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The perfect paloma cocktail recipe Drizzle and Dip

The Paloma is Mexico’s most popular cocktail and it also happens to be my cocktail. As a big fan of tequila and pink grapefruit juice, this is the perfect drink for me. Here’s the recipe for the perfect Paloma cocktail, just enough sweetness and just a hint of bitterness.

In Mexico, the classic cocktail is made with grapefruit soda and tequila. There aren’t many pink grapefruit soda brands here in South Africa, so I like to make it with fresh grapefruit juice and club soda.

The Paloma cocktail was invented in the 1950s by Don Javier Delgado Corona, who ran a bar in Jalisco, Mexico. The name of the cocktail means “dove” in Spanish. It is said to be named after the popular Mexican folk song “La Paloma”.

Pink grapefruit halves squeezed for Paloma cocktail

Paloma is a popular drink all over the world and there are many variations of this delicious cocktail. You can make it individually in a glass, or you can make it in a jug if you want to make more than one. I like to pre-mix the tequila, sugar syrup and juice, then fill the glass with ice and finish with the soda.

This Paloma cocktail recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. Fresh grapefruit juice gives the drink a refreshing grapefruit flavor and tequila adds a little kick. The salt on the rim enhances the taste of the cocktail and makes it even more delicious. We all know that tequila and salt go well together.

If you’re looking for a sweeter cocktail, you can replace the grapefruit soda with grapefruit-flavored syrup. This way the cocktail will be sweeter and less sour.

Fresh Grapefruit and Lime Paloma Cocktail

Paloma cocktail variations

For those who want to try different ways to make Paloma, there are plenty of variations to choose from.

One popular variation is a spicy paloma accented with jalapeno slices and a dash of salt. You can also sprinkle pepper on the salt for the salt edge.

Another popular variation is mezcal paloma, which uses smoky mezcal instead of tequila.

If you want to try a different kind of tequila, Reposado Tequila is perfect for Paloma and my favorite. If you don’t like drinking tequila, this may be a good alternative, as drinking tequila brings back too many scary memories of school drinking and debauchery.

It has a very refreshing and sophisticated taste and goes well with spicy Mexican dishes.

I fell in love with this cocktail at El Burro, my favorite Mexican restaurant in Cape Town.

How to make the perfect Paloma cocktail recipe with fresh grapefruit juice

Paloma Cocktail Ingredients

These are the ingredients you need when making a Paloma with fresh grapefruit juice.

tequila – You can use a more classic Blanco tequila, but I prefer to use Reposado aged in oak barrels for a minimum of two years. This adds a slightly smoky flavor to the drink, which is very tasty. Either way, use good quality tequila for this recipe.

fresh grapefruit juice – I use fresh pink grapefruit juice in my recipes, so I like to add the juice just before making the drink.

lime juice – Paloma has a dash of fresh lime juice that gives it an amazing boost. You can add as many as you like.

soda water – Add club soda to the Paloma cocktail and pour to the brim. This not only softens the sweetness of the drink, but also gives the drink an amazing sizzling texture.

sugar syrup – You can use a drop of sugar syrup or agave nectar to sweeten the paloma.

garnish – The rim of the glass is salted and lime wedges and grapefruit are added as garnishes.

Bottle of tequila for Paloma's cocktail recipe

How to make the perfect Paloma cocktail recipe with fresh grapefruit juice

How to make easy sugar syrup

To make a simple sugar syrup, place equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and simmer for a few minutes until the syrup thickens slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool before transferring to a clean container.

A simple sugar syrup can be infused with herbs, spices, or extracts to create interesting flavors in drinks and desserts.

Fresh grapefruit and lime slices to make the perfect Paloma cocktail

How to Salt the Rim of a Paloma Glass

Adding a salty rim to the glass adds a delicious saltiness to drinking Paloma and makes it look very professional. I like to use flaky sea salt such as Maldon. Do not use fine sea salt as it is too salty.

Take a wedge of lime and rub it along the rim of the glass. Sprinkle a small plate with sea salt flakes (or kosher salt) and dip the glass in the salt. roll. It is around to make sure the edges are well coated.

Here are my best Paloma cocktail recipes that you can make at home. The ingredients are for him to make one cocktail, but he scales up and pre-mixes tequila, grapefruit and sugar syrup to make multiple cocktails. You can adjust the amount to your liking.

Overhead shot of a perfect Paloma cocktail garnished with fresh grapefruit

Here are some of my other tequila cocktail recipes (and some of my favorite cocktails).

frozen paloma cocktail

2 frozen palomas

How to Make Pomegranate Mojito (Video)

Mixed Berry Margarita with Jalapeno

Pineapple & ginger mint julip

tigers milk cocktail

Close-up of a glass of Paloma cocktail garnished with fresh grapefruit slices

Shot in South Africa = 25ml

Tequila, you will be happy. fun!


perfect paloma cocktail

How to make the perfect Paloma

The perfect Paloma cocktail recipe with pink grapefruit juice, lime and tequila.

  • author: Sam Linsell
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • total time: 10 minutes
  • yield: 1 drink
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: mixture
  • cooking: Mexican

1 1/2 Shot (38ml)/1.25oz Reposado tequila (or better blanco) – or double 2 shots/50ml / 2oz

Juice of about 1 ruby ​​grapefruit, strained (80ml) / 2.5 oz

1/2 Shot (12.5ml)/0.5oz agave syrup or sugar syrup (sweeten to your liking)

freshly squeezed lime juice (half of a small lime or 1/4 of a large lime)

Top up your glass with club soda (as much as you like)

Grapefruit wedges and lime wedges for garnish

Flaky sea salt such as maldon or kosher salt on the rim

Rub the rim of the glass: Take a wedge of lime and rub it along the rim of the glass. Sprinkle a small plate with sea salt flakes or kosher salt and dip the glass in the salt. Roll it over to make sure the edges are coated.

Add ice to the glass.

Mix tequila, sugar syrup or agave nectar, lime juice, and grapefruit juice in a jug or cocktail shaker.

Stir well and pour into an ice-filled glass. If you’re making just one drink, add all the ingredients directly into an ice-filled glass.

Pour club soda into a glass.

Garnish with grapefruit and lime slices.


If you want to reduce your sugar intake, omit it. Less sweet, but still delicious.

If you don’t have agave nectar or sugar syrup but want to add some sweetness, add sugar to the juice and stir to dissolve before mixing the Paloma.

keyword: paloma, cocktail, how to make, tequila, drink, recipe, grapefruit, mexican

Paloma grapefruit cocktail

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