How to Make a Paloma Cocktail—the Tequila Drink You Never Knew You Needed

The Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail starring smooth tequila and sweet-tart grapefruit soda. This simple Paloma recipe makes a fruity pink drink that's perfect for Cinco de Mayo. ¡Salud!

When you think of Mexican cocktails, you likely envision classic lime margaritas. However, the Paloma, which is Spanish for dove, might even be more popular than the margarita in Mexico. Made with tequila, grapefruit soda and lime juice, the Paloma boasts a sweet and zesty flavor with a smooth finish. Best of all—it’s a snap to make.

How to Make a Paloma Cocktail

Palomas pair well with traditional Mexican dishes like spicy pork and green chili verde and appetizers like tortilla chips and guacamole. Make a batch at your next party for guests to sip on!

What You’ll Need

  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1-1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit soda (Some of our favorites are IZZE, Fresca, Jarritos and San Pellegrino.)
  • Lime wedge

Step 1: Rim the Glass

Gently moisten the rim of a highball glass with water or fresh lime juice. Pour a bit of the sea salt onto a flat, clean surface (such as a plate or cutting board). Dip the glass into the salt lip-side-down to evenly coat the rim in salt—just the same as you’d do for a margarita.

Step 2: Shake and Pour

Add a few ice cubes to the glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine a dash of salt, the tequila and lime juice. Pour the drink into the glass, then slowly top with the grapefruit soda.

Step 3: Top It Off

Garnish with a lime wedge and a light sprinkling of more salt, if desired.

Of course, knowing how to make a Paloma doesn’t stop us from wanting to make a margarita, too. Here’s our simple recipe for margaritas on the rocks or blended.

If you’re looking to brush up on more bartender skills, our collection of surprisingly good mixed drinks will put your technique to the test.

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Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.