The Ingredient Stanley Tucci Swapped Out For A Controversial Paloma

Stanley Tucci may be best known as a star of stage and screen, but the award-winning actor is also a bon vivant of sorts, as evidenced by two seasons of his hit CNN show, "Searching for Italy." Tucci is also a bit of a cocktail connoisseur, an interest he shares with his 2.6 million Instagram followers by posting casually amusing mixed-drink tutorials. So when Tucci took liberties with the recipe for a classic Paloma cocktail, swapping out tequila for gin, his followers were divided. In fact, some people were so up in arms that Tucci subsequently posted a lighthearted apology for inadvertently besmirching the cocktail near and dear to the hearts of tequila lovers.

"I looked at some of the comments about the last cocktail I made, the Paloma, and I see that some of you were upset because I used gin instead of tequila," Tucci said in an Instagram video. "I'm sorry to have upset you. I suppose I should have been clear. I did that because I like it with gin. I tried with tequila and it just didn't work for me. So, maybe I have to call it something else." As Tucci ponders alternate names for his gin-based Paloma — Ginloma, Palomgin, and Giloma are on the table — his followers may want to know there's more than one way to make a Paloma.

There's more than one way to make a Paloma

The pushback on Tucci's personal take on the beverage stems from purists who insist a tequila Paloma is the only acceptable version, but just like a vodka martini or a rum Old-Fashioned, reinventing a classic cocktail to reflect your personal tastes isn't only acceptable, it's done all the time. In his original Instagram post demonstrating how to make a gin-based Paloma, Tucci combined 70 ml of gin, 60 ml of grapefruit juice, and 30 ml of lime juice with a healthy squirt of agave in a cocktail shaker filled with ice before pouring the elixir into a lowball glass and topping it off with a splash of seltzer water. Sounds like a refreshing cocktail, but even if Tucci had stuck with tequila, the end product would still have been a far cry from the original Paloma, which is nothing more than tequila with a splash of grapefruit soda, usually Squirt.

As for replacing tequila with gin, that's not even an unheard-of variation. In fact, Bob Wiley, co-owner of Denver-based Deviation Distilling, told Men's Journal it's a refreshing take on a classic Paloma. And his recipe almost exactly matches Tucci's take on the cocktail, but with Thai chili simple syrup instead of agave and a Thai chili garnish to crank the heat up just a notch.