A little sweet, a little tart, and so refreshing! The Paloma Cocktail may just become your new favorite tequila drink.
When you think tequila, you think margarita. Am I right? I used to be the same way, but no more! Not since I discovered the Paloma Cocktail. Nothing against the margarita, but I’ve been on a bit of a quest lately to broaden our tequila horizons and this tasty cocktail is a winner.
With its sweet, tart, and salty flavor, it hits all the notes. Plus it has bubbles and booze. All the good things!
- Fresh grapefruit juice – I recommend using Ruby Red grapefruit which tends to be a bit sweeter and has a pretty pink tint. One half of a grapefruit will yield enough juice to make several cocktails. Slice the remaining half into wedges for garnishing.
- Lime juice – Don’t use the bottled stuff. Fresh is the only way to go.
- Sugar – You need a little sweetness to offset the tart citrus flavor.
- Tequila – You want a good quality, 100% agave tequila Blanco, also known as silver tequila. We like Patron, Don Juilio or Casamigos.
- Sparkling mineral water – I always have Pellegrino on hand so it’s what I use most often but I love Topo Chico for a Paloma as well. You can even use club soda if you’d like.
- Salt – Coarse kosher salt for the rim of the glass.
How to Make a Paloma Cocktail
- Run a grapefruit wedge around the rim of a lowball or whiskey glass.
- Dip the rim into coarse kosher salt to coat it well.
- Add the grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila and sugar to the glass.
- Add ice and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
- Top it off with sparkling mineral water.
Easy Paloma Recipe
If you want to make it a super easy version of the Paloma Cocktail, you can skip the grapefruit juice, sugar, and sparkling mineral water and instead use a grapefruit soda, like Squirt or Jarritos. Using sweetened canned soda will increase the calories and I prefer the fresh flavor of real grapefruit juice. But in a pinch, they’re still very good.
To make it extra pretty, garnish the Paloma with a little wedge of grapefruit so there’s no mistaking it for a margarita.
The Paloma and Margarita both contain tequila, lime and salt but that’s where the similarities end. Margaritas are typically flavored with an orange liqueur or a bottled margarita mix but a classic Paloma is sweetened with fresh grapefruit juice, a bit of sugar, and a little sparkling water. You can make them even simpler by using grapefruit soda if you’d like.
Tequila Blanco, also known as silver tequila, is not aged at all which results in a crisp, clear flavor, perfect for mixed drinks like the Paloma, margaritas, and Ranch Water. Be sure to use a high quality, 100% agave tequila like Patron, Don Julio, or Casamigos.
More Tequila Cocktails
- coarse salt for rim
- ½ Ruby Red grapefruit, sliced into small wedges as needed (see note below)
- 2 ounces fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice, from ½ grapefruit
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 ounces high quality 100% agave tequila blanco (silver tequila), like Patron, Don Julio, or Casamigos
- 1 to 2 ounces sparkling mineral water or club soda, I like Pellegrino or Topo Chico
- Pour some coarse salt on a small plate. Rub a grapefruit wedge around the edge of a lowball or whiskey glass then dip it into salt and twist until well coated.
- Add the grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila, sugar and ice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Top off with sparkling water, as desired.
- Garnish with a small slice or wedge of grapefruit.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.