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How to Make a Paloma Drink: 6 Refreshing Varieties


Paloma cocktail at bar

As you browse your cocktail cabinet, eyeing the tequila, consider this: a tart and fizzy paloma. The paloma is a sweet-tart grapefruit drink you build right in the glass with absolutely zero shaking required. Better yet, there are several ways to make a paloma so you can enjoy one for any craving or season. While a few of the spinoffs require shaking, you won’t care after you give them a try.

How to Make a Paloma Drink

Make this classic bitter yet sweet and fizzy tequila grapefruit paloma in all of its glory.

traditional paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In prepared glass, add ice, tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.
  4. Stir to mix.
  5. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  6. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

Hibiscus Paloma

Take the time to infuse your tequila with hibiscus to craft this riff of a red macaw paloma. You can cut down the waiting time by making a hibiscus simple syrup so you don’t have to wait for tequila to infuse. This cocktail mixes the ingredients a little easier in a shaker, but you can still build this in a glass.

Hibiscus Paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and sugar for rim
  • 2 ounces hibiscus-infused tequila
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, hibiscus tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, and grapefruit juice.
  4. Strain into prepared glass.
  5. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  6. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig.

Mezcal Paloma

Give the Paloma a bit more complexity and depth by swapping the silver tequila for a rich, smokey mezcal.

Mezcal Paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit wedge and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, mezcal, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig and grapefruit wedge.

Rosemary Paloma

Rosemary’s rich flavor plays so well with the grapefruit and tequila flavors. Go ahead and muddle fresh rosemary if you don’t have the time or any rosemary simple syrup on hand.

Rosemary Paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 1½ ounces silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Rosemary sprig, grapefruit slice, and lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, rosemary simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  7. Garnish with rosemary sprig, grapefruit slice, and lime wheel.

Italian Paloma

An Italian paloma may not sound or look familiar, but there’s a good chance you’re well acquainted with all of its parts, from the tequila to Campari. It’s almost like a tequila Negroni, but in an excellent disguise.

Italian Paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounce silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce Campari
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, silver tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  5. Garnish with grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig.

Aperol Paloma

Sometimes called a paloma spritzer, the sweetened bitter of the Aperol with its citrus and rhubarb flavors gives a familiar cocktail a new spin.

Aperol rosemary grapefruit Paloma cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • 1¼ ounces freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce honey
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, Aperol, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and honey.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  5. Garnish with grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig.

A Paloma for Peace

The translation of paloma, dove, is a sure sign from that universe of what this drink brings: peace, freedom, and a delicious cocktail. There’s no arguing that you don’t deserve that.

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