Paloma Cocktail (1)
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  • Food: Paloma Cocktail
  • Writer: Nicolas Wilson
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

We all enjoy a nice margarita, but I think this Paloma Cocktail is much better! It’s sweet, tart, and refreshing, and it’s made with grapefruit and lime juice.

On summer afternoons in Austin, Jack and I would always have Paloma cocktails at Hula Hut. It featured a large deck that overlooked Lake Austin and was packed all summer. We loved sitting in the hot sun, sipping our cocktails, and chatting with our friends.

The spring sun encouraged us to cook this Paloma recipe at home last weekend. Our “scene” was a little different than it had been at Hula Hut, but we still had a good time pouring drinks together.

We’re already planning on cooking this Paloma recipe again the next day. It’s very easy to make, and it’s a nice change from regular tequila beverages (looking at you, margarita).

I hope you give it a try if you’re looking for a fun way to start your weekend

Ingredients in a Paloma Cocktail

Tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda make up a typical Paloma cocktail. This recipe is a lighter take on a classic pairing. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • In this recipe, any good-quality Blanco Tequila will suffice. Feel free to use your own!
  • Grapefruit juice and club soda –  instead of grapefruit soda, I use a combination of grapefruit juice and sparkling water. Use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for the finest flavor!
  • Lime juice – This drink is wonderfully tangy thanks to the lime juice and grapefruit juice.
  • Because I don’t use soda in this recipe, I add agave nectar or simple syrup to balance out the sour/tart flavor of the grapefruit and lime. I use a small bit of agave or simple syrup in this recipe, but feel free to add more to the taste.
  • For the rim of your glass, use salt! I prefer coarse sea salt, although kosher salt would also work.
  • Ice – On the rocks, a Paloma drink is always better!

Rub a grapefruit wedge over the rim of a highball or margarita glass, then dip it in a small plate of salt.

To make the drink, put the tequila, grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and sweetener in a glass, whisk to incorporate, and top with ice to fill. Sweeten to taste, then serve with a wedge of grapefruit or lime as a garnish. Enjoy!

Paloma Recipe Suggestions

Paloma Cocktail yummy (1)
Food: Paloma Cocktail (Source: Joy Full Healthy Eats)
  • Taste and adjust as needed. Taste and tweak whenever you create a cocktail at home to discover a flavor balance you enjoy. Add an extra splash of agave or simple syrup if you prefer a sweeter Paloma. Squeeze in additional lime for a tangier flavor. Have fun customizing it to your liking!
  • Allow the ice to melt if it’s too strong. Allow your Paloma to sit at room temperature for a few minutes if it tastes too strong when you first sample it. As the ice melts, the drink will become more diluted. If your drink is still too stiff, top it up with a splash of sparkling water.
  • Switch it up! This recipe is great in itself, but it’s much better with mezcal. If you try this version, you might want to add a little more sweetener to balance out the smokey flavor. With a little heat, this Paloma cocktail is even better! Drop a few jalapeno slices into the tequila and let it stay at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before making your cocktail to make it spicy.


Time to Prepare: 5 minutes
Time allotted: 5 minutes
Serves 1

This simple Paloma recipe is ideal for Cinco de Mayo, happy hour, or any other occasion when you want a refreshing drink. Taste and tweak your cocktail once it’s been mixed to find a flavor balance you like.


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice, plus wedges for garnish
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup, or to taste
  • Coarse sea salt, for the rim of the glasses
  • Ice


Paloma Cocktail yum (1)
Food: Paloma Cocktail (Source: Joy Full Healthy Eats)
  1. Rub a grapefruit slice along the rim of the glass and dip it into a tiny plate of salt to season it.
  2. In a glass, combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and agave nectar. Fill the glass with ice to the top. To taste, adjust the sweetness. Serve with a wedge of grapefruit as a garnish.