Tequila and grapefruit juice take center stage in this Easy Paloma Recipe. Made with fresh ingredients and served over ice in a salt rimmed glass, this cocktail makes the perfect Summer sip.
Fresh fruit juice, a shot or two of liquor or wine, a splash of club soda, and a salted or sugar rim (if you're feeling fancy). In the right combinations, these ingredients make up some of the best and tastiest cocktails with the least amount of effort.
If you've never tried this easy paloma recipe, think of it as something similar to a grapefruit margarita or a grapefruit mezcalita. There's a salt rim, lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila.
The main difference being that a paloma contains club soda and grapefruit is the star of the show. A margarita typically uses triple sec and the grapefruit juice and club soda are omitted.
This easy paloma recipe is balanced and mellow with a touch of sweetness from the simple syrup. It's a cocktail that's customizable by adding a little more grapefruit juice for extra tartness or a bit more simple syrup to make it sweeter.
How to Make a Paloma with Fresh Grapefruit Juice:
- See full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card near the bottom of the page.
- Take a small wedge of grapefruit or lime and run it around the rim of your cocktail glass. Dip the rim of the glass into coarse salt. Try using demerara or raw sugar if you prefer sweet over salty. Transfer the glass to the refrigerator to chill until you're ready to make the cocktail.
- When you're ready to make the paloma, add ice to the prepared glass.
- Pour fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice over the ice and stir to combine.
- Top off with club soda and tequila, and stir again.
- Garnish with a grapefruit wedge, lime wedge, or lime round. Enjoy immediately!
How to Make a Paloma using Grapefruit Soda:
The process of making this cocktail using grapefruit soda in place of fresh grapefruit juice takes swapping out a couple ingredients. Super simple!
- Use a small piece of grapefruit or lime and run it around the rim of your chosen glass. Place the rim of the glass into coarse salt, and press gently to ensure the salt sticks. Chill the glass until you are ready to make the drink.
- To make the grapefruit paloma, add ice to your glass. Then pour in 1 ounce of lime juice, 2 ounces of tequila, and top off the glass with about 6 ounces of grapefruit soda.
Tips and Variations:
- Coarse sea salt or another variety of coarse salt is best for this drink. We don't recommend kosher or table salt due to it's fine grain.
- Use a mid to top shelf blanco or silver tequila for the best quality. Mezcal is similar and would work as a another option if tequila isn't available.
- Grapefruit soda is available in many supermarkets. It has a mild flavor compared to fresh grapefruit juice and tends to be carbonated and bubbly. We use Jarritos brand which gives our paloma cocktails a light green color. Some other grapefruit soda brands include Fresca, Izze, Squirt, Fever-Tree, and Zevia.
- Fresh grapefruit juice yields a light pink or melon colored drink. For a cocktail with a deep pink or red hue, try using bottled ruby red grapefruit juice from concentrate. Using a bottled juice makes the flavor slightly different and a bit more pronounced, which is wonderful if you prefer a tart drink.
- Our favorite paloma garnishes are a salt or sugar rim with a lime wedge, lime round, or small grapefruit wedge.
- We use a simple syrup made from 1 part water and 1 part sugar. Other ways to make simple syrup include water and agave nectar, water and honey, or water and maple syrup. Any of these make wonderful options, each have a different flavor profile and each will alter the flavor of the cocktail. Depending on which you choose, you may not need a 1:1 ratio. You may be able to use less of the sweetener if the sweetener has a strong flavor.
How to Store a Paloma Cocktail:
Refrigerator: This easy paloma recipe is best enjoyed immediately. If you happen to have some leftover, remove the ice and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours to keep cool.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 lime wedge, for wetting glass rim
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt, for salting rim
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces club soda
- You'll need simple syrup prepared and cooled ahead of time. Store bought simple syrup is great in a pinch!
To Prepare the Glass:
- Run a grapefruit or lime wedge around the top edge of the cocktail glass, and dip the edge in salt. Then, transfer the glass to the refrigerator to chill until you're ready to prepare the drink.1 lime wedge1 tablespoon coarse salt
To Prepare the Drink:
- Fill the prepared glass with ice.
- Pour the grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice over the ice, and stir to combine.2 ounces grapefruit juice2 ounces simple syrup1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Top off with tequila and club soda, and stir again. Add your preferred garnish, and serve immediately.2 ounces tequila2 ounces club soda
- See post for tips, variations, storage and how to make this cocktail using grapefruit soda!