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U-31

3112 University Avenue, North Park




¡Viva La Revolucion! ¡Viva La Paloma! That’s not exactly how U-31 bartender Chris Freeman sees it. Ask him, though, and this budding bartender will fill your glass with a cold decant of the paloma. As your sips turn into gulps, he’ll fill your ear with why this refreshing tequila-based mixture is more charming to the taste buds than even the margarita. Working his way up from security guard to barback to bartender, Freeman’s relatively new as U-31’s go-to guy for the thirsty, but he stands behind his version of the paloma.

“We could have done a traditional recipe, but it’s actually got a unique taste with the Squirt,” he says. “After a little bit of toying with the recipe, we settled on what we have now.”

Apparently, the formula works: Freeman estimates that about 75 percent of those who try a paloma at U-31 for the first time will reorder it two or three times over the course of a night.

“I think it’s almost the evolution of the margarita,” he says. “The margarita has had a 40- to 50-year head start on the paloma, but I think that it’s one of those drinks if you have it, you’ll have it again.” Why? Because, he says, “Tequila goes well with any acidic citrus juice, but especially grapefruit. The grapefruit and tequila are the paloma’s predominant tastes, and simple syrup helps prepare the palate for the tequila.”

Kitchen Proof: The fruitier of the two sisters, the paloma can also be more dangerous than the margarita. The fruit makes the tequila so smooth and clean that it all goes down easily.

Chris Freeman

Chris Freeman

In a pint glass (salt-rimmed optional) filled with ice, pour:

  • 1.5 oz. Corzo Silver Tequila
  • 1 oz. sweet-and-sour mix
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • Fill glass with Squirt, garnish with lime wedge, stir, and drink in the beauty of Mexico.
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