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It turns out the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico's most beloved cocktail.


  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Recipe Preparation

  • Pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip rim of glass in salt. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mescal, add ice, and top off with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen,

Nutritional Content

1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 190 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 13 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 10 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 240Reviews Section

How to make the best paloma cocktail

For the best ever Paloma recipe, get your hands on the freshest ingredients.

For starters, use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice from the sweetest and most ripe grapefruits you can find. Freshly squeezed juice is by far the best tasting, most rewarding way to go. A simple, budget-friendly citrus juicer makes this task extremely easy.

If absolutely necessary, bottled 100% grapefruit juice can be used…but you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference between freshly squeezed and bottled. Some recipes make use of grapefruit soda or orange juice, but we’ve found that pure fresh grapefruit juice offers unparalleled flavor.

Freshly squeezed lime juice is next. That hand held juice squeezer will come in handy once again.

Lastly, a nice quality tequila will work wonders for your Paloma recipe. Be sure it’s a good Blanco (silver) tequila, as that is the standard for Paloma cocktails.

Because there are so few ingredients in a great Paloma recipe, every ingredient counts: freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, and a great Blanco tequila.

Best Paloma Cocktail Recipes 2021

If you are a fan of tequila or if you’ve ever taken a trip to Mexico, you are likely familiar with the paloma (either because you have tried one or at least heard of the cocktail.) It is considered Mexico’s most beloved cocktails and with one sip, it is easy to see why. The paloma marries tequila with the bright, refreshing flavors of grapefruit to create a one-of-a-kind drink readily available at most bars. It is traditionally served on the rocks and may also include a salted rim. You can also find it pre-made at many grocery stores in cars, perfect for a quick cocktail to bring along to a party.

Palomas are certainly delicious, but they can be a bit much for those who don’t like strong citrus flavors. Over the years, many variations of the traditional paloma have developed and become popular. We have tried plenty of paloma cocktails (both traditional and otherwise) and created a list of our favorite recipes to share with you. If you’re looking for a cocktail to really embody bubbly joy, look no further than this list. One of the recipes below is sure to become one of your favorite drinks!

Traditional Paloma – 1 cup Tequila, 1 cup Grapefruit Juice, .24 cup Lime Juice, 2 tbsp Simple Syrup, 1 cup Club Soda, Salt, Grapefruit Slices, Lime Slice

Before we begin sharing the many paloma variations, let’s try a traditional recipe. The paloma is very simple to make but creates a truly impressive drink sure to be a hit with your friends. This recipe creates 4 servings, so be sure to have someone to share with! To create this drink:

  • Moisten rim of 4 glass and dip in salt
  • Combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup in a small pitcher
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Pour into salt-rimmed glasses over ice
  • Top with a splash of club soda
  • Garnish with grapefruit and lime slices, then serve

Paloma Caliente 2 oz Tequila, .75 oz Lime Juice, Grapefruit Soda, Jalapeno Slices, 5 Mint Leaves, Whole Jalapeno

Do you enjoy hot, spicy flavors and are willing to try a unique cocktail that combines the spicy jalapeno with the sweet grapefruit? Look no further than this recipe! The jalapeno pepper really compliments the tequila and is further enhanced with the carbonation from the grapefruit soda. To create this drink:

  • Add tequila, mint leaves, and jalapeno slices to a glass
  • Muddle ingredients
  • Add ice and lime juice, then top with grapefruit soda
  • Stir thoroughly to mix
  • Garnish glass with jalapeno, then serve

La Nuestra Paloma – 2 oz Tequila, 1 oz Lime Juice, .75 oz Elderflower Liqueur, .75 oz Triple Sec, .5 oz Grapefruit Juice, 3 dashes Bitters, 2 oz Club Soda, Grapefruit Peel

The elderflower liqueur in this recipe adds a hint of floral softness to an otherwise bold cocktail. It creates a dimensional flavor that is both sweet and complex. If you are not a huge fan of floral flavors, adding a bit more grapefruit will help make it easier on the palette. To create this drink:

  • Add all liquid ingredients (except club soda) to a cocktail shaker
  • Shake vigorously
  • Strain into ice-filled glass
  • Top with club soda
  • Garnish glass with grapefruit peel, then serve

La Tucita – 1 oz Tequila, 1 oz Melon Liqueur, .75 oz Lime Juice, 2 drops Salt Water, Grapefruit Soda

