Despite our American bent for thinking the Margarita is the treasured drink of Mexico, the truth is that the paloma (Spanish for “dove”) more closely fits that bill. It is a tequila-based cocktail that is served on the rocks and is most commonly prepared by mixing tequila and lime with a Mexican grapefruit-flavored soda called Jarritos. Here in the US it’s pretty standard to substitute the Jarritos with either Fresca or Squirt which are soft drinks with grapefruit juice. I’ve also seen options for replacing the grapefruit soda with grapefruit juice and club soda that is mixed with the lime. The cocktail I had the other night at Pinche Tacos in The Highlands seemed to serve the best of both worlds. Fresh pink grapefruit juice and Squirt were a part of the mix and I honestly think I have found a new best friend.
I was invited to attend a media event this week (two favorites – Kristin Browning-Blas from the Denver Post and Kirk Montgomery from 9 News) at Pinche Tacos for Denver’s Dining Out for Life; an annual event to support Project Angel Heart, a local charity that seeks to provide essential food and nutrition to individuals with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. For two decades, people in the Denver-metro area have been dining out to support this worthy cause and this year it is expected that an estimated 80,000 Coloradans will help to raise an estimated $340,000 in one day. These funds are raised thanks to the generosity of participating restaurants that donate 25% of their food sales to Project Angel Heart. Dining Out for Life is an internationally licensed event that is hosted in 60 cities across the United States and Canada with Denver boasting the most participating restaurants and funds raised than any other city and that is something we can be proud of.
The event included a drink of our choice and sampling of some of Pinche’s best tacos. I’m glad I went hungry and thirsty. Their tacos are amazing and if you haven’t been yet, then April 24th would be a great day to plan your first trip. Or even your 7th. I really loved them but there is no doubt that the offering that made the biggest impression on me was this cocktail; the Paloma. As mentioned, most recipes for a Paloma simply call for grapefruit soda to be added to tequila and lime but with only 1% of the ingredients actually being juice it was nice but I guess for me, less than memorable.
The bartender was gracious enough to share their recipe with me and it seems so simple (and it is) but Pinche didn’t choose to go the either/or route. Instead of using either grapefruit soda or grapefruit juice they combine both and that was the key to sealing my love. Seriously right now this is my new favorite cocktail. You know I actually write about cocktails more than I imbibe them but true confession? I drank the one I made for the shoot. And then made one more and drank it too. Whoo hoo!!
If you’re not in Denver, check out your local news for the same event in your city on April 24th and support it in the most fun way possible; dining out! If you’re in Denver, the list of restaurants is long and includes many in the burbs. No excuses…GO!! For me…I think a return trip to Pinches is in the cards. I’ll take a pitcher of these please with a taco on the side. :)
- 2 oz Blanco tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
- 2 oz pink grapefruit juice
- 1 oz agave nectar
- Chilled Squirt
- Rub lime over side of highball glass; dip in salt. Mix all other ingredients except soda in shaker filled with ice and shake until cold.
- Pour into ice filled glass; top off with soda and garnish with pink grapefruit slice.