Depending on how the tests go, the chain could add the grapefruit and tequila cocktail to its menu

By Mike Pomranz
Updated March 26, 2018
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Chipotle

Back in Chipotle’s halcyon days when the chain was still seen as an oasis in an otherwise bleak lunch hour rush, they set themselves apart from Taco Bell by serving beer and margaritas. In the intervening years, a lot of lime juice has passed under the bridge (for reasons we don’t have to get into here), and the company has tried plenty of new menu items to win back customers, including chorizo (now discontinued) and queso (success still pending). Now, the chain is apparently considering targeting the lush demographic by testing out a boozy new drink: a Frozen Paloma Margarita.

For those unfamiliar with a paloma, it’s a close cousin of the margarita that's made with tequila with grapefruit—usually in the form of a soda like Jarritos or Squirt, but also sometimes actual juice—instead of a marg’s lime juice. From there, a paloma can also be spruced up margarita-style with salt and a fruit wedge. Since Chopotle’s take is billed as a “paloma margarita,” the boozy beverage is intended as a mix of the two, utilizing both grapefruit and citrus juice for double the acidic punch, along with Sauza tequila and agave syrup. The drink is then served as a smooth, frozen slush.

According to The Daily Meal, this new cocktail is currently be tested at the NEXT Kitchen, the brand’s test kitchen in New York City. The site suggests that at just $6.20 for a 14-ounce plastic cup, the Frozen Paloma Margarita is actually a bit of a steal, with a tester suggesting that “she started feeling the buzz after finishing just half the glass (er, plastic cup).” Of course, flavor is important as well, and to that end the site had some positive feedback too. “Our tester, normally a big fan of classic Palomas, was pleasantly surprised by the budget-priced booze,” they wrote. “It was much more sugary than the original, but she reports that it tasted not just sweet, but also tangy and boozy all at once—a dream come true in warmer weather.”

Importantly, just because a new menu item gets a test run at the NEXT Kitchen doesn’t mean it’s going to land on menus. However, as anyone who’s ever thrown a party can attest to, if you want people to show up, it helps to have plenty of booze. Now that Chipotle is trying out this new cocktail, you have to wonder why they didn’t try to draw in fresh blood by hitting the bottle earlier.