Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: Putting the squeeze on La Paloma

  • A Paloma cocktail at Ye Ol' Watering Hole in Northampton —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • A Paloma cocktail at Ye Ol' Watering Hole in Northampton GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Published: 8/11/2016 2:04:39 PM

Think the Margarita is the most popular cocktail in Mexico? Nope. That honor goes to La Paloma, a refreshing drink traditionally prepared by mixing tequila, fresh lime juice and grapefruit-flavored soda, like the popular Mexican grapefruit-flavored Jarritos.

In the States, the Paloma (Spanish for “dove”) is often made using Fresca or Squirt, but I prefer fresh-squeezed fruit juices in my cocktails.

So I headed to Ye Ol’ Watering Hole at 287 Pleasant St. in Northampton, a bar known for its cocktails featuring fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices (as well as for its beer can collection, with more than 4,000 cans on display).

It was a Monday night and Deb was behind the bar; she’s Northampton native with 15 years bartending experience. I ordered a Bud Light bar bottle to start and we got to talking about downtown Northampton and the history of its bars, lamenting the loss of other, former, Pleasant Street establishments, Sheehan’s Café and Tully O’Reilly’s, and expressing our hopes that Hugo’s, just down the street, and Ye Ol’ Watering Hole would be around for a good long while.

As I suspected, the Paloma Deb served me, with the juice from that just-squeezed grapefruit, really hit the spot.

Tim Driscoll is a bartender, a former bar owner and a perpetual student of mixology. 


How to make a Paloma cocktail

Serves one 

1½ ounces Milagro tequila

2 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice

½ ounce simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar)

½ ounce lime juice

Top with soda water

Serve over ice in a snifter glass

A salted rim is optional

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