I’m talking about a Paloma-inspired shooter, or drink for one, that I tinkered with last summer after receiving a beautiful box of Pai Pai oysters from my friends at Baja Shellfish Farms, which are (not exaggerating) damn near impossible to get your hands on right now unless if you’re Chef Drew Deckman. I say that it’s Paloma-inspired because I used mezcal instead of tequila (I was on a mezcal kick at the time and still am!). I also added a little heat because… well, summertime. Enjoy!


The Pai-loma

By Julie Qiu

This grapefruit-centric oyster shooter recipe has a touch of smokiness, heat and effervescence that pairs with Pai Pai oysters or any petite, plumpy Pacific oyster.

Makes: 2 shooters


  • 2 ounces mezcal, a good one

  • 1/2 grapefruit, freshly squeezed (~3 oz of juice)

  • 1/2 lime, hand squeezed (~1/2 oz of juice)

  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar

  • Sea salt

  • 2 slivers of Jalapeno pepper

  • Club soda

  • Ice

  • 2 perfectly shucked small Pacific oysters


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker two thirds full with ice, then add the mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave nectar. Add a pinch of sea salt and optional Jalapeno slivers.

  2. Shake well and strain into two rocks glasses. Top with a splash of Club soda. You can add the Jalapeno slivers back in each glass, although I recommend discarding it.

  3. Serve each shooter with a perfectly shucked oyster, or two.