Jessie Birschbach

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Tequilas and mezcals are my favorite spirits. They are by far the largest categories within my at-home bar.  Perhaps it’s no surprise then my favorite cocktail is the Paloma. When I make them myself I always make sure to have the three most important ingredients; Topo Chico, Fortaleza blanco tequila, and fresh pink grapefruit juice. Normally I find Topo Chico to be too abrasive with its carbonation by itself, but it’s the optimal soda water in a Paloma. Often grapefruit soda (Jarritos, Squirt) is used in a Paloma but because I prefer fresh pink grapefruit juice, we need a soda water that offers plenty of bubbles to stand up to the juice. Fortaleza is one of my favorite tequilas in general but I find its blanco to offer a bit more fruit character, which melds well with well the fresh, citrusy bitter grapefruit. The below recipe offers my preferred ingredients in the general Paloma variation with fresh grapefruit juice.


2 oz Fortaleza Blanco Tequila

2 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice

2 oz Topo Chico Mineral Water

Dash of agave nectar

Lime wedge

Sea salt


Mix the tequila, pink grapefruit juice, Topo Chico, and agave in a rocks glass with salted rim. Add ice to the top. Garnish with lime wedge.

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