The paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail starring smooth tequila and sweet-tart grapefruit soda. This simple recipe makes a citrusy cocktail that is perfectly refreshing. ¡Salud!
Paloma Recipe photo by Taste of Home

When you think of Mexican cocktails, you likely envision classic lime margaritas. However, the paloma, which is Spanish for dove, might be even more popular than the margarita in Mexico.

Made with tequila, grapefruit soda and lime juice, our paloma recipe boasts a sweet and zesty flavor with a smooth finish. Best of all—it’s a snap to make.


Step 1: Salt the rim

Gently moisten the rim of a lowball or rocks 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 up the drink

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

Step 3: Garnish

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

Paloma Tips

Where do you find grapefruit soda?

Two of the easiest grapefruit sodas to find are Fresca (the original flavor is grapefruit) and Jarritos, often found in the ethnic foods aisle. Other brands to try: Izze, Sanpellegrino, Ting and Whole Foods’ pink grapefruit.

What food goes well with a paloma?

Palomas pair well with most authentic Mexican recipes. The drink will cut through the richness of meaty dishes like chili verde, barbacoa and flautas. Palomas are also terrific with homemade chips and guacamole.

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.


Soon after I learned about this cocktail, I brought the ingredients to a family dinner at my parents'. The next time we got together, my dad had the fixings set out and ready to go. —Ian Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Paloma Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 5 min.


1 serving


  • Dash salt
  • 1-1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit soda or sparkling peach citrus soda
  • Lime wedge


  1. In a highball glass filled with ice, combine salt, tequila and lime juice. Top with soda. Garnish with lime.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 148 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 163mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.