A Mexican staple – ‘The Dove’ gets charged with home-made soda
By Simon McGoram
Photography by Steve Brown
Presented by Tim Greening, Felix, Sydney
320-330 George Street
There are various recipes for the Paloma (Spanish for ‘dove’) – a refreshingly simple mix of Tequila and grapefruit soda. The combo is a staple in Mexican bars and at its most basic is a mix of any old mixto Tequila with the local, tooth-ache-inducing, grapefruit soft drink Squirt (it only contains one percent actual grapefruit juice). In fact, so ubiquitous is this mix that El Jimador – Mexico’s number one selling Tequila produce a ready to drink Paloma for the Mexican and US markets.
Made with quality fresh ingredients, however, this tipple is nothing short of delicious – a fresh Margarita alternative for your Tequila imbibing patrons. It’s no wonder that this is Mexico’s most popular mixed beverage.
The Forbidden Fruit
Forgetting Tequila for the moment, the Paloma’s success relies on grapefruit – a citrus hybrid originally from Barbados where it was for a time referred to as the ‘forbidden fruit’. The grapefruit (toronja in Spanish) is often mistaken for the pomelo the largest species of the citrus family native to Southeast Asia. Grapefruit is actually the bitter hybrid of the pomelo and the sweet orange both popular crops in the colonial era Caribbean.
“The white fleshed fruit boasts stronger acidity and a pleasant bitterness… Besides who ever heard or a pink or ruby red dove?”
Grapefruit flesh can be pale-yellow (often called ‘white’ grapefruit), pink or even blood red. Sweetness varies, but generally the white fleshed fruit boasts stronger acidity and a pleasant bitterness. It’s what we’re going for in the Paloma recipe below. Besides who ever heard or a pink or ruby red dove?
Many recipes call for agave nectar and fresh lime juice. As we’re using a fresh white grapefruit soda these two can be dispensed with as your sweet and sour balance can be attained in your soda. If you don’t have a soda siphon you can substitute soda water and fresh grapefruit juice at a pinch. It should go without saying that a quality 100 percent agave blanco Tequila will only improve your drink.
430ml Freshly squeezed white grapefruit juice (strained)
120ml The Simple Syrup Company Raw Sugar Syrup (or 80ml agave nectar cut with 40ml water)
Mix in a bowl or measuring jug. Pour into a soda siphon and charge with one or two soda bulbs as per maker’s instructions. Chill and shake before use.
45ml Herradura Blanco Tequila
150ml Grapefruit soda
Flaky sea salt for rimming
Lime wedge for garnish