Paloma Cocktail Recipe

The Paloma cocktail is a classic Mexican cocktail with a refreshing flavor from grapefruit, tequila, lime, and sugar. With the harmonious balance of acid, alcohol, and sweetness, it’s no surprise that it’s a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts. Save the recipe below if you want to make this delicious drink yourself!

The Paloma cocktail originated in Mexico and appeared in the mid-20th century. Some believe it is a variation of the Margarita, another famous Mexican cocktail. 

It is an easy-to-make cocktail with the key ingredients, including tequila and grapefruit soda (typically Squirt or Jarritos), which is a beautiful matching that gives the cocktail a unique and delightful flavor profile. This cocktail is one of the best ways to show off the great flavor of tequila. The Paloma has gained popularity in Mexico and spread internationally. It is a beloved refreshing and effervescent choice for a hot weather day. 

Over time, the traditional recipe has changed with many variations, e.g.,  adding lime juice, agave nectar, or other citrus flavors. Some variation opts for fresh grapefruit juice instead of grapefruit soda because it is more natural and less sweet. 

The Paloma is closely associated with Mexican culture. This refreshing and enjoyable drink often comes with celebrations, festivals, and gatherings. The cocktail is the most popular tequila-based cocktail in the nation. 

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 drink


  • Highball glass
  • Jigger
  • Citrus juicer
  • Stirring stick or spoon


  • 2 ounces Tequila 60 ml
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh lime juice 15 ml
  • 3 ounces Grapefruit soda 90 ml
  • 1/2 ounce Simple syrup 15 ml
  • Ice cubes
  • Grapefruit wedge or slice
  • Salt


  • Moisture the rim of the glass by running a lime wedge around it. Then, dip the rim into a salt dish.
  • Fill your glass with ice cubes.
    Ice cubes
  • Pour 2 ounces (60 ml) of tequila (typically Blanco or Reposado) into the glass.
    2 ounces Tequila
  • Next, add 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of fresh lime juice.
    1/2 ounce Fresh lime juice
  • Add 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of simple syrup to sweeten the drink.
    1/2 ounce Simple syrup
  • Top the glass with 3 ounces (90 ml) of grapefruit soda.
    3 ounces Grapefruit soda
  • Gently stir the ingredients for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Garnish your Paloma with a grapefruit wedge or slice, if desired.
    Grapefruit wedge or slice



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Opt for freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice for the best flavor and aroma of citrus.
    Balance the sweetness to suit your taste. Grapefruit soda tends to be sweet, so the additional sweetness is unnecessary.
  • High-quality tequila gives you a smoother and more enjoyable Paloma.
  • An excessive stirring can flatten the carbonation from the soda, so do not overdo it.
  • Some people prefer a Paloma cocktail made with fresh grapefruit juice rather than Paloma soda; the ultimate choice depends on your liking.
  • The fresh grapefruit juice gives you a natural and intense citrusy tartness, while the soda version is slightly sweeter and effervescent. 
Keyword Paloma Cocktail Recipe

How does Paloma Cocktail taste? 

The Paloma cocktail is a delightful balance of vibrant and refreshing taste. The grapefruit-citrusy gives the cocktail a bright, citrusy, and tangy flavor. The addition of sweetness from simple syrup complements the tartness of the grapefruit. And the star of the drink, tequila, which has a sweetness and warmth, adds more complexity to the cocktail. A well-made Paloma is a thirst-quenching cocktail option with a harmonious and enjoyable flavor profile everyone will love. 

Is a Paloma healthier than a margarita?

When comparing the healthiness of cocktails between a Paloma and a Margarita, a Paloma relatively has the advantage. A traditional Paloma, especially one made with grapefruit soda, is lower in calorie and sugar content than a margarita. The calories and sweetness in grapefruit soda are less than the orange liqueur used in a Margarita. Furthermore, when making a Paloma, you will have more control over the ingredients because you can adjust sweetness and calories by using fresh grapefruit juice and decreasing the amount of sweetener. On the other hand, a Margarita with more ingredients, including the choice of tequila, orange liqueur, and the sweetness of the mix used, can be more sugary.

If you love grapefruit, give it a try for this cocktail with the guidelines above. The flavor is bright and refreshing but not too sweet; the tequila is a great base spirit, not overpowering the fresh juices’ natural flavor. Feel free to adjust the recipe to make it your own for a delightful cocktail experience.