Rick Pitcher’s Recipe for La Paloma Requires Squirt


Sick of your usual call drink? Try something new. In this series, we’re asking the city’s bartenders to name their current drinks of choice. Check out our Good Call archives for another round.

Today’s call comes by way of Rick Pitcher of The Gander (15 West 18th Street, 212-229-9500)

What’s your favorite drink to order when you go out?

I love to order a la paloma when out, but most places cannot make it. Properly made, it is simply good tequila (I prefer reposado), fresh lime juice, and Squirt (must be Squirt — it cannot be Fresca or even Jarriscos, in my opinion) over ice in a tall glass with a pinch of salt. You need to know what bars have Squirt! We do serve a fantastic, though non-authentic, version here at The Gander.

What is it about this drink that you like so much?

I love tequila and, when in Mexico, fell in love with this for its simplicity and refreshing nature. That and the fact that it’s not another margarita.

Has it always been your favorite? How long did it take you to find it? What was that process like?

My favorite drinks change all the time. It is my current favorite, but that could change at any point. It takes me to Mexico every time I drink one. Few cocktails [transport] me, with the exception of a Campari and soda.

Where are a few places around town that make your favorite drink?

Only Mexican restaurants, typically, will offer an old school Paloma, though there are many variations on it. The last time I ran into Squirt was at La Superior jn Williamsburg. Again, I prefer Squirt but many like Jarriscos and any Mexican restaurant typically has that.

What’s the recipe, for those who want to make it at home?

Pour 2 ounces reposado tequila (such as El Tesoro or Tequila Ocho) and 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice over ice in a high ball glass.
Fill glass with Squirt.
Top with a pinch of salt and a lime.

What’s your second favorite drink? Recipe?

The Last Word

3/4 ounce gin
3/4 ounce green Chartreuse
3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe. Garnish with lime twist.