La paloma means “the dove” in Spanish. Not much is known about its provenance, but what’s certain is that it’s wildly popular—perhaps even more so than the Margarita—in its home country, Mexico. Technically a cooler (Mexico’s weather requires a steady diet of long, cool drinks), it’s simply a tall, salt-rimmed glass (optional) of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda like Fresca or Squirt, which can be substituted for fresh grapefruit and soda water. Fizzy and cooling, the Paloma is like the sweet-tart love child of a Margarita and a Greyhound.
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup (1:1, sugar:water)
- 2 dashes grapefruit bitters (optional)
- soda water
Garnish: grapefruit half wheel
- Add first four (five if using bitters) ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a Collins glass over ice.
- Top with soda water.
- Garnish with a half wheel of grapefruit.
Many versions of the Paloma use grapefruit soda instead of juice and simple syrup. This version favors an au naturel style with both grapefruit and lime juice, simple syrup and a couple dashes of bitters for a little extra grapefruit flavor.