The Margarita Alternative
Ask anyone north of the border what is a margarita and they will likely say it is a Mexican cocktail made with tequila. And oh do Americans love their margaritas. The funny thing is Mexicans don't really drink margaritas, and further, of the 5-6 stories about the origins of the margarita several don't even claim the drink originated in Mexico. If you are headed to the beaches on vacation, go ahead, order away because these places are equipped to handle American taste buds. But I will advise anyone heading to the interior of the country and planning to patronize small local restaurants and bars, you might get some side eye if you order a margarita. Of course you can find margaritas in Mexico City at large hotels and upscale bars, but don't ever show up to a house party or your in-laws Sunday comida and ask if they can whip up a margarita.
Lucky for you there is an alternative. The Paloma! You will still get a nice salt rimmed glass, lime juice and tequila but the other ingredient is grapefruit soda such as Squirt or Fresca and it comes without the side eye and hushed giggles about the gringo who wants a margarita. Somewhere along the line my husband introduced me to this drink to help save me from embarrassment and I never looked back. The Paloma is a well loved, widely consumed drink in Mexico and I wonder why it doesn't get the same love north of the border. It has been referred to as "the lazy man's margarita" as well as "the poor man's margarita." Either way, in my opinion, it is better and more refreshing. The Paloma is my go to Mexican cocktail and it should be yours too. Or you could, of course, just woman up and drink tequila the way it was meant to be. Gasp (clutching my pearls)...no not like that you teenaged college binge drinker...it is not meant to be shot or poured into your friend's belly button. The complex flavors of a good tequila are meant to be sipped slowly and savored over time with friends and family.
-Served in a highball glass
-Add lime and salt to the rim and fill with ice
-A shot (or two) of tequila (depending on your goals)
-Anywhere from a tablespoon to the juice of 2 whole limes (depending on your tastes)
-Fill with Fresca, Squirt or other grapefruit soda to the top
-Garnish with a lime wedge
-As the night wears on forget the salted rim, lime garnish and even the lime juice. Who has time for all that juice squeezing? You can't miss Tío Lucio's* lost in translation story about the time he accidentally asked for a nipple instead of a napkin at a restaurant in San Francisco. Refill your glass with tequila and grapefruit soda as needed.
*Name changed to protect identity
In Love & Tacos
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Rants of a Diplomat's Wife
Hola, I am an American married to a Mexican Diplomat. I am on my 3rd post as a trailing spouse. The first two posts I joined were in the US, and in July 2018 we moved to Mexico City. Maybe it was the fact that I was pumping out my diplo-babies, or maybe I didn't think anyone would be interested in diplomatic life at my US posts, but I didn't blog then. Now I am in Mexico, and perhaps you might find it interesting to know what life is like here. This is where I share my adventures and thoughts at my current post.