Palomas, which are comprised of grapefruit soda and tequila, have been among my go-to drinks for quite some time. A good Paloma should have a great balance of tartness, grapefruit flavor, a hint of tequila, and subtle sweetness -- and having a good grapefruit soda for your Paloma can make or break the drink. After all, the soda makes the cocktail fizzy and provides most of the flavoring. To determine which grapefruit soda is best out of Squirt, Fresca, La Croix, Jarritos, and Grapefruit Italian soda, we examined taste, balance, sweetness, and refreshingness, when pairing them each with a tequila blanco, which is best suited for citrusy cocktails.
Ultimately Jarritos came out on top. Jarritos and Palomas both originate from Mexico, so it's not a stretch to say that the cocktail tastes better when authentic ingredients are used. Of the sodas we considered, Jarritos was the most balanced and flavorful option. You can find it at different specialty stores, as well as many Mexican restaurants and grocery stores across America. It's not overly sweet and it has a very natural grapefruit flavor that mellows out some of the harshness of tequila, making for a smooth cocktail that anyone can enjoy.
Customizing Your Paloma
While Jarritos may be one of the best choices, it really comes down to personal taste and what you are looking for from your cocktail. If you're someone who wants more sweetness in their drink, a Fresca might be the best option for you. It gives the Paloma a sugary aftertaste and makes the cocktail feel a little more indulgent. Sweeter soda options go great with a Tajín rim since the sugary taste helps to lessen the heat from the Tajín. Squirt is also on the sweeter side, but is slightly more sour than many other brands, so if you like the puckering mouthfeel of citrus and tequila, it might be the best option for you.
If you dislike sugary cocktails but still want the essence of a Paloma you can always opt for a grapefruit sparkling water like La Croix. This will add the right fizzy texture to your Paloma and give you a hint of grapefruit flavor without any added sweetness, making it a good option if you can't have sugary drinks or are looking for a lighter version of your favorite cocktail. And you can up the flavor by adding a grapefruit garnish or a hint of lime juice to deepen the citrus notes.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.