Let us introduce you to margarita’s cousin.
Mexico’s contribution to the cocktail canon is extensive. Just look at the Margarita. Well, Palmoa is the runner up! (along with many others)
The Paloma is a refreshing, easy-to-make drink that combines tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda/juice. Its origin story is uncertain, but most reports say its creation is in the 1950s. Blanco tequila is the traditional choice, but lightly aged reposado also makes a fine drink. In this case, it’s best to keep the añejo capped, as the well-aged expression’s oaky profile disrupts that clean, refreshing taste you want in a Paloma.
In Mexico, Jarritos soda is a popular choice for adding the effervescent grapefruit note. This brand is relatively easy to find stateside, particularly in grocery stores that stock Mexican foods and ingredients. However, as bartenders continue to embrace fresh juice in their cocktails, it has become increasingly common to use fresh grapefruit juice in place of the grapefruit soda. If you want to go that route, you can complement the juice with unflavored sparkling water to achieve the necessary bubbly effect. This combination yields a similar cocktail, so it’s worth the experiment. But grapefruit soda is the more traditional choice when making Palomas.
Some people may also choose to rim the glass with salt, while others add a pinch of salt straight into the glass. This step isn’t necessary, but it does add a savory quality that melds beautifully with the earthy tequila and tart grapefruit. And it opens the possibility of using a spiced salt, like Tajín, for an extra seasoning kick.
Because the Paloma is constructed right in the glass, you don’t need any bar tools to make it. Just add your ingredients to a highball glass with ice, and you’re ready to enjoy a refreshing cocktail.