As the Paloma gains in popularity in the US, Americans are learning what Mexicans have known since roughly the mid-1950s—that the simple combo of grapefruit soda, fresh lime juice, and reposado tequila makes a terrific warm-weather cocktail. It’s cold and crisp with a pleasing depth of flavor thanks to the richness that lightly aged reposado tequila brings to the party.
According to cocktail historian David Wondrich, the drink took hold near Guadalajara in the mid-20th century after Squirt, a grapefruit soda manufactured in Phoenix, hit the Mexican market. You can use Squirt for 100% authenticity, or you can swap in Jarritos—or, if you’re in the mood, go with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and club soda.
Here’s the formula:
- 2 oz reposado tequila
- .5 oz fresh lime juice
- Grapefruit soda, to top
- Pinch of salt
- Salt for the rim
- Grapefruit twist, for garnish
- Rim a Collins glass with salt.
- Add ice, tequila, lime juice and a pinch of salt.
- Top with grapefruit soda, and stir.
- Garnish with a grapefruit twist.