La Paloma, the quintessential tequila cocktail from Mexico (shove off, Margarita!), is the antidote to all things hot. And sorry to say, there’s a lot more of that heat bearing down on all parts of the world, not just those closer to the equator than us (thanks, climate change!). La Paloma’s bubbly grapefruit soda has just a little bit of a bitter bite floating under its sweetness. Then there’s lime and salt too—not rimming the glass, but in the actual drink—that beg for tequila. Together, it’s a salty, sweet, and sour highball cocktail that you’ll want to learn by heart, as soon as you can.
But first, a few notes: To be transparent, we made our Paloma here with Q grapefruit soda to get that lovely pink tinge. Jarritos grapefruit soda from Mexico is the exceptionally popular choice—like Mexican Coke, it’s just fundamentally better—but it’s not pink. Same goes for Squirt, another Paloma favorite. Tequila is up to you too, but reposado is best.
A Little Background
La Paloma has no proven origin story, but it definitely (probably) came from Mexico sometime in the mid- to late-1900s and eventually made it across the border to the U.S. years later. We do know that grapefruit soda was a necessity. Squirt was exported to Mexico in the mid-20th century while around that time, grapefruit Jarritos—or Jarritos Toranja—was invented, so it only took a bottle of one of those plus some tequila to make the very first, very basic Paloma. Nor is it known why it’s called La Paloma, or “the dove” in English. It’s certainly not the color of the dove, nor does it coo like one. If we had to hazard a guess and get a little poetic in doing so, we’d say it’s because La Paloma is as weightless as the wings of a dove, alighting on a boiling hot day to bring about a little reprieve. That’s probably not the right guess, though.
If You Like This, Try These
Let’s start with grapefruit. If it’s a fruit whose flavor you enjoy, the Greyhound is a very simple grapefruit juice and vodka cocktail. The Salty Dog is a Greyhound cocktail with a salted rim. And a Sea Breeze mixes grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and vodka. Then, tequila drinks with Mexican heritage speak to you, there’s always the Margarita.
What You Need
Here’s what you need to do a Paloma justice, beyond what you might be able to dig out of the fridge or cupboard.
Food styling by Sean Dooley
Prop styling by Emily Hirsch
Source : Esquire