The sweet, bright flavors of melon and grapefruit mix surprisingly well together. This recipe combines the two fruits with the strong-handed tequila to create a unique and appealing cocktail. If you are looking for a drink that will really brighten your day, you have found your perfect match. To create this drink:

  • Fill a glass with ice
  • Pour tequila, melon liqueur, lime juice, and salt water over ice
  • Top with a splash of grapefruit soda
  • Stir thoroughly, then serve

Charred Grapefruit Paloma – 1.5 oz Tequila, .5 oz Simple Syrup, 1 oz Club Soda, 3 dashes Bitters, Egg White, Grapefruit

This unique approach to the paloma adds some smoky flavor that really gives the cocktail a kick. It takes a bit of prep work, so maybe save this recipe for a night when you have no other plans waiting. The effort has a very delicious reward: this is one of our favorite paloma recipes and will impress even frequent paloma drinkers. To create this drink:

  • Cut the grapefruit in half horizontally and then cut one half into 3 slices
  • Carefully char all grapefruit with an open flame
  • Squeeze grapefruit half into a bowl and set slices aside
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  • Add tequila, 2 ounces of charred grapefruit juice, simple syrup, club soda, egg white, and bitters into shaker
  • Shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds
  • Strain into cocktail glass
  • Garnish glass with charred grapefruit slices, then serve

Paloma Perfecta – 3 oz Grapefruit Beer, .75 oz Grapefruit Juice, .75 oz Lime Juice, .75 oz Grapefruit Soda, 3 oz Club Soda, Grapefruit Wedge

This version of the paloma removes the tequila altogether and replaces it with grapefruit beer. This results in a headier, fuller-bodied cocktail that will make beer lovers rejoice and will impress even seasoned paloma fans. The beer blends well with the bright, tart flavors of the grapefruit to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. To create this drink:

  • Add ice to highball glass
  • Pour all liquid ingredients into glass over ice
  • Stir thoroughly
  • Garnish glass with grapefruit wedge, then serve

Are you considering mixing up one of the tasty paloma recipes listed above next time you are searching for a new cocktail? We truly enjoy the bright flavors of the paloma and know they are sure to be a hit. The addition of grapefruit really helps these cocktails stand a step above the rest. Each of the recipes above is unique and rebrands the traditional paloma, but still pays homage to the cocktail recipe that started it all. Share this list with friends and consider mixing up a few of these for your next siesta!


Mexico’s contribution to the cocktail canon is extensive. Just look at the Paloma, a drink that’s consumed in droves across the border, despite it playing second fiddle to the Margarita in the United States.

The Paloma is a refreshing, easy-to-make cooler that combines tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda. Its origin story is nebulous, but most reports peg its creation to the 1950s. Blanco tequila is the traditional choice, but lightly aged reposado also makes a fine drink. In this case, it’s best to keep the añejo capped, as the well-aged expression’s oaky profile disrupts that clean, refreshing taste you want in a Paloma.

In Mexico, Jarritos soda is a popular choice for adding the effervescent grapefruit note. This brand is relatively easy to find stateside, particularly in grocery stores that stock Mexican foods and ingredients. Squirt is another common pick in Mexico, while Ting and Fresca are also suitable options. However, as bartenders continue to embrace fresh juice in their cocktails, it has become increasingly common to use fresh grapefruit juice in place of the grapefruit soda. If you want to go that route, you can complement the juice with unflavored sparkling water to achieve the necessary bubbly effect. This combination yields a similar cocktail, so it’s worth the experiment. But grapefruit soda is the more traditional choice when making Palomas.

Some people may also choose to rim the glass with salt, while others add a pinch of salt straight into the glass. This step isn’t necessary, but it does add a savory quality that melds beautifully with the earthy tequila and tart grapefruit. And it opens the possibility of using a spiced salt, like Tajín, for an extra seasoning kick.

Because the Paloma is constructed right in the glass, you don’t need any bar tools to make it. Just add your ingredients to a highball glass with ice, and you’re ready to enjoy a refreshing cocktail. Don’t wait for Cinco de Mayo—that very north-of-the-border-only Mexican holiday—to treat yourself. Mexico’s national cocktail is a great choice any day of the year.

Yes—and you should! Mezcal will add a savory, slightly smoky flavor to the drink, which can be especially tasty with grilled or barbecued food. Del Maguey Vida is an affordable brand that’s great in cocktails. You may want to start with 1 1/2 ounces mezcal if you’re not familiar with the flavor.

