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When the sun is shining, pour yourself this perfect poolside cocktail! Palomas were made to cool you down in the summer heat with their refreshing mix of grapefruit, tequila, and lime.
Summer is here, baby...Palomas for Everyone!
I’m so excited to sit by the pool, soak in the sunshine, and sip on a refreshing cocktail. With their bright flavors and fun fizz, Palomas are the perfect sidekick while enjoying some R&R. They have a light and flavorful combination of grapefruit, lime, sparkling water, and tequila. But watch out: they go down almost too easily!
I love to serve my friends a big batch of Paloma cocktails while they enjoy my spicy Small Batch Queso. It’s a tasty and simple summer spread, perfect for large groups or small gatherings.
Paloma means “dove” in Spanish, which is fitting as the cocktail is light and sparkling. The traditional recipe comes from Mexico and is a mixture of Jarritos grapefruit soda, silver tequila, and lime juice. They’re best served after a hard day's work.
Fun fact: Palomas happen to be the most popular drink in Mexico! Who else thought margarita’s had the top spot?
Super simple ingredients
The list of ingredients in this cocktail is short and simple, but there are several ways we can bump up the flavors. Instead of using soda like in the traditional recipe, we’re opting for sparkling water and fresh grapefruit juice to control the sweet and tart flavors of the drink. If you’re short on time, remember that store-bought ingredients are always an option!
I juiced the grapefruits myself, as I found it to be the most refreshing choice with the best flavor. If that’s not your thing, feel free to use store-bought 100% grapefruit juice instead!
Blanco (silver) tequila
Blanco or silver tequila has a smooth, neutral taste that pairs well with the bright citrus flavors in this cocktail. Looking to add more flavors to the mix? Feel free to try out different types of tequila to add a fun twist to your drink!
A little liquid sugar will help achieve balance and symmetry with each sip. Simple syrup is easy to make, boiling granulated sugar and water together until it becomes a syrup. It provides a touch of sweetness to both cocktails and iced coffee and will last in your fridge for up to a month.
Tequila + Lime = Love! This heavenly citrus mix is to die for, and when you add in fresh grapefruit, it’s a match made in heaven!
As a finishing touch, we’ll top off our Palomas with sparkling water. While this is the best option, you can also use tonic water or a splash of flavored sparkling water, like Pamplemousse La Croix.
Step 1: For the most refreshing cocktail, use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Simply cut the fruit in half and use a citrus reamer to remove the juice. Strain well, and add the juice to a large mixing glass.
Step 2: Add the lime juice, simple syrup, tequila, salt, and a little ice to the mixing glass. Stir until the mixture is chilled (about 30 seconds). Prepare two highball glasses by salting the rims (optional) and adding ice cubes.
Step 3: Using a cocktail strainer, strain the cocktail into the two highball glasses.
Step 4: Top both with sparkling water, add a wedge of grapefruit to garnish, and enjoy! Those hot summer days won’t know what hit ‘em.
I love that this tequila cocktail recipe is so flexible. You can add in your favorite flavors or swap out ingredients entirely! These recipe variations will appeal to all tastes and preferences:
- Remove the alcohol entirely and up the sparkling water for a tasty virgin Paloma.
- Tonic water or flavored club soda is a fantastic alternative to regular sparkling water. If you LOVE fizz, try the traditional Paloma recipe by using grapefruit soda instead of juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water.
- Just like a margarita, a salted rim will add a hit of sweet and sour with each sip, as well as tone down any bitter or tart flavors from the grapefruit and tequila. I recommend using Maldon flake salt for the beautiful, large flakes.
- If the tartness from the grapefruit is preventing you from trying this recipe, a cantarito cocktail may be your next best option. Still a tasty tequila-grapefruit based cocktail, cantaritos add a splash of orange and lemon juice. It’s like sunshine in a glass!
- For the perfect party drink, quadruple the recipe and serve the Palomas out of a pitcher for all of your friends to enjoy!
- To make this recipe ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients together except for the sparkling water. Store it in your fridge for up to 8 hours. Top the Palomas with sparkling water immediately before serving.
- When you’re whipping up two servings or less, use this super cute 500ml mixing glass and a bar spoon to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this super refreshing, easy, and citrusy Paloma! If you’re serving a batch to friends, make sure to pair it with equally amazing appetizers, like my Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos or Radishes and Butter Crostini.
Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can share your amazing recreations!
- 6 ounces grapefruit juice freshly squeezed or store-bought
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- pinch salt
- 4 ounces sparkling water
- 2 wedges grapefruit
- Combine all ingredients, except sparkling water, in a large mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir thoroughly until chilled, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into two highball glasses filled with ice.
- Top each drink with 2 ounces of sparkling water and garnish with a wedge of grapefruit.
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