A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 22, 2009
La Paloma (cocktail)

The Paloma (or “La Paloma,” Spanish for “the dove") cocktail is similar to the Margarita, with both cocktails containing tequila. While the Margarita contains Triple Sec, the Paloma contains lime juice and a grapefruit-like soda, such as Squirt or Jarritos or Fresca. Cocktail experts believe that the Paloma highlights the tequila taste better than the Margarita.

The Paloma cocktail is popular in Guadalajara, Mexico, and has been popular in the United States since about 2000. It is not known where the drink was first served.


About.com: Cocktails
Paloma
By Colleen Graham, About.com
For a refreshing, thirst quenching tequila cocktail, the Paloma is definitely at the top of the list and it’s a favorite in Mexico. It’s a light, fruity drink with a fizz and one of the smoothest tequila drinks out there. Almost any blanco tequila works well in combination with the grapefruit and you may also see this cocktail with grapefruit juice and a splash of soda instead of a grapefruit soda like Squirt.

Google Books
Cowboy Cocktails:
Boot Scootin’ Beverages and Tasty Vittles from the Wild West

By Grady Spears, Brigit Legere Binns
Photographs by Rhonda Hole
Published by Ten Speed Press
2000
Pg. 90:
Virgin La Paloma
Serves 2
The La Paloma, virtually the national drink of Guadalajra, combines tequila, lemon juice, and Squirt (a vastly under-appreciated carbonated grapefruit beverage that also mixes well with rum). This variation brings all the excitement without the punch.

1 cups Squirt
Juice of 3 limes (about 3 1/2 ounces)
4 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 October 2001, Alton (IL) Telegraph, “Tequila interest grows” by Mike Dunne, pg. B6, col. 5:
“Paloma” is Spanish for “dove,” and a paloma cocktail does have the greenish-gray hue of a mourning dove., thereby possibly accounting for the libation’s name. But “paloma” also is the name of a corrosive kind of infestation that attacks the bluish-green, swordlike leaves of the agave plant, the prickly succulent from which tequila is distilled.

Lance Cutler, author of “The Tequila Lover’s Guide to Mexico and Mezcal” (Wine Patrol Press, $17.95), said paloma is the only tequila-based cocktail he drinks.

“Here’s the recipe: Fill a glass with ice, add a shot of any tequila you want, put in a pinch of salt, squeee a quarter of a lime and toss the wedge into the glass, and fill with Squirt. In Mexico, it’s also made with Fresca, but it’s better with Squirt,” said Cutler. 
(...)
Gutierrez, Cutler and others agree that the paloma’s directness offers one distinct advantage over the margarita: In a paloma, the flavor of the tequila is much more pronounced. “The sugar and citric acids in a margarita overwhelm the tequila,” said Gutierrez. “With the paloma you can taste the tequila better.”

New York (NY) Times
A Touch of Evil
By WILLIAM L. HAMILTON
Published: Sunday, August 3, 2003
(...)
I ordered La Paloma. The cocktail is as basic as a bet: liquor and soda, tequila and Mexican Squirt, which is a grapefruit soda. Squirt is a sweeter, tarter version of citrus sodas like Fresca. (Jarritos is another popular brand.) On the evenings when, I suspect, the staff drinks all the Squirt, Suetos substitutes a blend of grapefruit juice, Grand Marnier and 7Up — a margarita with a couple of extra mariachis.

7 July 2004, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. C2, col. 6:
Paloma
2 oz. Casa Nobkle Reposado
Fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
Splash of fizz

New York (NY) Daily News
MEX. CAVIAR MAKES MOUNTAIN OUT OF AN ANTHILL
BY JULIE BESONEN
Sunday, August 29th 2004, 7:02AM
(...)
To prepare myself, I ordered a paloma cocktail, a frothy blend of tequila, grapefruit juice and lemonade.

Village Voice (NY)
Green Apple Martinis Are So Two Years Ago . . .
And other riveting revelations from our spring cocktail report

Corina Zappia
Tuesday, April 19th 2005
(...)
Fresh citrus is always a good thing for this cocktail connoisseur, who uses it in their Hüsker Mule (Linie Aquavit, lime juice and shell, ginger beer, Angostura bitters, $10) and the always-popular Paloma (tequila, lime juice, grapefruit soda, and a pinch of salt, $12). “It’s what they drink in Mexico instead of margaritas,” he says.

New York magazine
The neighborhood may be getting Disneyfied, but chef Zak Pelaccio’s small, intimate 5 Ninth is an exercise in authentic, simple excellence.
By Adam Platt Published May 21, 2005
(...)
There’s a pleasant garden seating area, and inside, a glowing, backlit bar that serves eclectic cocktails (try the Paloma, which is made with tequila and grapefruit soda) and suffuses patrons with a golden, nightclub glow

Google Books
The Texas Cowboy Kitchen
By Grady Spears with June Naylor
Photographs by Erwin E. Smith, Ralph Lauer
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
2007
Pg. 210:
La Paloma
Makes 2 servings
Translated as “the dove,” this Mexican cocktail is perfect for those who like the citrus tang of the margarita rather than the sweetness. Add a fresh sprig of mint if you like.
3 OUNCE TEQUILA
JUICE OF 1 LIME
2 OUNCES FRESH GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
ICE
SPRIG OF MINT
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker; shake well, and strain into cocktail glasses.

