Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Paloma


Eric Moore

Many a Margarita will be poured as folks raise a glass to Cinco de Mayo. But you may want to alter course and try a Paloma for some authentic cheer. This cocktail, which hails from Mexico—where they drink it instead of Margaritas—is an easy, peaceable drink: “La Paloma” means “the dove,” which is the bird of peace, the bird of salvation. Let’s drink to that!

A simple mix of tequila, lime juice, salt, and citrus-flavored soda, it has a relatively short history and appears to be from Guadalajara or thereabouts, and from no earlier than the 1990s.

The key to this Margarita-esque creation is the soda. When we think “citrus soda” we often think “lemon-lime” or “orange.” But, in Mexico, they tend to think toronja, which is grapefruit.

As cocktail guru David Wondrich noted when he featured this creation in Drinks magazine, the grapefruit soda “…touches the Paloma not only with sweetness, but with a little sourness and even some bitterness, too—both of which are boosted by the lime, whose bitter rind is thrown in along with the juice. Add the saltiness of the salt and you’ve got all four tastes recognized by Western science. But it doesn’t stop there—there’s the tequila, after all. When a proper, 100 percent agave reposado is used, as in Mexico, the spicy, vegetal notes of the tequila seem to combine with everything else to give this deceptively simple drink the elusive ‘fifth taste,’ the meaty, savory sensation the Japanese call umami.”

In Mexico, the preferred sodas for the Paloma are Wink, Squirt, Fresca, and the native Jarritos brand, which may be available in Latin markets locally. (I know some national stores sell the brand, but may not feature the toronja.) More readily available are domestic Squirt or Fresca, which are acceptable alternatives. If you use either of these, add a teaspoon or so of fresh grapefruit juice per drink.

Here’s to peace! Salud!

The Paloma

½ lime
1 ½ oz. reposado tequila
Pinch of kosher salt
Grapefruit soda

Fill a highball glass with ice. Squeeze lime half into it and drop in the shell. Add tequila and salt. Top off with grapefruit soda, stir lightly, and add a straw.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

DeRusha's 8 Best Twin Cities Sports Bars

Why watch the game over food you don't love? Food critic Jason DeRusha lists eight of the top sports bars in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Oatmeal Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Fresh, homemade bread is faster and easier than you think with dough that mixes in five minutes and needs no time to rise

Hello Pizza Turns 5, Ann Kim Short-listed for James Beard Award

Hello Pizza might have middle-child syndrome next to Ann Kim's other pizza shops—but this is what makes it worth revisiting

2018 James Beard Award Finalists

Minnesota chefs stay prominent in the James Beard shortlist

Brews for Good

Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘stache and shares on social media now through March 31, 2018

3 Reasons to Brunch This Weekend

Elegant N/A drinks, outstanding oeufs, and the best of ’80s hair rock this weekend

Blueberry-Walnut Squares Recipe

Enjoy a double-dose of antioxidants with walnuts and blueberries in this treat

Oscar Party Appetizers

Elevate your table with a trio of jazzed up party bites for a win in the best supporting snacks category

Exploring Washington Wines

Sample and discover delicious wines from our country’s second-largest wine-producing area at the Food & Wine Experience March 3 and 4
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags