What if we told you that the modest Paloma, and not the wildly popular Margarita, is the national cocktail of Mexico? As loco as that may sound, it’s true—there are official documents to prove it. It may make more sense when you consider that Mexicans consume more grapefruit soda than other country in the world. South of the border— where the sun burns with legit fury—the cold, crisp, easy-to-make Paloma is the perfect balm against the oppressive heat. And the earthy richness of the tequila makes the Paloma a more flavorful alternative to its closest relative, the boring ol’ Greyhound.
Mix it Up
As Jim Meehan points out in The PDT Cocktail Book, in Mexico, the Paloma is traditionally prepared with Squirt grapefruit soda. The Squirt available in the U.S., however, is commonly sweetened with corn syrup, so we suggest Izze or Ting. You can also go for the fresh option, lemon-lime soda with a splash of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. For added smoke factor, use a mezcal in place or the tequila, or use them half and half. If you want to get real loco, rim the glass with Tajin Classico, a dehydrated lime chili salt from Mexico.
A tequila variation on the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Siesta is a modern day classic developed by New York City bartender Katie Stipe in 2006. Like the Hemingway Daiquiri, the drink features lime juice, grapefruit juice and simple syrup, but it swaps out the usual rum for silver tequila and the maraschino liqueur for Campari. The result is a fantastic...