Mexico - Chowhound
The paloma is a mixed drink: tequila over ice, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of limón, and fill the glass with Squirt, the grapefruit soft drink. Don’t knock it till you try it!
(...)
cristina Feb 09, 2007 11:13PM

Serious Eats
Time for a Drink: The Paloma
Posted by Paul Clarke, July 27, 2007 at 5:10 PM
(...)
Paloma
Fill a 10-ounce Collins glass with ice, and add:
2 ounces reposado tequila (be sure to use only 100 percent agave tequila)
The juice of 1/2 a lime
Pinch of coarse salt
The spent lime shell, for garnish
Top with grapefruit soda. Jarritos, from Mexico, works very well, but you can also try the Jamaican brand Ting. If you can’t find a suitable grapefruit soda, use Sprite or the like, and add a squirt of fresh grapefruit juice.

Pink of Perfection
May 5, 2008
Cinco de Mayo Cocktail Hour: The Paloma Cocktail
(...)
Paloma Cocktail
Serves 1
The traditional Paloma is made with a grapefruit soda like Jarritos or Squirt. My Paloma, inspired by one I sampled at a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, uses fresh grapefruit juice and club soda instead. Also, an interesting word about tequila: resposado (rested) tequila has been aged in oak for at least two months. Silver or blanco tequila is unaged, while “gold” tequila is a young tequila with added colorings and flavorings.

1/4 cup reposado or blanco tequila
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
squeeze of juice from a lime wedge
club soda
kosher salt

Rim a glass with salt. Mix together tequila, grapefruit and lime juices. Pour over ice and top with club soda.

Washington (DC) Post
Paloma
The Washington Post, August 20, 2008
In Mexico, Paloma cocktails are more popular than margaritas, and for good reason: Grapefruit flavor mixes perfectly with tequila, better than lime juice alone.

A traditional Paloma is made with a grapefruit soda such as Squirt. But this refreshing version, served at Apothecary in Philadelphia, calls instead for freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice and for club soda, to add fizz.

1 serving
Ingredients:
Ice
2 ounces blanco or silver tequila
3 ounces freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
Sea salt, to rim the glass
1 lime wheel, for garnish
Club soda

Eat. Drink. Think.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
The search for refreshment: the Paloma Cocktail
In my never ending search for the perfect refreshing adult beverage, I had something quite different yesterday, in that it required the addition of agave syrup (or nectar) to the naturally delicious combination of tequila and grapefruit juice. I found the agave syrup at my local New season’s market in the baking section in with the natural sweeteners. It reminds me of a cross between simple syrup and a lightly flavored honey. I was inspired in this creative pursuit by the Washington Post’s spirits columnist Jason Wilson’s recent musings on the tequila, specifically the difference between blanco and reposado agave tequilas. It’s a very informative column that only served to stoke my food and drink obsession, and he included the recipe below for the Paloma cocktail, practically the national libation of Mexico, because, as hard as it is to believe, Mexicans don’t really drink margaritas. The ‘rita is a relatively recent invention to feed the tourist hordes. He did state that traditionally they use Squirt for this drink, although his version called for fresh grapefruit, lime, and agave nectar. My verdict: It wasn’t what I was hoping for. A little flat (although in full disclosure, my store didn’t have fresh white grapefruit, so I used canned white grapefruit juice, which just isn’t the same). 

St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch
12.09.2008 2:08 pm
The scoop on El Borracho in Downtown West
By Joe Bonwich
P-D Restaurant Critic and Food Writer
(...)
El Borracho will also feature specialty drinks made with fresh-squeezed juices such as the signature Borracho margarita, an exotic avocado-mango margarita, and the Paloma cocktail, a southern Mexican favorite made with Jarritos grapefruit soda.

New York (NY) Times
In San Francisco, a Cocktail Is Not Just a Drink
By GREGORY DICUM
Published: December 28, 2008
(...)
Todd Smith, who helped start Bourbon & Branch, developed the bar at Beretta, in the Mission District. I visited on a Thursday, the day Mr. Smith still works the bar. It was hot, so I led a small group of obliging friends through an extended flight of gorgeous drinks. A lucid pink Nuestra Paloma, of tequila, elderflower and grapefruit, glowed in the sun.

Dishola
La Paloma
Guero’s
1412 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX, 78704
lindsaykh on 01/09/09
Score 10
It’s not a dish, but it is my favorite thing about one of my favorite restaurants. The La Paloma is a delicious version of a margarita that uses Fresca instead of sweet and sour. Potent and not too sweet, the La Paloma is a cocktail to be reckoned with. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, March 22, 2009 • Permalink