Going out to bars, I usually stick with a handful of standard mixed drinks: Jameson and ginger ale, vodka soda with cranberry, and the occasional rum and coke or whiskey sour if I’m feeling extra sassy. For me, the time to get fancy is at home because I KNOW how I want my drink made and any fuck ups can be remedied at lightening speed with drunken precision. Sticking to such common concoctions also leaves less room for your bartender to look at you puzzled and pissed off when you request something they’ve never even heard of, let alone assembled. Still, there are nights I figure: fuck it. This is pretty standard, this guys gonna know what the fuck I’m talking about and make it for me lickity-split, no questions, right? Maybe not…
Me (happily): “I’ll take a Paloma, please”
Bartender (sternly): “Uh, no.”
Me (disappointed): “Oh, um, a vodka soda, then.”
Bartender (confused): “Sure… wait, what’s a Paloma, anyway?”
Me (informatively): “Tequila, grapefruit juice, club soda, and a splash of lime”
Bartender (sheepishly): “Oh… yeah, I can do that”
Me (stoked): “Yay!”
I can only imagine the embarrassment in having a 20 something pale skinned tattooed broad having to explain in detail the makings of a fairly standard tequila drink in front of a packed bar. But then, any mixologist worth their salt should really have this Mexican standard in their repertoire.
I’ll admit, I’d only heard of the Paloma in the past year. Having no actual bartending experience to speak of, I’ve always just kinda winged it, concocting on the fly with what I had on hand and/or with what I thought would mix well. Then I came across an article about the never ending plight of tequila – how for too long this once celebrated liquor has been reduced to a college kid’s nightmare, taking rank amongst Jager Bombs and Jungle Juice in the form of body shots or cheap-ass margaritas. It was touching really. Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL about margaritas. But it’s true; there is so much more to the world of tequila, and it was about damn time I put to use my inebriated alchemist’s chops to ensure its integrity. I started with the Paloma.
Spanish for “dove” (awwwww!!!), the Paloma is super-dee-duper common south of the border down Mexico way. It’s actually usually concocted with grapefruit soda and tequila, but an oft used variation (and one favored by yours truly) calls for tequila, grapefruit juice, club or soda water, and lime juice. Doesn’t that sound epically refreshing? You bet your tits it is! And low in calories, too, which… some of us care about. Check it:
2 oz blanco or reposado tequila
3 oz fresh grapefruit juice
3 oz. club soda or soda water
1/2 oz lime juice
salt for rimming (optional)
Mix over ice in a glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
Definitely a welcome addition to any taco night/taco party – your guests will all be impressed, stoked, and appropriately buzzed. Maybe inappropriately, depending. But hey, we’re drinking fuckin’ tequila, right?! PARTY!!!!