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This refreshing Grapefruit Paloma cocktail recipe is made with a mixture of tequila, fresh lime and grapefruit juices and a splash of club soda. Serve over the rocks for a bubbly, sweet citrus flavored delight! 

Glass on a coaster filled with grapefruit paloma on ice and a wedge of fresh grapefruit.


 

What is a Paloma?

A paloma is a very popular Mexican cocktail drink. Very similar to a margarita. It is made with a mixture of grapefruit and lime juices mixed with tequila.

This drink can be prepared with a simple mixture of tequila and grapefruit soda, however, the method in this particular recipe is to use fresh juices mixed with a simple syrup or agave and club soda for carbonation. 

Next to the margarita, this Paloma cocktail is the most popular cocktail in Mexico! Spanish for “dove” the paloma’s invention story is a bit murky, but most versions agree that it was invented circa 1950. 

Ingredients

Ingredients needed for making a paloma cocktail laid out on the counter.
  • Grapefruit Juice: use fresh squeezed or store bought juice. I have found fresh squeezed juice creates basically a clear looking cocktail. So if you want that light pink coloring you will need to use store bought juice. There are organic options in the juice aisle or there is a Simply Grapefruit juice in the refrigerated section.
  • Club Soda: gives a bubbly finish to the drink.
  • Agave: this sweetens the drink. If you would prefer you can make a simple syrup by combining equal parts water and sugar and heating until the sugar dissolves.

My preference for making this cocktail is to use fresh juices instead of carbonated grapefruit soda. Many recipes will call for the Mexican soda, Grapefruit Jarritos. But other brands of grapefruit soda, such as Squirt, can be used also.

How to Make

Running a lime on the rim of a glass and dipping into lime zest and sugar
  1. Prepare your glass by rubbing a lime wedge along the edge.
  2. Then dip the glass in some lime zest flavored salt or sugar.
  3. Add ice to a cocktail shaker and pour in the grapefruit juice.
  4. Add the lime juice, tequila and agave. Shake to fully combine and chill the drink.
  5. Pour into your prepared glass over ice. Top off with club soda for a wonderful carbonated fizz. 
Pourin grapefruit juice and fresh lime juice into a cold cocktail shaker.

Common Questions

What tequila is best for a Paloma?

A blanco or reposado are good options for making this drink. It comes down to your personal preference. A blanco will have a clean, light taste that allows the grapefruit to really shine. A reposado has been slightly aged and has a nice mellow vanilla, oaky taste that blends nicely with the other flavors.

What is the difference between a margarita and a paloma?

While both are tequila cocktails, they focus on different citrus flavorings. Margaritas are made with lime, while palomas are made with grapefruit.

What does a paloma taste like?

While the margarita leans heavily on the lime flavoring, a paloma favors the grapefruit. The combination of grapefruit and lime gives a refreshing, citrus-y flavoring. The sugar/agave helps to balance out the tart citrus flavors creating a smooth taste.

How to serve a paloma:

  • Serve in a glass over ice. Unlike their counterpart the margarita, which can be either on the rocks or blended, this cocktail is traditionally just served over ice. 
  • Salting the rim is optional, although again, since this drink is very similar to margaritas it will typically be served salted. 
  • Garnish this cocktail with a wedge of grapefruit and lime to make it not only complete, but beautiful! 
Overhead of a grapefruit paloma topped with fresh lime and grapefruit wedges.

More Cocktail Recipes

Grapefruit Paloma

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Serene
This Grapefruit Paloma recipe is so refreshing and classy! This easy to make tequila based drink is perfect for sipping on this weekend!
Glass on a coaster filled with grapefruit paloma on ice and a wedge of fresh grapefruit.

Ingredients  

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • .5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • .5 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 1 tbsp agave

Lime Sugar

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • zest 1 lime

Instructions 

  • To make the lime sugar pour the sugar into a small plate (easier to dip the rim of the glasses into) and add the lime zest. Mix together with fingers until all the zest is combined with the sugar. Rub a slice or grapefruit or lime on the rim of the glass and press down into the lime sugar. Set the glasses aside.
  • In a shaker or a large glass combine the tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and agave.  Shake or stir to combine.
  • Pour over ice into the glasses rimmed with the lime sugar.
  • Top with club soda. Stir to combine. Garnish with additional lime or grapefruit slices.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • Use store bought grapefruit juice in place of fresh squeezed. 
  • Can use grapefruit soda in place of grapefruit juice, club soda, and agave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 210kcal | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. Citrus drinks are my favorite, this sounds so refreshing. If I drank this and closed my eyes I might be able to pretend it’s summer for a few moments.

  2. I *do* need this in my life 🙂 It’s literally one of my favorite cocktails! Your photos are just amazing!

  3. I had my first paloma in October, and it was so yummy!! So refreshing and with a fun little kick. Look amazing!