Dear Patsy is your one-stop-shop for any and all questions about music, movies, drinks, TV, comedy, videogames, celebrities or whatever else you want to ask our pop culture expert. Send Patsy your question to email@example.com with a snappy subject line including the words “Dear Patsy,” and you could be featured in Paste’s newest weekly column. Simple as that! We want to hear your questions—or, Patsy does!—and we want to be your guiding light in the ever-foggy, fast-changing world of pop culture.
This week Patsy recommends some easy at-home recipes for making delicious cocktails with your favorite seltzer (La Croix, that is). Remember: This fine column can also act as a vehicle for personal, customized discovery should you send Patsy a few things you already like. Find all that and more below, and don’t forget to send Patsy a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a quick quarantine question for you – what are some cocktails you can make with La Croix at home? It feels healthy to pair sparkling water with liquor, and we’re all about health these days, right? The type of alcohol is flexible, but, as said, must include La Croix (please no Limoncello).
Hello there, my thirsty little dove. You’re definitely thinking smart, wanting to incorporate seltzer into your breezy, summertime cocktail repertoire. If there’s any season where it’s appropriate to just dump a little tequila, gin or rum into a can of LaCroix, it would be when the mercury is climbing to 100 degrees and above. Cocktails made with seltzer are both refreshing and bubbly, which is just what the doctor calls for during the sweltering season.
With that said, you should take a few things into consideration. Seltzer can be swapped in for club soda and sparkling water in many cocktails, with the bonus of contributing some fruit flavors, but in many cases you’ll probably have to make up for at least a little bit of the sweetness typically present in a balanced cocktail with the addition of sugars such as honey, sweetened juice or simple syrup. We are indeed “all about health,” but when push comes to shove we’re about well-made cocktails even more, and it’s hard to have a balanced cocktail without at least a LITTLE bit of sweetness to temper your booze.
Here’s three easy seltzer cocktails, each built around a different base liquor that should play well with your sparkling water.
The classic Latin-American paloma is a cocktail of sweet grapefruit soda, tequila and a squirt of lime, so it can easily be adapted to a drier version with seltzer. An additional squirt of ruby red grapefruit juice is also a nice addition that would take this drink to the next level—it’s optional, but it will definitely make it pop.
— 1.5 oz tequila of your choice
— 5 oz Pamplemousse LaCroix
— .5 oz lime juice
— 1 oz grapefruit juice (optional)
Stir together and serve over ice in a rocks glass. Crisp, citrusy, refreshing. If it’s too dry, you can add a squirt of simple syrup.
Key Lime Punch
There are a lot of LaCroix flavors that are apt to play well with rum, from Lime and Pamplemousse to Passionfruit and Key Lime. This one is intended as more of a light summer punch—lightly sweet and uncomplicated, accented by fresh mint.
— 1.5 oz white rum of your choice
— 5 oz. Key Lime LaCroix
— 2 oz orange juice
— squeeze of fresh lime juice
— .5 oz honey
— Several fresh mint leaves
Muddle the mint leaves with the honey in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add rum, orange juice and squeeze of lime. Add ice, top with seltzer and stir to incorporate.
Cucumber Blackberry Spritzer
This one is dependent upon finding LaCroix’s Mure Pepino flavor, which may be more difficult than others, but its combination of blackberry and cucumber really calls out for a gin accompaniment—although really, gin obviously plays well with Pamplemousse and Lime as well. Take it to the next level by muddling some fresh blackberries and including a cucumber garnish, but you can also keep things very simple indeed by simply adding some gin to your Mure Pepino can. We’re not going to tell anyone.
— 1.5 oz gin of your choice
— 5 oz LaCroix Mure Pepino
— .5 oz sweetened lime juice
— cucumber wedge
Muddle the blackberries and lime juice in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add gin and ice, then top with seltzer and stir to incorporate. Garnish with cucumber wedge.
Yours in bubbles,
Reminder: If you want to chat/probe/wax poetic about your favorite things, email Patsy at email@example.com. This can be anonymous—sign your letter with a nom de plume of your choosing. Be nice please. And see previous columns, which are now published weekly on Thursdays, right here. Adieu for now!