Paloma Tequila Cocktail

Paloma Cocktail
The Spruce
  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

For a refreshing, thirst-quenching tequila cocktail, the paloma is definitely at the top of the list. It's a light, fruity drink with a great fizz and one of the smoothest tequila drinks you can mix. A favorite in Mexico, it's fitting that the drink takes its name from the Spanish word for "dove." It's a true classic in the tequila world, and countless drinkers agree that it's one of the best.

Though there are variations, two elements are essential in any paloma recipe: tequila and grapefruit. It's a beautiful match and the two ingredients were made to be enjoyed together. Traditionally, grapefruit soda is used, and Jarritos is the most popular brand available (their grapefruit is labeled Toronja). It's not too hard to find this Mexican soda, especially if you look at markets that sell international food or shop online.


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Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients

    Ingredients for Paloma Cocktail
    ​The Spruce
  2. If desired, rim a collins glass with salt. Begin by wetting the rim with a lime wedge, then roll it in a small dish of salt.

  3. Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lime juice.

  4. Top it off with grapefruit soda and enjoy!

    Paloma cocktail with lime wedge
     The Spruce


  • If you cannot find Jarritos, Squirt is the other grapefruit soda of choice, and it is everywhere. The paloma is also excellent with the grapefruit sodas from boutique brands like Q Drinks.
  • Choose a great blanco tequila. If you're in the mood to splurge, reposados are nice, as well. Just make sure that you fight the temptation to play the cheapskate simply because this is a tall drink. The same quality rules you apply to the margarita should carry over to the paloma.
  • The average lime yields between 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce of juice, so a large lime can create two drinks. To increase the yield, let cold limes reach room temperature. You can also apply firm pressure while rolling the fruit under the palm of your hand on the cutting board.

Recipe Variations

  • No grapefruit soda? Pour 2 ounces of grapefruit juice instead and give it sparkle by filling the glass with club soda.
  • Once you learn to love the paloma, you will want to get a taste of the cantarito. That drink is just as refreshing; it simply builds on the citrus flavor.

How Strong Is the Paloma?

Your paloma can be as strong or as weak as you choose to make it, it all depends on how much soda you pour. Generally, this tall drink is a mild 10 percent ABV (20 proof). That makes this equal to the average glass of wine, so enjoy and salud!