Mexican Cocktail Recipe

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Mexican Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Mexican cocktail, also known as the Paloma, is a popular tequila-based drink that originated in Mexico. It is believed to have been created in the 1950s by Don Javier Delgado Corona, the owner of La Capilla bar in Tequila, Jalisco. The Paloma quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, becoming a staple at Mexican celebrations and gatherings.

  • The name 'Paloma' means 'dove' in Spanish, symbolizing peace and tranquility.
  • The cocktail is often enjoyed during the hot summer months, as it is refreshing and easy to make.
  • It is a favorite among tequila enthusiasts and those who appreciate the unique flavors of Mexican cuisine.

How Mexican Tastes?

The Mexican cocktail is a refreshing, tangy, and slightly sweet drink. The combination of tequila, grapefruit, lime, and soda creates a well-balanced and invigorating taste. The salted rim adds a savory touch that complements the citrus flavors.

Interesting facts about Mexican

  • The Paloma is considered the unofficial national cocktail of Mexico, even more popular than the Margarita.
  • Some variations of the Paloma use grapefruit soda, such as Jarritos or Squirt, instead of fresh grapefruit juice and soda water.
  • The cocktail is often served in a highball glass or a clay cantarito, which is a traditional Mexican drinking vessel.


Tequila: 2oz

Tequila is the soul of this cocktail, providing a smooth, slightly earthy base that pairs beautifully with the bright citrus flavors. If you skimp on it, you'll miss out on that warm, sunny smile that only tequila can bring to the party. Too much, and your cocktail becomes a bully overpowering its citrusy friends.

Mary Mitkina

Grapefruit Juice: 2oz

Grapefruit juice gives a tart and slightly sweet balance that makes your taste buds dance the Cha-Cha. Without it, you’re just left with a lonely tequila that’s missing its tangy partner. Substitute it with orange juice for a sweeter twist, but then, you're making another drink, aren't you?

Emma Rose

Lime Juice: 0.5oz

Lime juice is the zesty wingman that allows all the other flavors to shine. Cutting it out is like forgetting to wear your earrings to a fancy party – you'll feel like something's missing. A little goes a long way; too much would be like blasting mariachi music in a library.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup: 0.5oz

Simple syrup is the peacemaker, smoothing any tensions between the tartness of the juice and the kick from the tequila. Forget this sweet talker, and your drink might get a bit too sassy. Remember, it's all about balance. Need a substitute? Agave syrup can step in, keeping it all Mexican.

Mary Mitkina

Soda Water: 2oz

Soda water brings the bubbles to the fiesta, keeping things light and festive. If you skip it, your drink will be sitting on the sidelines, too dense to join the dance. But if you overdo it, you’ll drown out the flavors and wash away the fun.

Emma Rose

Salt: 1 pinch

Salt is the fiesta's ringleader, accentuating the sweetness and sourness while curbing any bitterness. It’s the difference between a good story and a great joke. With no salt? That's like chips without salsa, my friend.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Wedge: 1

This garnish is your drink's hat – it’s not just about style, but it also adds an extra zing when squeezed. Without the grapefruit garnish? Well, the drink will still be good, but a little less fancy.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Wheel: 1

The lime wheel is the cocktail's smile, sitting pretty on the rim and inviting you for a sip. It's a visual cue that whispers, 'This, amigo, is going to be delicious.' No lime wheel, and your cocktail feels underdressed.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Mexican Drink

  1. Prepare a highball glass by moistening the rim with a lime wedge and dipping it in salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. In a shaker, combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  4. Shake well and strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Top with soda water and gently stir.
  6. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a lime wheel.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh citrus juice for the best flavor. Bottled juices can contain preservatives that alter the taste.
  • Chill your glass before serving to keep your cocktail cold longer.
  • For a sweeter cocktail, add more simple syrup.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The citrus notes of the cocktail complement the charred flavors of grilled fish or shrimp.
  • Chicken Tacos: A lighter, zesty cocktail like this pairs well with the spiciness of tacos.
  • Ceviche: It's fresh and citrusy, which works wonders alongside the acidity of a good ceviche.
  • Salads: A salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing would go nicely with this refreshing drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Chilled Water: Helps cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Amber Ale: A beer with a bit of sweetness could complement the tartness of the drink.

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What you could change in Mexican

  • Tequila: Can be substituted with Mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Grapefruit juice: Can be replaced with grapefruit soda for a sweeter and fizzier cocktail.
  • Simple syrup: Can be replaced with agave syrup or honey for a natural sweetener.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Paloma Twist

  • Add a slice of jalapeño to the shaker.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, but with the addition of a jalapeño slice muddled in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • The taste will gain a spicy kick that warms the palate and brings out even more of the Mexican vibe.

Mezcal Smoky Paloma

  • Replace tequila with mezcal.
  • Recipe: Same as the original, but mezcal brings in a smoky profile that competes nicely with the sweet and citrusy notes.
  • The overall flavor will have a robust smokiness that pairs excellently with the grapefruit and lime. It’s like a sunset bonfire on a Mexican beach.

Hibiscus Paloma

  • Add hibiscus syrup instead of simple syrup.
  • Recipe: Shake well 2oz of tequila, 2oz of grapefruit juice, 0.5oz of lime juice, and 0.5oz of hibiscus syrup. Strain into a glass, top with soda, and garnish.
  • This will give an exotic floral note and a beautiful crimson color to your cocktail, creating a drink that’s as pretty as it is tasty.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mexican

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Mexican

Can I make this cocktail without alcohol?

Yes, for a mocktail version, you can simply omit the tequila and increase the grapefruit juice slightly.

Is it advisable to drink cocktails every day?

While it depends on individual health, moderation is generally the key for any alcoholic beverage consumption. Drinking cocktails daily may not be advisable due to their alcohol and sugar content.

What does the '2oz' in the recipe mean?

'2oz' refers to 2 ounces, a typical measurement in cocktail recipes. It is equal to about 60 milliliters.

What type of tequila works best for this Mexican cocktail?

Traditionally, this cocktail is made with a high-quality, blanco (clear) tequila. But any tequila you enjoy would work.

Why does cocktail often served with a garnish?

Cocktail garnishes are more than just decoration - they enhance the flavors and look of the drink, making the cocktail more enjoyable.

What other cocktail have tequila as the main alcohol?

Tequila is a versatile spirit that is used in many cocktails, including well-known ones like Margarita, Sunrise and Matador.

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