Home » Recipes » Drinks » Cocktails » Paloma Cocktail

Paloma Cocktail

The Paloma cocktail is super refreshing, with fresh grapefruit and lime juices, tequila, and sparkling water. Serve it over ice in a salt-rimmed glass, and you’ve got yourself an awesome thirst-quenching tequila cocktail!

paloma cocktail in a salt-rimmed glass with fresh grapefruit

Refreshing Paloma Cocktail

I love a good margarita. If you’ve hung around me in person or here on the blog for awhile, it’s pretty obvious. Just peruse the cocktails here and you’ll see what I mean. I am definitely a fan of tequila and fresh lime!

But do you know about the Paloma? It’s similar to a margarita, but this drink gives the starring role to fresh grapefruit juice.

The Paloma cocktail is super refreshing, with fresh grapefruit and lime juices, tequila, and sparkling water. Serve it over ice in a salt-rimmed glass, and you’ve got yourself an awesome thirst-quenching tequila cocktail!

If you love the sound of a grapefruit cocktail, but aren’t a fan of tequila, be sure to check out this Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail. It’s one of my favorite cocktails for entertaining!

2 glasses of paloma drink

What Is A Paloma?

The paloma is a favorite drink in Mexico…because all that tequila, right?!

Many people think that paloma means “grapefruit” in Spanish, but that is not correct. Paloma is the Spanish word for “dove”.

In its most traditional form, a paloma drink is made of only two ingredients – tequila and grapefruit soda (such as Squirt). But I reeeeeeeally like to use fresh grapefruit and lime juices, so I’m going to share how I make my favorite paloma at home.

fresh lime and grapefruit, bottles of tequila and mineral water, and a jar of simple syrup

Ingredients – What’s In A Paloma

After enjoying a week in Mexico a few years ago, with palomas by the pool…well, I knew I needed to recreate that drink back home. A clerk at a local MN wine store shared with me how he makes palomas. He said,

“Where I come from (Mexico), we use real grapefruit and lime juices, tequila, and Topo Chico mineral water – and if someone wants theirs a little sweeter, just add some simple syrup.”

So that’s how I’ve been making my palomas ever since!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • blanco tequila – This refreshing sipper deserves a light, clean tequila. A good quality blanco (or silver) tequila is perfect.
  • fresh grapefruit juice – Only use freshly squeezed, please! In a pinch, look for 100% grapefruit juice “not from concentrate”, usually in the refrigerated juices section of the grocery store.
  • fresh lime juice – Again, no concentrates. Freshly squeezed juice will give you the best tart drink!
  • sparkling water – I like Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, but you could use any plain sparkling water.
  • simple syrup – Add as little or as much as you like, to balance out the tartness of grapefruit and lime.
  • lime wedge & coarse salt – For rimming the glass. And then drop the lime wedge in for garnish right before serving!
  • ice – When I drink this simple cocktail, I want it COLD!!
paloma cocktails, fresh grapefruit, and bottles of mineral water and tequila

How To Make A Paloma

This is a really easy cocktail to make at home. It’s a perfect sipper for a hot summer’s evening in the back yard with friends.

Here’s how I make it:

  1. Salt the rim of a glass. (Scroll down to see how to do this.)
  2. Add the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, sparkling water, and simple syrup.
  3. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice and give the drink a quick stir.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.
  5. ENJOY!
dipping rims of glasses into coarse salt

How To Make A Salted Rim

It’s super easy to make those fancy-looking salted rims, and they taste awesome with palomas and margaritas!

Simply run the cut side of a lime wedge around the rim of your glass. Then dip the wet rim into the course salt, straight down and then straight back up. Do not twist the glass in the salt, or you risk losing some of the granules that are already attached.

For the salt, use course kosher salt or any specialty margarita salts. I have this inexpensive margarita salt, in its own dipping dish with sealable lid, and it works great. And I was given this bamboo bar rimmer (in the photo above) as a gift, which is extra lovely when entertaining.

What Is The Best Tequila For Paloma Cocktails?

Grab a good quality blanco (or “silver”) tequila for the best palomas. This type is not aged and will give your cocktail a clean, fresh flavor.

As far as specific brands go, Patrón Silver is the crowd-pleaser of the bunch. I like to keep a bottle on hand, but it is on the pricier side. A less pricy option, with a cool label to boot, is Espolòn Blanco. I also like Don Diego Santa. 1800 Tequila Silver is another smooth, safe bet.

Tips For The Best Paloma

There are many ways you can adjust this cocktail, so it fits you perfectly!

Tequila: For a deeper tequila flavor, try an aged tequila.

Grapefruit juice: If you REALLY like this citrus fruit, and want to taste it a whole lot, then just add more.

Lime juice: To add more bright, tart flavor, squeeze in some extra lime. This is me, every single time, for every single paloma or margarita. I LOVE lime!

Sparkling water: Add more to your drink if you like a little extra bubbles, or to simply make a larger, more diluted cocktail.

Simple syrup: Add more if you like more sweetness, less if you like things tart. You could also swap out simple syrup for agave nectar or a bit of honey.

Salted rim: Of course a salted rim is optional – the drink will still be good without it. If the salt doesn’t bring you joy, just skip it!

Like this tequila grapefruit drink? Save it to Pinterest!

Pinterest image for Paloma Cocktail Recipe

More Of My Favorite Tequila Recipes:

2 glasses of paloma cocktail


Yield: 1 drink
prep time: 10 minutes
total time: 10 minutes
The Paloma cocktail is tart, a little sweet, and super refreshing – made with fresh grapefruit and lime juices, tequila, and sparkling water. A great summer thirst-quencher!
5 Stars (1 Review)



  • To salt the rim of the glass, rub the lime wedge around the rim. Then dip the rim into a small plate of salt.
  • Add tequila, grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, and simple syrup to the glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with ice. Squeeze the lime wedge over the top and then add it to the drink as garnish. Adjust sweetness/tartness to taste with additional simple syrup or lime juice if desired.


from a farmgirl’s dabbles

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 202kcal Carbohydrates: 21g Protein: 1g Sodium: 13mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 8g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!
2 glasses of paloma cocktail

get new posts via email:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:

1 thought on “Paloma Cocktail”