Mexico’s national aperitif, the Paloma cocktail, is a simple tequila and grapefruit mix with tangy salt and bubbles. What’s not to like?

It’s a thirst-quencher with international appeal. 

There’s not much known about the historical origin of the drink but some believe it is named after La Paloma (The Dove) one of the popular folks song composed in the early 1860s and made famous by many singers through the years, including this classic tango version by Julio Iglesias one hundred years later, in 1982. 

Difford’s Guide claims the cocktail was created by the legendary Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner and bartender of La Capilla in Tequila Mexico.

La Paloma is a simple blend of 1 part tequila blanco with 3 parts grapefruit soda water. For today’s drink I sought out the Jarritos brand which is the country’s leading brand and comes to us directly from Mexico. 

A little salt in the drink or around the rim and you are ready to sip and savour – or fiesta! 

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. It actually commemorates a single battle in 1862 when the Mexican army defeated the French. Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement, eventually leading to the withdrawal of French forces.

In the United States (and to a lesser extent in Canada), Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial populations of Mexican ancestry.

Disfruta tu bebida! 

Viva Mexico

What you need

1 grapefruit wedge
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (¼ cup)
½ oz. fresh lime juice (1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 oz. mezcal or tequila (¼ cup)
2 oz. club soda (¼ cup)

What you do 
Pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip rim of glass in salt. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mezcal, add ice, and top off with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Garnish Grapefruit wedge
Serve Highball glass


Patrick (Paddy) Moore

Patrick (Paddy) Moore is the author of the series Quarantinis, Eh? featuring cocktails that commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

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