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5-Ingredient Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Congratulations – you’ve landed on the Best Paloma Cocktail Recipe. With just 5 ingredients, this easy and refreshing Paloma recipe is about to become your next go-to easy cocktail recipe. 

grapefruit paloma cocktail in glasses with lime slices
This beautiful grapefruit paloma is refreshingly delicious and uses only 5 simple ingredients.

Super Easy Paloma Cocktail

Hot summer months beg for refreshing drinks and backyard cookouts.  Flip flops on feet + cocktail in hand = Power Couple 💞

When hosting casual outdoor gatherings, easy yet delicious cocktails are a staple. Usually there’s Big Batch Pineapple Margaritas or 3-Ingredient Lemonade Margaritas on the ready. For a delightful change of pace, add this sparkly Paloma Cocktail to the drink menu. Fun fact: paloma is known as Mexico’s most popular cocktail…now we know why.

On the food front, we love serving up these super-easy Hawaiian Grilled Steak Tacos that are 100% crowd-pleaser. Anything that can be marinated ahead of time and allows you to sit back and enjoy the party is a big YES.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

  • This paloma cocktail can be prepared ahead of time.
  • It’s supremely refreshing, with a flavor profile of citrus, sweetness, tartness, and cheerful sparkly-ness.
  • It looks beautiful and whoever you shake this up for will be impressed.
  • It’s super easy to make, especially if you have simple syrup already pre-made. We highly recommend having a bottle of simple syrup in the fridge regularly.
  • It’s perfection for brunch and backyard cookouts.
grapefruit paloma cocktails in glasses
Make grapefruit palomas ahead of time, with just a handful of simple ingredients.

Key Ingredients

For the best paloma recipe, get your hands on the freshest ingredients:

  1. Use freshly squeezed juice, as it is by far the best tasting and most rewarding way to go. A simple, budget-friendly citrus juicer makes this task extremely easy.
  2. Simple syrup is made by combining sugar and water on stovetop until fully dissolved.
  3. Freshly squeezed lime juice is essential for a boost of citrus flavor and acidity.
  4. Use a nice quality tequila – you’ll want a good Blanco/silver tequila, as that is the standard for Paloma cocktails.
  5. Club soda: top off with freshly opened, sparkly club soda to add a bit of bubbly.

Variations and Substitutions

This paloma recipe is already perfect as-is, but if you’d like to switch it up a bit, here are a couple of ideas:

  • Lemon-lime soda in lieu of the simple syrup and club soda, for an extra boost of citrus.
  • Use a combination of limes and lemons for the citrus piece.
  • If you want salt-rimmed glasses, pour kosher salt into a small plate. Moisten rims of glasses with water, lime juice, or grapefruit juice. Dip rims into plate of kosher salt before filling with Paloma.
grapefruit paloma cocktail
Grapefruit palomas are perfect for summer gatherings and backyard cookouts.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Make-Ahead Simple Syrup: Bring 1 part water and 1 part granulated sugar to a low boil, stirring until fully dissolved. Immediately remove from heat and let fully cool before using. Keep a jar of simple syrup in the fridge to use any time.
  2. Combine: In a small pourable container, combine the fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila. Stir to incorporate well. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  3. Serve: fill 4 glasses with desired amount of ice. Divide Paloma cocktail into the glasses. Top off with club soda and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is a Paloma cocktail?

A Paloma is a refreshing and popular Mexican cocktail made with tequila, grapefruit soda, lime juice, and sometimes a pinch of salt. It’s typically served over ice with a wedge of lime. It’s a great alternative to the more well-known Margarita and has gained popularity worldwide. Note that grapefruit soda can be hard to find, so we use club soda in our recipe.

Is a Paloma cocktail sweet?

The sweetness of a Paloma can vary depending on the soda used. Some sodas are sweeter than others, so the level of sweetness in the cocktail can be adjusted based on personal preference. Ours is not overly sweet, as we sweeten ours with simple syrup and use club soda for the carbonation.

Is the Paloma cocktail similar to a Margarita?

While both the Paloma and Margarita cocktails contain tequila and lime, they are distinct drinks with different flavor profiles. The Paloma is typically sweeter due to the addition of grapefruit soda, while the Margarita is a tart and tangy cocktail made with triple sec and lime juice.

Can I use a different type of soda if I don’t have grapefruit soda?

