DOTW: Paloma

Posted by Anita on 05.05.08 10:19 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**The San Francisco cocktail circuit is a pretty cozy scene. It’s not just that bartenders pick up shifts at three or four different bars or restaurants in as many nights, although that helps. It’s more that for some reason, every now and then, a somewhat obscure cocktail will simultaneously capture the imaginations of multiple menu-writers. Suddenly you see the darned thing everywhere.

Last fall, the cocktail of the moment was the Dark n’ Stormy; every watering hole in The City had it on their menu, and pretty soon Gosling’s Black Seal was a common sight on the speedrail. The effect is so pervasive it feels like one of those community reading programs where everyone skims the same hardback on the subway, except here in SF, it’s “One City, One Drink“.

Winter’s finally over, and so the ginger beer, sadly, is making its way back to the cellar. But ready to take its place, you’ll find a slew of imported, artisanal, and home-brewed grapefruit sodas. Paired with a healthy glug of reposado tequila, a pinch of salt, and the juice of half a lime, you’ve got yourself a Mexican fiesta in a glass, that lazy-man’s margarita known as the Paloma.

Of course, it wouldn’t be San Francisco without some liberties taken. Over at the Chronicle, our pal Jane details three different SF bars offering their own twists on the Paloma. Alembic uses homemade soda and some spicy secret ingredient; newcomer Beretta adds elderflower and Cointreau… hmm. I’m sure they’re lovely, but honestly (and here’s something you won’t hear me saying often) I’m pretty sure I’d rather try my luck at Tres Agaves. Their straight-ahead, old-school version uses Jarritos soda, which — after sampling Squirt, Hansens, and Fresca — I’m going to say is an essential ingredient. So please, hit up your local bodega or taqueria, and look for the bottle marked “toronja”.

My one deviation from the Paloma recipe you’ll find at beachfront cantinas up and down the Baja coast is a good shake of Fee Brothers’ Grapefruit Bitters. They’re optional, of course… but they add a delightful boost of grapefruit-peel flavor and accentuate the spicy tequila bite.

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

2oz reposado tequila
juice of 1/2 lime
Mexican grapefruit soda, such as Jarritos
a hearty dash of grapefruit or orange bitters (optional, but delicious)
table salt (not kosher)

Combine the tequila and lime juice in an ice-filled highball glass. Fill with grapefruit soda, then top the ice with a shake of bitters and a healthy shake of salt.

bar culture, Drink of the Week, drinks, Mexican, recipes



Comment by Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty

Oh man, that looks great! I don’t think often enough about grapefruit in sodas – particularly in boozy ones!

Posted on 05.06.08 at 12:25AM

Comment by Amy

Sounds very refreshing and crisp, not too sweet.

Posted on 05.06.08 at 7:17AM

Comment by Jane

The Jarritos Paloma is going to be the successor to Nopa’s elderflower gimlet as my camping cocktail of choice this summer. So easy to prepare.

Thanks for the shoutout.

Posted on 05.06.08 at 10:34AM

Comment by michelle @ TNS

the dark n’ stormy was all over nyc last winter, too.

this looks awesome – i wish i’d had one last night for our cinco de mayo bbq.

also, long live jarritos. enough sugar to dissolve a bulldozer, but damn tasty.

Posted on 05.06.08 at 1:05PM

Comment by Kirsten

Well, your cocktail looks really appetisingly. Best regards from Munich to San Francisco! In 1994 I had a great time there!

Posted on 05.06.08 at 10:54PM

Comment by Tartelette

That looks like the perfect drink to sip this week with this kinda of bitter sweet weather. I love it!

Posted on 05.07.08 at 9:04PM

Comment by KJ

Hi Anita, I have tagged you for a meme. Feel free to participate or not, I won’t mind.

Posted on 05.08.08 at 3:52AM

Comment by Erinn

I recently had one of the best margaritas ever, in Santa Fe. Now I’m obsessed. Thank for you fueling the fire, I’ll defenitely give this one a try.
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I love what you have to say, so thanks!

Posted on 05.08.08 at 7:10AM

Comment by Erika

I have been craving tequila lately (is that weird) and this looks amazing!

Posted on 05.09.08 at 4:43PM

Pingback by Diary of a Lesbian Housewyfe » Pink Drink Relief

[...] Anyway, pink drink season starts again soon. I’ve been fighting off the snow golems with generous amounts of the Shingleback Grenache Rose that I took home earlier this week. I also found a new absolutely yummy and easy cocktail called a Paloma which really does only take about a moment to make and makes me feel like summer is just around the corner. I use Izze grapefruit soda, because that is what is in the liquor store downstairs, but I stuck with the Reposado Tequila (I used Milagro) and substitutes are now not welcome. [...]

Posted on 05.15.08 at 3:05PM

Comment by Mike S.

Ever try Ting (grapefruit soda from Jamaica) in this? It’s the only “real” grapefruit soda I have around at the moment — I actually love Fresca, but I agree it’s not right here.


Posted on 05.24.08 at 10:38PM

Comment by Mike S.

Ting works great, btw — as the many consumed last night can attest! :)


Posted on 05.26.08 at 11:04AM

Pingback by The Mixology Lab » Blog Archive » Paloma Wars

[...] Paloma from Paul Clarke and Married with Dinner [...]

Posted on 09.17.08 at 6:46PM

Pingback by Married …with dinner » Blog Archive » Stalking the sweetly sour

[...] To my mind, its perfect use is making a pink variation on the venerable summer drink known as the Paloma (or even a virgin variation, sans [...]

Posted on 05.21.10 at 12:00PM

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.