A hot and sunny day isn’t complete without a thirst-quenching Grapefruit and Lime Paloma Cocktail! Made with tequila, grapefruit and lime juice, and grapefruit soda, each sour, sweet, and tart sip goes down easy.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
We’ve all heard of margaritas, but what about palomas? This grapefruit and tequila cocktail from Mexico is extremely refreshing and so easy to make. I’m always shaking up a Grapefruit and Lime Paloma Cocktail when it’s hot out!
The refreshingly tart, sour, and sweet drink is made with just 4 simple ingredients:
- Blanco tequila
- Grapefruit juice
- Lime juice
- Grapefruit soda
You can count on it to cool you down by the pool or help you wash down those tortilla chips and guacamole. The ultimate hot weather drink, you’ll definitely need to load your bar cart with fresh citrus juices and tequila so you’re prepared all summer long!
❓What is a paloma?
The paloma (meaning “dove” in Spanish) is Mexico’s national drink! This refreshing cocktail is a close relative to the margarita but is lower maintenance as it’s made with just tequila, fresh grapefruit and lime juice, and grapefruit soda. There’s a sweet and sour edge to each sip, making the paloma a real crowd-pleaser.
All you need are 4 simple ingredients! I recommend buying extra citrus and soda so you can make fresh palomas all summer long.
- Tequila - Blanco (silver) tequila is best in palomas and mixed cocktails because of its clean and mild flavor. The intricate flavors will be hidden behind the citrus, so there’s no need to break the bank on a bottle. Any mid-priced bottle will do.
- Lime juice - Because this cocktail only features 4 ingredients, it’s important that you go for the freshest possible option. This means pushing that bottle of lime juice aside and squeezing it yourself! You’ll be so much happier with the bright and intense flavors.
- Grapefruit juice - If you can, use a citrus reamer to make your own fresh grapefruit juice. Just strain it first to get rid of all of the seeds and pulp.
- Grapefruit soda - La Croix and Jarritos make delicious grapefruit sodas. To tone down the tart grapefruit but keep the bubbles, swap the soda for sparkling water or club soda.
📖 Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Shake the tequila and juice. Add the tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit juice to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Step 2: Strain into a glass. Strain the tequila and juice from the shaker into a tall ice-filled glass.
Step 3: Add the soda and enjoy. Top your paloma off with grapefruit soda and sip away!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Is it too tart or citrusy for your taste? Stir in half an ounce of simple syrup to balance the flavors.
- You can replace the blanco tequila with a reposado to give the paloma a deeper flavor profile.
- No cocktail shaker? No problem! Simply pour the tequila and juices into a glass with ice, stir, then top with soda.
- Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it in salt to really help each sip explode with flavor.
- Or swap the salt for Tajin!
- Garnish each glass with a slice of lime or a grapefruit wedge.
💭 Recipe FAQs
Palomas are tart, citrusy, sour, sweet, and bright. Grapefruit juice is naturally tart but the sugar in the soda gives it balance.
The history of the name is a little unclear, but some believe the paloma is named after the 1860s Mexican folk song, “La Paloma”. Others say it was invented and named by owner and bartender, Don Javier Delgado Corona.
Both palomas and margaritas are made with tequila and are refreshing, but they’re very different. Margaritas are made with tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and simple syrup whereas palomas are more simple and feature mostly tequila, fresh citrus juice, and grapefruit soda.
The Paloma is unique in its primary use of grapefruit flavor, usually through grapefruit soda or fresh juices, combined with tequila. While a Margarita also uses tequila, it focuses on a combination of lime juice and triple sec, giving it a distinct flavor profile compared to Mexico’s most popular cocktail, the Paloma.
Absolutely! A salted rim, especially using sea salt or kosher salt, enhances the grapefruit flavor of a Paloma. Just wet the rim of the highball glass with a lime slice and dip it in salt before pouring your cocktail for the best flavor experience.
The choice of tequila is crucial for the Paloma's flavor profile. A good tequila, especially anejo tequila, offers a richer, smoky flavor that complements the grapefruit's citrus notes. However, for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail, using a tequila that's smoother might be a great option. Experiment with different brands to find your perfect cocktail balance!
More refreshing cocktails you’ll love
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Grapefruit & Lime Paloma
- 2 oz Tequila
- ½ oz Lime Juice
- ½ oz Grapefruit Juice
- 1 oz Grapefruit Soda , ex. La Croix
- 1 Lime , to garnish
- Combine your tequila, lime juice and grapefruit juice in a shaker.
- Add ice, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a glass of your choice, and top off with grapefruit soda.
- Add a slice of lime into your glass before enjoying!