A version of la Paloma, the dove, has been popular in Mexico for generations, and in that heat things take a while to evolve. Grapefruit and pomelo are loved by the locals, and luckily grow in abundance under the Mexican sun. So too does the blue agave plant whose core is used to make tequila.
While this simple combination of refresco de toronja (grapefruit soda) and tequila is an old, old recipe, the modern day Paloma comes from a small town in the Mexican state of Jalisco called Tequila. Yes there's an actual town named Tequila, where the mists hang low, the hills are blue with agave, the buildings are painted shades of straw, rouge and faded orange, the street food leaves you yearning for its flavours and the mariachi bands serenade you into the night. There, in the centre of this picturesque town, is a small bar called La Capilla - the absolute mecca for any tequila enthusiast. Here Don Javier Delgado Corona, the grandson of the bar’s original owner, invented the Paloma, adding lime and salt to the traditional Mexican tipple.
"La Paloma, perhaps the most refreshing triple-H remedy ever created. Sweet, sour, bitter (a little), and salty, it's got all four taste groups, plus ice, bubbles, and hooch; what's not to like?" - David Wondrich
While best enjoyed as a sublime refresher in the Mexican heat, it's not to be sniffed at under the UK's usual milky-grey sky, espeically when there's a rare burst of English sunshine. Any bar worth its salt in London should be able to knock up this refreshing classic, just check they have tequila, grapefruit or pomelo soda and fresh lime juice.
Bottoms-up, or as they say in Tequila, salud.