I had my first Paloma in Ixtapa, Mexico, during a blog seminar I was invited to and fell in love with it. I think I had ninety-five before the week was out. By the end of the evening I couldn’t even remember the name. (Though I remember Garrett becomes very talkative after about seven or eight.)
I still see the Mexican bartender carefully saying, PAH-LOW-MA to me. I would repeat as best I could, but he could see he’d be repeating himself in a half hour.
Now, of course, is not the time to have ninety-five Palomas but one solid one for the cocktail hour. It is HOT, and these are REFRESHING! In fact, exactly as refreshing as the above example looks in Donna’s lovely photo. The Paloma is simply tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda.
I’m using the excellent Tequila Ocho Reposado. Normally I save the really good stuff for straight-up drinking, but it’s worth it for the Paloma because the lime and grapefruit flavors intermingle with and elevate, rather than obscure, the flavor of the tequila.
I chose the soda because Izze is excellent (not too sweet, lots of carbonation) and it's what my grocery store carries. Jarritos is the brand most often recommended. But half grapefruit juice and half soda water works as well.
I use equal parts tequila and soda, roughly, or even a little less soda (you want to be able to taste the tequila) with the juice of half a lime. Add a pinch of kosher salt if you wish, which increases the complexity of the flavors.
Garrett, say it with me! PAH! LOW! MA!
- 3 ounces tequila
- juice of ½ lime
- 3 ounces grapefruit soda, or to taste
- 1 wedge of lime for garnish, if you wish
- Combine all the ingredients in a beautiful glass filled with ice.
- Swirl to combine.
- If it's very hot where you are, pause to consider you are about to indulge yourself with one of the most refreshing cocktails you've ever had.
If you liked this post on the Paloma, check out these other links:
- My post where Friday Cocktail Hour all began: The Perfect Martini.
- Be a member of the Tequila Interchange Project.
- Rick Bayless shares a recipe for pozole, or pork hominy soup, which originates in Jalisco, Mexico.
- Sangrita is a chaser of sorts that is served with tequila and was traditionally made with leftover citrus juice and chile powder.
© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.