Yes, you can experiment with different sodas to create variations of the Paloma. Some people use grapefruit juice with lemon-lime soda, while others use other citrus-flavored sodas. We use club soda for our recipe, which is easily found in any grocery store.

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

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic Paloma by omitting the tequila and using grapefruit soda or juice with club soda and lime juice.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

grapefruit paloma cocktail with lime slices in glasses

The Best Paloma Cocktail Recipe

4.95 from 80 ratings
Congratulations – you’ve landed on the Best Paloma Cocktail Recipe. With just 5 ingredients, this easy and refreshing Paloma recipe is about to become your next go-to cocktail.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 TB simple syrup*
  • 1 cup silver tequila, or good quality blanco
  • 1 cup club soda
  • Optional Garnishes: kosher salt, grapefruit slices, lime slices

Instructions

  • In a small pourable container, combine the fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila. Stir to incorporate well. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve: fill 4 glasses with desired amount of ice. Divide Paloma cocktail into the glasses. Top off with club soda and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead Simple Syrup: Bring 1 part water and 1 part granulated sugar to a low boil, stirring until fully dissolved. Immediately remove from heat and let fully cool before using. Keep a jar of simple syrup in the fridge to use any time.
  • Alternatively, you can use lemon-lime soda in lieu of the simple syrup and club soda.
  • If you want salt-rimmed glasses, pour kosher salt into a small plate. Moisten rims of glasses with water, lime juice, or grapefruit juice. Dip rims into plate of kosher salt before filling with Paloma.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Method: mix, Stir

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Recipe Rating




53 comments

    • Joe
    • 5 stars

    One of my favorites, after you try it as written (always do that) I’ve got a couple of slight variations to try. First is to sub agave nectar for the simple syrup, it’s a subtle difference but adds some depth.

    If you like a little heat, try it with jalapeño infused tequila, easy to make your own just slice up some jalapeño peppers and put them in a mason jar with tequila for a couple days.

    If you like a little smoke, try it with a good mezcal instead of tequila, perfect paring with bbq.

    Cheers!

    • Lathiya
    • 5 stars

    Such a gorgeous looking drink. I can’t deny how refreshing it will be. Can I skip alcohol and just use soda?

      • chewoutloud

      Of course! 🙂

    • Kari Alana
    • 5 stars

    This is the perfect drink for these hot day and thanks for all those other ones you shared in this post.

    • Diana
    • 5 stars

    Loving this refreshing cocktail! My drinks need to have freshly squeezed jucies. This is my to-go poolside cocktail recipe, cheers!

    • Jen | Jen’s Food Lab

    5 ingredients and sparkly?? Sign me up! This looks super refreshing for the summer.

    • Ramona
    • 5 stars

    I love making cocktails, but i havent made a paloma one before. I am tempted to try this out on a nice day so I can enjoy it even more! It looks so refreshing, thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Jacqueline Debono
    • 5 stars

    I think I have been missing out because I’ve never had a Paloma cocktail but am going to change that very soon! This drink looks and sounds super! Love that yours has fresh grapefruit in it!

    • sapana

    Such a refrshing cocoktail I would love to try it with my flip flops and walking on a beach or in a garden.

    • Emily
    • 5 stars

    This is one of my fave cocktails! I made this grapefruit paloma cocktail with grapefruit from my neighbor and it was delicious!

      • chewoutloud

      Awesome, Emily 🙂

    • Lesli Schwartz
    • 5 stars

    I love grapefruit drinks! Not a big tequila fan, but I would substitute with vodka. This cocktail looks so refreshing!

    • Beth
    • 5 stars

    This looks and sounds so refreshing, with that beautiful color – no wonder it’s so popular!

    • Sarah James
    • 5 stars

    You had me at Tequila! I love the sound of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and lime juice, perfect for a summer’s evening cocktail.

    • Sondra Barker
    • 5 stars

    Making this for friends tonight for sure! I’m super excited to try it they sound amazing

    • Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    • 5 stars

    Sign me up!!! This is such a great version of paloma. The flavors and proportions worked perfectly together. So tasty.

    • Kushigalu
    • 5 stars

    Just 5 ingredients to prepare this gorgeous and refreshing drink. I Cant wait to try this out.

    • Stine Mari
    • 5 stars

    Paloma is one of my favorite cocktails, although I have never made it myself. Once I get my hands on some grapefruits I WILL make this recipe and I know I will love it!

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