The Paloma is a refreshing and delightful cocktail that originated in Mexico. It is the perfect balance between the tartness of grapefruit and the sweetness of lime, with a hint of fizz from sparkling water or soda. Traditionally made with tequila, this cocktail has gained popularity around the world for its simplicity and incredible flavor. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make the Paloma in the simplest way possible, ensuring you can enjoy this delicious drink in no time.


To make a Paloma, you will need the following ingredients:
– 2 ounces of tequila
– 4 ounces of grapefruit soda (such as Jarritos or Squirt)
– Juice of half a lime
– A pinch of salt
– Ice cubes

Choosing the Tequila

The choice of tequila can greatly influence the taste of your Paloma. It is recommended to use a high-quality blanco or silver tequila, as they have a smooth and clean flavor profile that pairs well with the other ingredients. Reposado or añejo tequilas can also be used for a more complex and aged taste, but they may alter the original character of the cocktail.

Opting for Grapefruit Soda

Grapefruit soda is a key ingredient in the Paloma and provides the perfect balance of sweetness and grapefruit flavor. Jarritos and Squirt are popular choices in Mexico, but if you can’t find them, you can substitute with grapefruit-flavored sparkling water or soda. Avoid using grapefruit juice alone, as it lacks the effervescence and sweetness needed for an authentic Paloma experience.


Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, follow these simple steps to make a Paloma:

Step 1: Rim the Glass (Optional)

To add a touch of flavor and presentation, you can rim the glass with salt or Tajin seasoning. Simply rub a lime wedge around the rim of a highball glass, then dip the rim into a shallow plate containing salt or Tajin. This step is purely optional and can be skipped if you prefer a plain rim.

Step 2: Combine Tequila and Lime Juice

In a shaker or a mixing glass, pour 2 ounces of tequila and squeeze the juice of half a lime. If you like your Paloma more tart, you can add the juice of a full lime. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors, then stir or gently shake the mixture to combine the ingredients.

Step 3: Add Ice and Grapefruit Soda

Fill the rimmed highball glass with ice cubes and pour the tequila-lime mixture over the ice. Top it off with 4 ounces of grapefruit soda. The grapefruit soda should be added last to maintain its carbonation and fizziness. Give the cocktail a gentle stir to ensure all the flavors blend together.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve

To elevate the presentation, you can garnish your Paloma with a lime wheel, grapefruit peel, or a sprig of fresh mint. The garnish is not only visually appealing but can also enhance the aroma of the cocktail. Once you’ve added the desired garnish, serve the Paloma immediately and enjoy its refreshing flavors.


While the classic Paloma recipe is simple and boasts a timeless flavor combination, there are several variations you can explore to suit your preferences. Here are a few popular variations:

Spicy Paloma

If you enjoy a bit of heat in your cocktail, you can add a spicy twist to the Paloma by muddling a slice of jalapeno or adding a few dashes of hot sauce to the tequila-lime mixture before adding the soda. The spiciness will complement the grapefruit and lime, adding an exciting kick to the cocktail.

Mezcal Paloma

For those craving a smoky twist, substitute the tequila with mezcal. Mezcal, often made from the agave plant, has a distinctive smoky flavor that combines beautifully with the grapefruit and lime. The Mezcal Paloma adds a unique depth to the cocktail, creating a more complex and adventurous drinking experience.

The Paloma is a simple yet marvelous cocktail that showcases the vibrant flavors of Mexico. With just a few ingredients and easy steps, you can create a refreshing and zesty drink that will transport you to a sunny beach or a lively cantina. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the variations, the Paloma is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering or a delightful sip for your personal relaxation. So, shake, stir, and savor this fabulous cocktail that has become a global favorite. Cheers!