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Happiest Hour: La Paloma


What it is: The sort of refreshing cocktail you’re reaching for during the dog days of summer. Also, Mexico’s most beloved cocktail—even more popular than a margarita.

How to make it: Combine two ounces of reposado tequila (that means “aged;” we recommend Herradura), a half-ounce of fresh lime juice, a splash of club soda and grapefruit juice over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

For added flair and flavor, first rub the rim of the glass with the grapefruit wedge and dip the rim in kosher salt.

If that sounds like too much work, just take a pinch of the salt and toss it into the drink.

How to make an authentic paloma:
Replace the club soda and grapefruit juice with a grapefruit soda like Jarritos—or, north of the border, you could even go with Fresca or Squirt.

The backstory: There isn’t a definitive one. Some accounts credit its creation to Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner of the famous La Capilla bar in the aptly named town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. What we do know is the name translates to “The Dove.” Why it earned this title? There are only theories, including one tied to a Mexican folk song from the 1860s.

Why you’re drinking it: Have you looked at the thermostat? The combination of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit is tart and sweet and refreshingly easy to drink during the warmest days of the year.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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