If you walk into Cult, a new cafe in Santa Monica, and ask for a refreshing beverage, Lena Enriquez, the head of the coffee program, will ask you to trust her. She’ll shake up a drink called the Other Paloma that mixes cold-brewed coffee, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. “It’s sour at the forefront, and then it’s super sweet and creamy at the end,” she says. Though people often shy away from the pairing initially, she says, they end up loving it. “Not one person has sent it back.”
While you won’t see the unexpected combo on the menu at Starbucks, it’s been percolating for years. Kafn Coffee in Glendale serves a version called Julio’s Pamplemousse that’s sweetened with agave, while the 2020 book Good Drinks featured a recipe for a mocktail made with the unlikely duo and a black cardamon-cinnamon syrup and served in an elegant coupe glass. Author Julia Bainbridge writes that she was initially skeptical but that the “bitter-on-bitter . . . just worked.”
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