While it could easily be argued that any day is a perfect day for a Paloma, it’s definitely the drink you should have in your glass today, as it’s National Paloma Day.
While this wonderful mix of agave and citrus is one of the most popular drinks in Mexico, there is little is known of its pedigree. although many believe that it was created in the 1950s, where and by who is a bit of a mystery. But no matter what the history, the joy of the Paloma is that it embraces four out of the five taste groups – it’s sweet, sour, a little bitter and salty. And as with all highballs, it’s long, icy and bubbly.
No matter what else you add, it’s important that the tequila is a good quality Blanco. You can, of course, swap that out for Mezcal but just make sure that you are getting a blander mezcal and not one with too much smoke.
For the Lime Juice and the Grapefruit Juice, you really can’t do better than fresh but don’t necessarily use it straight away. Citrus that has been allowed to “age” for a few hours before you mix it in will always taste better. Another tip is if you store your fruit in the fridge, microwave them for 15-20 seconds before juicing. Cold citrus doesn’t juice as easily, but it will be better if it’s slightly above room temperature, but not hot.
As far as the Grapefruit Soda, you want one with a good citrus taste. It should be a little bitter, a little tart and a little sweet. Be careful not to get a soda that is overly sweet, because once you add the gave, the drink can end up being a little cloying.
Once you have these ingredients for a classic Paloma right, then it’s time to experiment. Paloma is, of course, the Spanish word for Dove, so we have included a few riffs that will help your imagination to fly when it comes to variations.
Hornitos Spicy Paloma
- 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila
- ¾ part fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
- ¾ part fresh lime juice
- ½ part agave syrup
- Jalapeño slices
- Grapefruit slices
Lightly muddle ¼ grapefruit and 4 slices of jalapeño in a shaker. Combine the remainder of the ingredients into the shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.