One of my favorite Tequila drinks, cool, refreshing, and a little bitter. I make the Paloma cocktail with fresh grapefruit and lime juice, Tequila, and a splash of club soda. Served in a highball glass with the rim salted or not. This Tequila cocktail is perfect for a hot Texas or Mexican summer. And with only 180 calories, it is a great alternative to the high-calorie, super sugary Margarita. Actually, I think the Paloma is more popular in Mexico than the Margarita.
The Paloma cocktail was originally made with grapefruit-flavored soda called Jarrito’s. It’s really good, but you can’t get Jarrito’s soda everywhere. So, I make my recipe with real grapefruit juice and club soda to give it a little fizz.
The Paloma cocktail is an International Bartenders Association cocktail (The IBA). For the “official” recipe, they do not salt the rim of the glass, rather, they add a pinch of salt to the drink itself. If I’m drinking it out by the swimming pool in a plastic cup, I’m not salting the rim, lol.
The Paloma cocktail is closely related to the vodka drinks; The Salty Dog (with salt) and The Greyhound (without salt). The only difference is they are made with vodka, whereas the Paloma is made with Tequila or Mezcal.
- Tequila: No good ever came from a bottle of cheap Tequila! A good quality Tequila is always a must no matter what the cocktail. I always prefer Anejo (aged) tequila, however, a good reposado is excellent as well.
- Campari: Campari is an Italian liqueur that has a slightly bitter grapefruit taste and a beautiful color. It is a great addition to the traditional Paloma recipe both for the flavor and the color.
- Lime Juice: The lime adds a nice brightness to the grapefruit juice and gives the Paloma that little extra something. ½ of lime is the perfect amount.
- Grapefruit Juice or Soda: I like the Paloma made with both. If you can get Jarrito’s soda, it’s the best for this cocktail. Otherwise, I love the combination of real grapefruit juice and club soda. It goes great with the Tequila shot.
- Salt: The official IBA recipe has a pinch of salt on the Paloma, however, many people rim the glass with salt as an alternative. Or you can omit the salt altogether, the choice is yours. I like the Paloma with or without salt, you should try it both ways and decide for yourself.
Here is my Paloma cocktail recipe
The Paloma Cocktail
- 2 Ounces Tequila
- 1 Ounce Campari
- 3-4 Ounces Grapefruit Juice
- 2 Ounces Club Soda Optional
- 1/2 Lime Juice Only
- Pinch Salt
- Lime Wedge
- Grapefruit Slice
- Combine all ingredients and serve on the rocks in a highball glass