A big portion of my socially distanced existence revolves around selecting a cocktail to make and acquiring the tools and ingredients. Some days this is easy, I want a daquiri or Laura has a request or the day lends itself to an obvious choice like today. So, happy Cinco de Mayo while everyone is having margaritas tonight, in my naturally contrarian manner, I’ll be making La Paloma. 

I didn’t know this drink until The Professor suggested it to the inimitable Jenn, as a foil to my smoky scotch filled concoction at our first ever round in the wonderful Red Phone Booth – Atlanta. Didn’t sound like much to me, being made with grapefruit and all, but I took the offered sip, as one does. I was shocked at how refreshing it was, the grapefruit and lime playing with a subtle sweetness that accentuated the tequila. Since that night I’ve been a big fan of the drink and the bar, I was already a fan of the drinking companion. Further research revealed that the many variations of this drink are far more popular than the margarita throughout most of Mexico. Some made with Jarritos or another grapefruit soda, some made with mezcal or infused tequilas, but today we are making the classic recipe.

So grab your tins and add 2 ounces of tequila, I went with a bottle of Cuervo Gold that no one has ever claimed after it showed up here after a party many years ago. Toss in 2 ounces of grapefruit juice, I wanted fresh squeezed, but all the grocery had was canned today, 1 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 ounce of agave syrup, you can use simple here if you prefer. 2-3 stabs of El Guapo’s Fuego Bitters, and yes they are so famous they are “infamous”, and you are ready to shake. Shake with ice, double strain into a tall glass with ice and top with club soda, about 2 ounces. Garnish with a lime wheel and I like to sprinkle a bit of Tajin over the top, instead of rimming the glass with salt. The Paloma is smooth and refreshing and a nice change from the everyday. This one is no where near as good as the one Jenn had in Atlanta, but it’ll do as a jumping off point. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.