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 makes sense when you consider that Mexicans consume more grapefruit soda than other country in the world.

The Paloma’s exact origins are almost impossible to identify because it is so simple and common a drink a Mexico, but drink historian David Wondrich places it sometime after 1955—the year that Squirt, which comprises a full third of a Paloma’s ingredient list, first came to the country. South of the border—where the sun burns with legit fury—the cold, crisp, easy-to-make Paloma (Spanish for dove) 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 Greyhound. Whether you’ve had so many Margaritas that you’re burnt out on them or you’re just trying to dip your toe into tequila, the Paloma is the drink for you.


Sweet, Sour


  • 2 oz Tequila
  • .5 oz Lime Juice
  • Grapefruit Soda
  • Salt
  • Salt
  • Grapefruit Twist


Step one

Rim a Collins glass with salt by dipping the glass in fresh lime juice and then salt.

Step two

In a salt-rimmed Collins glass, add tequila, lime juice and a pinch of salt.

Step three

Add ice, top with grapefruit soda and stir.

Step four

Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Contributed by Supercall

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.