Paloma Cocktail Recipe

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Paloma 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 Paloma cocktail is a popular Mexican drink that has a rich history. It is believed to have originated in the 1950s and is named after the Spanish word for 'dove'. This refreshing cocktail is a favorite among tequila lovers and is often enjoyed during celebrations and social gatherings.

  • The Paloma is considered Mexico's most popular tequila-based cocktail, even more so than the Margarita.
  • The exact origin of the Paloma is unknown, but it is believed to have been created by a bartender named Don Javier Delgado Corona.
  • The Paloma is often associated with the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, and is a popular choice for festive celebrations.

How Paloma Tastes?

The Paloma cocktail has a refreshing, tart, and slightly sweet taste. The combination of tequila, grapefruit, and lime creates a balanced and zesty flavor profile, while the addition of soda water adds a light, effervescent texture.

Interesting facts about Paloma

  • The Paloma is often served in a highball glass, which allows for the perfect balance of ingredients and ice.
  • Some variations of the Paloma include adding a pinch of salt or a splash of orange liqueur for added depth of flavor.
  • The Paloma is sometimes referred to as the 'working man's Margarita' due to its simple and affordable ingredients.


Tequila: 2oz

Tequila is the backbone of a Paloma. It provides a smooth, yet spirited kick that complements the citrus flavors. Imagine tequila as the amigo that leads the citrus on a dance - without it, you're left with a non-alcoholic punch. Too much and you'll be dancing solo.

Mary Mitkina

Grapefruit Juice: 3oz

Tart and tangy, grapefruit juice adds a luscious vibrancy to the Paloma. It's what gives this drink its unique profile; less would mute the affair, more would overpower the delicate tequila. It's all about the balance, amigos.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice: 0.5oz

This little squirt of lime juice brings bright acidity that sharpens the edges, ensuring every sip is as lively as a fiesta. Skip it, and you miss out on that crisp bite that makes the Paloma pop.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup: 0.5oz

It's the peacemaker of the flavor battle, balancing out the tart grapefruit and lime. Without simple syrup, you might pucker up more than you planned. But don't let it dominate or you'll swing from refreshing to dessert territory.

Mary Mitkina

Soda Water: 2oz

Effervescence! Bubbles bring the party to the Paloma, lifting the heavy notes and tickling your tongue. No soda? It's not a tragedy, but you'll lose that delightful fizz of a fiesta in your mouth.

Mary Mitkina

Salt: 1 pinch

Ah, salt - the unsung hero. It's the garnish that enhances all the other ingredients, kind of like the right accessory to an outfit. It complements the sweetness and sourness, making each sip a harmonious blend.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Wedge: 1

Not just for show, this wedge is for those who appreciate the full experience. Nibble on it as you drink and you'll enhance the grapefruit notes, reminding you this is no ordinary cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Paloma Drink

  1. Prepare the glass: Rim a highball glass with salt and fill with ice.
  2. Combine ingredients: In a shaker, combine tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake well.
  3. Strain and top: Strain the mixture into the prepared highball glass and top with soda water.
  4. Garnish: Gently stir the cocktail and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh juice: For the best flavor, always use fresh grapefruit and lime juice.
  • Chill your glass: A chilled glass will keep your cocktail cooler for longer.
  • Add a pinch of salt: A pinch of salt can enhance the flavors of the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


A Paloma cocktail pairs wonderfully with seafood, particularly with grilled shrimp or a light ceviche. The crisp and refreshing citrus flavors cut through the richness of the seafood and enhance its taste.

Mexican Cuisine

Given the cocktail's Mexican origin, Paloma is a natural match for tacos, especially fish tacos, or a fresh pico de gallo. The synergy between the citrus in the cocktail and the spices in Mexican food creates a harmonious dance on the palate.

Light Salads

For a healthier pairing, try a Paloma with a simple avocado salad. The drink's zestiness complements the creaminess of avocado, and the salt rim can echo a sprinkle of sea salt on the salad.

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What you could change in Paloma

  • Tequila: You can substitute the tequila with mezcal for a smokier flavor.
  • Grapefruit Juice: If you don't have grapefruit juice, you can use a mix of orange juice and lime juice.
  • Simple Syrup: If you don't have simple syrup, you can use agave syrup or honey.

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And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Paloma

Ingredients: Tequila, Grapefruit juice, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Soda water, Salt, Chili powder

Recipe: Before rimming the glass with salt, dip it in a mix of salt and chili powder. Shake the standard ingredients and serve as described, but on top, add a slice of jalapeño to the garnish. The Spicy Paloma will have a fiery twist that complements the sweet and sour nature with a kick.

Mezcal Paloma

Ingredients: Mezcal, Grapefruit juice, Lime juice, Agave syrup, Soda water, Salt

Recipe: Replace tequila with mezcal for a smokier version. Use agave syrup instead of simple syrup for an authentic Mexican touch. The Mezcal Paloma will offer a more complex, smoky, and slightly sweeter edge, reminding you of a night by the fire.

Fruity Paloma

Ingredients: Tequila, Mixed berry puree, Lime juice, Simple syrup, Soda water, Salt, Berries for garnish

Recipe: Add a splash of mixed berry puree to the shaker. Serve over ice and garnish with a skewer of fresh berries. The Fruity Paloma will have a berrylicious twist, adding a touch of summer no matter the season.

In case you forgot basics how to make Paloma

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 Paloma

Does Paloma have any alternative names?

Aside from being known as the 'working man's Margarita', the Paloma doesn't have any other widely recognized alternative names.

Can I use other types of alcohol instead of tequila for the Paloma?

The classic Paloma cocktail is typically made with tequila. However, you could experiment with other spirits such as vodka or gin if you like.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Paloma?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version of the Paloma, you could substitute the tequila with a non-alcoholic spirit or simply omit it altogether.

What food pairings would go well with the Paloma?

The Paloma, with its tart and refreshing flavor profile, pairs well with a variety of spicy Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, or chile rellenos.

Is the Paloma a summer cocktail?

While the Paloma is indeed a refreshing choice for the warm summer months, its vibrant flavors can be enjoyed all year round.

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