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I was introduced to the Paloma or Tequila con toronja  by my husband (or husband/lover/partner/fiance/person who pisses me off sometimes) depending on who I’m talking to and the situation. So, this drink is really his. Michael is a temporarily retired world traveler (at least of the many people I know). He has lived in Mexico, Ecuador, and Prague, on top of the good ole U.S. of A. His passport would look like this:


(Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/allesok/2580013511/sizes/o/in/photostream/)

if they wouldn’t have been lost, stolen, and expired.

I, on the other hand, have just left the US once. To go to Mexico. My passport has the same number of stamps on it as the envelope to pay your cable bill. So when we leave the American cocktail culture, I have to defer to other’s infinite wisdom, and Michael is who I usually have on hand for this.

Fifteen years ago, when Michael first lived abroad in Mexico, he was a young thing of eighteen who had just finished his freshman year of college at Kansas State and rather than returning to ranching for the summer, he scurried abroad to Mexico. At 18, you could drink in Mexico, but, being 18, Michael’s experience with alcohol was pretty limited to shots of Malibu rum and cheap beer. Rather than continuing in these American dormitory traditions, Michael followed the tastes of the locals and had for the first, but the not the last, time a paloma.

In the same way, we in the US would never heard a Cape Cod and instead order a vodka and cranberry, the same is true of the paloma. Michael never ordered it as a “paloma” but instead a “Tequila con toronja” or Trente-Trente con toronja. Literally this translates to “tequila with grapefruit” (the soda is implied) or Trente-Trente (a brand of tequila) with grapefruit.


1 oz 100% pure agave silver tequila.

1/2 oz lime juice

3 ounces Grapefruit soda.

Place all ingredients in a tumbler over ice. Stir gently with a spoon.


This is a drink that should be made with silver tequila and not gold or aged tequila. Gold tequila will throw off the balance of the cocktail, as the infused flavor challenges the flavor of the grapefruit soda. Also, you should use 100% agave tequila in all tequila drinks. If it’s not 100% pure agave tequila, don’t bother. 100% pure agave tequila is not that much more money, but the uptick in quality is highly noticeable, especially in your at home bars. If you’re out drink whatever kind of shitty tequila you’re willing to pay for. 

I normally am not one to talk about the importance of soda. I am a big fan of Squirt or Fresca, unlike Michael. However, the Jarritos brand of grapefruit soda is fantastic. The difference between Jarritos and the more American sodas I think makes a big difference. Michael likes Squirt and Fresca, so he’s fine either way, but he did really enjoy with Jarritos soda. I find Jarritos in the Mexican food aisle of the Food Lion (a local grocery store) but it can probably also be found at other grocery stores that sell Mexican goods. I think with Jarritos grapefruit soda, a paloma is a pretty good drink, but not a great one. I would never make it to impress anyone, but I would make a pitcher if I were having people over for Mexican food who didn’t want to get drunk so we skipped the margaritas. Even though I don’t think a paloma is great, it’s important to know about, because it serves as a foundation for other cocktails and what the drink can accomplish is sometimes as important as the drink itself.

Next week, we’ll be doing a twist on the paloma.


750 mL bottle of 100% pure silver tequila: $18

1 12 ounce bottle of Jarritos grapefruit soda. : $0.70

1 Lime $0.50

Total cost: $19.50

Cost per drink:

$0.72 cents for 1 ounce of silver tequila.

$0.18 cents for 3 ounces Jarritos grapefruit soda.

$0.50 for 1/2 ounce lime juice

Total cost per drink: $1.40

Super cheap drink.

As always, happy and safe drinking.