Paloma Cocktail made with Grapefruit and Tequila

National Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from September 15th to October 15th, and is a time to celebrate the cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States. This period also coincides with the Mexican Independence Day (September 16), so Mexicans are particularly happy during this season!

There’s plenty of reasons to celebrate this month, and if you’re looking to liven up your party or reunion with a cool, citrusy beverage on the rocks, then I’ve got you covered!

Refreshing Paloma Cocktail using Tequila and Grapefruit.

The drink I have for you today is called a “Paloma”, which means “dove” in Spanish. In my opinion, a Paloma is one of the best tequila cocktails you can make, not only because of it’s delicious citrus taste, but also because you can prepare one very quickly.

The Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail made with tequila and either grapefruit juice or a grapefruit-flavored soda. For this recipe, I’ll be using grapefruit juice from the Simple Truth brand, available at Kroger. Going to Kroger was really a time-saver for me, since they also sell adult beverages like Patron Tequila!

I was also able to pick up other items for entertaining, like a can of Select Blend Nuts from the Private Selection brand, and a jar of Manzanilla Olives from the Kroger Brand. In Mexico, we like to serve beer and cocktails with small snacks and finger food, and I like to do the same at home.

Thankfully, I was able to buy everything I needed in one place, thanks to Kroger’s great selection of products. During National Hispanic Heritage Month, or for any other occasion, I highly recommend you stop by Kroger when shopping for your party.

Paloma - Recipes

When you think about tequila, your first thought is probably of a margarita. The beloved cocktail has made its way onto menus around the world, and it's the perfect way to quench your thirst come spring and summer. But there are plenty of other refreshing cocktails you can make with tequila that don't require a cocktail shaker or a variety of ingredients. Enter: the paloma.

La paloma (Spanish for "the dove") has a few different origin stories. Some credit is given to Don Javier Delgado Corona, the owner of La Capilla bar in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico. Corona also created the batanga, a cocktail that features Coca-Cola, tequila and lime juice. No matter where or who sparked the idea for the paloma, the smooth and bubbly drink is one you should know how to make before summer arrives.

For this paloma recipe all you need is a glass, tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda. If you want to get creative, you can make it with agave syrup, blood orange, jalapeno tequila and more. But this bare bones version of the beverage is easy for beginners and you won't wrack up a bill at the grocery store getting a bunch of different ingredients.

However, if you want to give the drink an extra layer of flavor, you can do so easily with stuff around your kitchen. Just run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it in sugar or salt. This can give the cocktail more dimension and it makes it feel fancier.

Once you've added your rim (or not) fill a highball glass with ice, tequila and lime juice. Top the glass with grapefruit soda, any brand is find but Jarritos (a Mexican soda made with real fruit and real sugar) will take the cocktail to the next level. Garnish the drink with a slice of grapefruit or a lime wedge and enjoy! Serve the drink with some of these incredible Mexican recipes and be sure to checkout our list of more cocktail recipes that go great with dinner.

Non-Alcoholic Paloma

If you have never heard of a Paloma, then get ready to have a new favorite drink. The exact origin of the Paloma is a little hazy but it is believed to have been created in the 1860’s and named after a popular Mexican folk song called “La Paloma” which means “the dove”. No matter where the drink came from or how long people have been enjoying it, we know why it is so good.

The Paloma is a little sweet, a little salty, sour and also a little bit bitter. It has it all! The lime juice and fresh grapefruit juice are what give the Paloma the sour, citrus taste. Grapefruit juice is also to blame for the bitterness in the drink (but it’s bitter in a very good way!). The agave gives it a sweetness that is unmatched. And, the salt, obviously is what makes the drink salty. Don’t discount that pinch of salt though. It is definitely needed to tie the whole drink together in perfect unison.

Paloma’s are usually made with tequila but we have created a non-alcoholic version that is ideal for anyone. Essentially, if you are a grapefruit fan, you will love sipping on a big, chilled Paloma. So give this recipe a try and see why this drink has been a favorite for so long!

Any hour spent drinking a Paloma is a happy hour for me. Once you make just one of these you’ll know why its Mexico’s favorite. You’ll be saying bye bye to your go-to margarita, and hello Perfect Paloma recipe!

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  1. Faegul

    This is a good idea. I support you.

  2. Shaundre

    Quite a funny thing

  3. Oko

    Don't take it to heart!

  4. Linn

    Let it be your way. Do as you please.

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