A refreshing tequila cocktail, a Paloma is made with a deliciously vibrant blend of grapefruit, lime juice and a splash of club soda.
Why you’ll love it: Because it’s delicious, that’s why! Spicy or not, this one is a winner.
How long it takes: 10 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: cocktail shaker, glass
Servings: 1, but it’s easily multiplied
Fresh grapefruit juice, lime, tequila, club soda, and lots of ice make this frosty fruity fun cocktail a summer standout. With a spicy rim of salt, sugar, and chipotle chili powder, it’s just a step above the ordinary.
Perfect with tortilla chips, guacamole, and homemade salsa, or other southwestern fare, this drink is destined to quickly become a favorite. Oh my gosh, you have to have a Paloma with this Citrus Salsa and chips. It’s a perfect match!
You better make a pitcher!
About this Paloma
A traditional Paloma is made with grapefruit soda but I think you’ll agree that freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is a much better choice.
This recipe makes one cocktail. Keep reading for make ahead instructions for a pitcher full of Palomas!
As always, measurements and detailed instructions in a printable recipe card can be found at the end of the post. Please drink responsibly and legally!
What you need
- Tequila: Blanco or silver tequila is perfect for this cocktail. I like Pueblo Viejo or Hornitos, but use your favorite brand.
- Grapefruit Juice: Fresh squeezed or refrigerated grapefruit juice is best. Shelf-stable grapefruit juice has other fruit juices added to it, along with preservatives, etc., so it won’t make a great cocktail.
- Lime Juice: Again, freshly squeezed! You’ll need a lime wedge for the rim, too.
- Simple Syrup: Make your own simple syrup. It’s easy, only two ingredients, and keeps well in the fridge.
- Club Soda: A splash of club soda is added for fizz and to lighten up this cocktail.
- Salt, Sugar and Chipotle Chili Powder (For Rim): Mixed together, this combo makes for a really great rim!
- Ice: You’ll need lots of fresh ice for this cocktail!
How to make it
In a small plate, mix together salt, sugar, and chipotle chili powder. Run a lime wedge around the edge of a cocktail glass, and dip the glass into the mixture. Fill the glass about half full with ice.
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice; add grapefruit and lime juice, tequila, and simple syrup, if using.
Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously for fifteen seconds. You don’t really have to time it, just shake away. Pour the chilled mixture into your prepared glass.
Garnish with a wedge of grapefruit or lime, or both if you like. Enjoy!
The word paloma means dove in Spanish. The origins of this cocktail are uncertain so it’s hard to say why it’s called a Paloma. It’s a pretty name often used for girls and symbolizes peace.
The two cocktails share some of the same ingredients: tequila, lime juice, salt, and ice. Margaritas contain triple sec or orange liqueur and are often quite sweet especially if they’re made with a mix. A Paloma is more refreshing with fresh grapefruit juice and soda, or grapefruit soda.
Use a blanco or silver tequila for a Paloma. Food and Wine has a great list of blanco tequilas that are perfect for this cocktail.
How to make this cocktail your own
- Substitute a jalapeño infused simple syrup for a spicy Paloma.
- Rim your glass with just salt, or just sugar instead of the suggested trio of salt, sugar, and chipotle chili powder.
Make Ahead Ideas
This recipe makes one cocktail but you may be expecting a crowd. No problem! Stir up a pitcher and put it in the fridge to chill.
For A Pitcher Of Palomas
For 8 servings, stir together 2 cups tequila, 2 cups grapefruit juice, ½ cup lime juice, and 2-3 tablespoons simple syrup, or to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into prepared glasses, filled halfway with ice, and top with club soda (about 2 oz. per glass). Cheers!
Other refreshing cocktail recipes
Getting together with friends this weekend? Or maybe your workday is over and the kids are in bed. Enjoy a cocktail …. and relax!
- Classic Gin and Tonic Recipe – tips to make the best!
- Aperol Spritz
- Grapefruit and Elderflower Cocktail
- Orange Mojito – refreshing and delicious!
- Cherry French 75 – sweet tart perfection!
- Negroni – How to make the best negroni cocktail!
- Raspberry Rosé Spritzer – easy cocktail!
- Strawberry Watermelon Slushie Spritzer
- Vodka Lemonade
- Sparkling Pink Lemonade (with cocktail option!)
- 2 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- ½ ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup, optional
- 2 ounces club soda
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder omit for traditional (non-spicy) paloma
- Lime wedge
- Grapefruit wedge, for garnish
- Mix together salt, sugar, and chipotle chili powder on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around rim of cocktail glass, dip into salt/sugar/chili mixture; fill glass halfway with ice.
- Fill a cocktail shaker about ⅔ full with ice and add the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Cover and shake vigorously for 15 seconds until chilled.
- Strain the shaker into the prepared cocktail glass and top with club soda.
- Garnish with a lime slice and grapefruit wedge, if desired.
- Omit simple syrup, if desired.
- For a pitcher (8 servings): Stir together 2 cups tequila, 2 cups grapefruit juice, ½ cup lime juice, and 2-3 tablespoons simple syrup, or to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into prepared glasses, filled halfway with ice, and top with club soda (about 2 oz. per glass).
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.