Vida Paloma Cocktail Recipe

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Vida Paloma Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:~15

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 16, 2024


The Vida Paloma is a modern twist on the classic Paloma cocktail, which traditionally features tequila. This version, however, stars mezcal, specifically Del Maguey Vida, giving it a smokier profile. The cocktail is a favorite among those who appreciate the depth of mezcal and the refreshing zest of citrus.

  • Originates from the love for traditional Mexican cocktails.
  • The smokiness of mezcal appeals to those who enjoy a more complex flavor profile.
  • Perfect for sipping on a warm day or as a celebratory drink.

How Vida Paloma Tastes?

The Vida Paloma offers a smoky undertone from the mezcal, balanced with the tartness of grapefruit and a hint of sweetness from the simple syrup. The lime juice adds a refreshing acidity, and the club soda provides a fizzy lift, making it a well-rounded and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about Vida Paloma

  • The Paloma is more popular in Mexico than the Margarita.
  • Del Maguey Vida mezcal is crafted in the small village of San Luis del Rio in Oaxaca, Mexico.
  • The cocktail's name, 'Vida Paloma,' translates to 'Life Dove,' symbolizing peace and longevity.


Del Maguey Vida Mezcal

The heart of the cocktail. Mezcal brings a unique smokiness that is balanced by the citrus, giving the drink its soul and depth. Using less will make the drink too light, more and it might overpower the other flavors.

Alex Green

Grapefruit Juice

The grapefruit juice provides a refreshing tartness and a little sweetness, pairing perfectly with the smokiness of the mezcal. Substitute it with orange or pomelo juice for a different citrus profile.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

This sweetener is key to balance out the tartness of the citrus juices. Too much could make the drink cloying, too little and it might be too sharp.

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

A touch of lime juice adds a punch of acidity, brightening up the cocktail. If omitted, the drink could become flat in flavor.

Alex Green

Club Soda

Brings effervescence and lightness to the drink. Without it, you'd lose the refreshing fizz that makes a Paloma, well, a Paloma.

Emma Rose

Chile Piquin

Rimming the glass with this gives a spicy kick to each sip that contrasts beautifully with the refreshing nature of the drink.

Mary Mitkina

Cilantro Sprig, Grapefruit Quarter-wheel, Jalapeño Round

These garnishes not only make the cocktail visually appealing but also add a fresh aroma and a hint of herbaceous, spicy notes with each sip.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Vida Paloma Drink

  1. Prepare the Glass: Wet a rocks glass and rim half the glass with chile piquin.
  2. Mix the Ingredients: Add 2 ounces of Del Maguey Vida mezcal, 3 ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1/2 ounce of simple syrup, and 1/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice into a shaker with ice.
  3. Shake: Shake the mixture until well-chilled.
  4. Serve: Strain into the prepared glass over fresh ice.
  5. Top Off: Gently top with 2 ounces of chilled club soda.
  6. Garnish: Add a cilantro sprig, grapefruit quarter-wheel, and jalapeño round for garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: For an extra refreshing experience, chill the rocks glass before preparing the cocktail.
  • Balance the Flavors: Adjust the simple syrup and lime juice to taste, especially if your grapefruit juice is particularly sweet or tart.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh citrus juices for the most vibrant flavor profile.

Perfect Pairings


Grilled shrimp or fish: The smoky flavor of mezcal and the citrus notes of the cocktail complement the char from grilling well.

Ceviche: The fresh citrus flavors in the cocktail will enhance the zesty lime and fresh fish flavors of classic ceviche.

Tacos: Especially fish tacos or those with a citrusy slaw. The Paloma's refreshing qualities cut through the richness of the tacos.

Snacks and Small Plates

Guacamole: The creaminess of avocados is balanced by the acidity of the ‘Vida Paloma’.

Salsas: A good, zesty salsa pairs nicely, especially if it has a hint of sweetness.

Chips: Salty snacks like tortilla chips are great with the effervescence and citrus of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Vida Paloma

  • Mezcal: If Del Maguey Vida is unavailable, any high-quality mezcal can be used as a substitute.
  • Grapefruit Juice: In a pinch, bottled grapefruit juice can replace fresh, though fresh is always preferred for the best flavor.
  • Simple Syrup: Agave syrup can be used for a more authentic Mexican sweetness.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Berry Paloma

Substitute half of the grapefruit juice with muddled mixed berries for a fruity take. This gives the cocktail a sweet berry note that pairs with the mezcal’s smokiness.

Spicy Ginger Paloma

Add half an ounce of ginger syrup to the shake. The ginger will provide a spicy kick that complements the chile rim and the herbal notes.

Herbal Paloma

Use a rosemary sprig instead of cilantro and add a dash of elderflower liqueur. This changes the herbaceous profile and introduces a floral sweetness to the mix.

In case you forgot basics how to make Vida 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

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 Vida Paloma

What is mezcal, and how does it differ from tequila?

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. The main difference between mezcal and tequila is that tequila can only be made from the blue agave plant, while mezcal can be made from over 30 types of agave. Mezcal often has a smoky flavor because the agave hearts are typically roasted in pits before fermentation.

Is the Vida Paloma considered a good cocktail for beginners to make?

Yes, the Vida Paloma is relatively straightforward to prepare and doesn't require specialized equipment or advanced bartending skills, making it a great choice for beginners.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?

Certainly! You can substitute the mezcal with a smoky non-alcoholic spirit, or simply increase the amounts of grapefruit and lime juices and club soda for a virgin Paloma.

What is the origin of the name 'Paloma' for the cocktail?

The name 'Paloma' is Spanish for 'dove,' and the cocktail's origin is somewhat of a mystery, but it's widely considered a classic Mexican drink.

What kind of food can I serve alongside the Vida Paloma?

The Vida Paloma pairs well with a variety of foods including Mexican cuisine, seafood, and lightly spiced dishes. Appetizers like nachos, quesadillas, and spicy nuts also go well with this cocktail.

How long does it take to make the Vida Paloma cocktail?

The preparation time for a Vida Paloma is quite quick, typically taking only 5 minutes or so to mix and garnish.

Can the Vida Paloma cocktail be batched for parties?

Yes, you can mix larger quantities of the mezcal, citrus juices, and syrup ahead of time and then pour individual servings over ice, topping each with club soda and garnishes.

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