Many of you know our drinks, but it’s time to take a look below the surface. The Process, The Liquid, The Serve & The Culture behind it all.

When you think of a Mexican cocktail, it’s very likely the Margarita is the first to come to mind. In fact, we could bet on it. But in the Margarita’s shadow hides the true treasured drink of Mexico, La Paloma. At Black Lines, we call her Margarita’s Better Looking Sister.

The History of the Paloma Cocktail.

The drink’s past is obscure - no one knows for sure who invented the Paloma. Some speculate that its name originated from a Mexican folklore song with the same name, composed in the 1860s, translating from the Spanish, “The Dove”. Others credit the legendary Don Javier Delgado Corona, the former bartender of La Capilla in the aptly-named town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. According to Difford’s Guide, the origins are reputed to date back to the 1950s. While a mysterious history, one thing is for certain. The Paloma is widely known as Mexico’s favourite cocktail, and one of ours too.


So, what is a Paloma Cocktail?

Simple, balanced and exceedingly refreshing. The Paloma is beautifully uncomplicated, traditionally served on the rocks and prepared by mixing Tequila and Grapefruit Soda. Over time, the recipe has been tinkered with, a bravado of flavours with everything from fresh Rio Red grapefruit juice and Himalayan salt, to simple syrup made with lime peels.

The Paloma has certainly earned its seat at the craft cocktail table. But this serve, in its original form, was much more relaxed. Found much less on a flashy bar menu, and more as a laid-back two ingredient sipper, savoured from the comfort of home.

The Black Lines Paloma Cocktail Recipe.

Our take on this classic is true to its roots, but as always with a Black Lines twist; Tequila, house-made Grapefruit Soda, Citrus & a hint of Halen Mon Salt. We balance bittersweet grapefruit and earthy agave, with the pinch of salt for roundness. The result: a crisp citrus-forward serve, a mainstay in the Black Lines family.

The Spirit: Tequila.

Tequila is made from the blue agave or agave Azul plants, or otherwise known as ‘agave tequilana’. A visually impressive spiked plant, similar to an aloe vera. Within the core of the blue agave plant is a bulb called the piña. This bulb is then baked and juiced, and the juice that comes from this is then fermented with yeast in barrels, to produce: Tequila.

Is Tequila only produced in Mexico? It certainly is. Legally, only 5 areas in Mexico are allowed to produce Tequila, the most famous area being Jalisco. Similar to Champagne, it’s an appellation; the geographical area indicates the origin and quality.

Margarita's Better Looking Sister.

The penchant for comparing the Paloma to the Margarita is, of course, reasonable. But the Paloma is much more than just this. A serve exceptional in its own right, and one in recent years that has been gaining the attention it deserves. If you hadn’t heard of the Paloma, you’re now acquainted. And believe us when we say, you have to try her for yourself.

Buy the Black Lines Paloma here.