how to make a paloma

How to Make a Paloma: Impress Your Guests with this Refreshing Tequila Classic

Paloma Cocktail: Impress Your Guests with this Refreshing Tequila Classic

how to make a paloma

Everything You Need to Know About How to Make a Paloma

Imagine this: a warm summer evening, laughter fills the air as you entertain friends and family on your patio. The conversation flows effortlessly, punctuated by clinking glasses and satisfied sighs. You, the gracious host, unveil your latest creation – a pitcher of icy cold Paloma cocktails, their vibrant grapefruit hue a testament to your skills. This, my friend, is the magic of crafting cocktails at home. Not only will you save money compared to expensive bar tabs, but more importantly, you'll create a memorable experience for your loved ones. And the Paloma, a refreshingly simple tequila-based drink, is the perfect place to start.


  • 2 ounces Blanco Tequila (or lightly aged Reposado Tequila for a smoother taste)
  • 3 ounces Grapefruit Soda (such as Jarritos or Squirt)
  • ½ ounce fresh Lime Juice (about half a lime)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Lime Wedge (for garnish)


  • Agave Nectar or Simple Syrup (to adjust sweetness, see Ingredient Substitutions section)
  • Spiced Salt (such as Tajín) for rimming the glass (adds a smoky, chili-lime flavor)
  • Grapefruit Wedge (for garnish, instead of lime)

Why make your own Palomas?

Beyond the social benefits of forging stronger bonds with friends and family while entertaining at home, there's a certain satisfaction in creating delicious drinks from scratch. Using high-quality ingredients allows you to tailor the Paloma to your guests' preferences, making them feel truly special.


how to make a paloma

  1. (Optional) Rim your highball or margarita glass with salt. To do this, rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then dip it into a plate of salt (or spiced salt, if using).
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Squeeze the lime juice directly into the glass.
  4. Add the tequila and grapefruit soda.
  5. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with a lime wedge or grapefruit wedge.

Paloma Recipe Tips:

  • Achieve Balance: The Paloma is all about balance. The sweetness of the grapefruit soda should be complemented by the tartness of the lime juice and the subtle smokiness of the tequila. Adjust the amount of lime juice or add a touch of agave nectar or simple syrup (see Ingredient Substitutions) to achieve your perfect balance.
  • Fresh vs. Soda: While grapefruit soda is the traditional choice, some prefer a drier Paloma made with fresh grapefruit juice. Experiment to see which version you and your guests enjoy most!
  • Spice it Up: Feeling adventurous? Muddle a few fresh mint or jalapeño slices in the bottom of the glass before adding the other ingredients for a unique twist.
  • Chill Factor: For an extra refreshing drink, pre-chill your glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes before assembling your Palomas.

Ingredient Substitutions

how to make a paloma

  • Tequila: Blanco tequila is the classic choice, but a lightly aged reposado tequila can add a touch of smoothness. Avoid añejo tequila, as its strong oaky flavors may overpower the delicate balance of the Paloma.
  • Grapefruit Soda: Can't find Jarritos or Squirt? Any grapefruit soda will work in a pinch. For a more natural flavor, try using sparkling grapefruit juice.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice is always best, but bottled lime juice can be substituted in a pinch.
  • Sweetener: If you prefer a sweeter Paloma or are using fresh grapefruit juice, add a touch of agave nectar or simple syrup to taste. Simple syrup is a one-to-one ratio of sugar and water dissolved over low heat. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener derived from the agave plant.

Serving Suggestions:

The Paloma is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed anytime of day. It's perfect for:

  • Summer Entertaining: The refreshing taste and vibrant color make the Paloma a crowd-pleaser at barbecues, pool parties, or casual get-togethers.
  • Weekend Brunch: Ditch the mimosa and try a Paloma for a unique and flavorful brunch beverage.
  • Anytime Refreshment: The Paloma is a light and easy-drinking cocktail that's perfect for unwinding after a long day.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

    • Calories: 130 (approx.)
    • Carbohydrates: 15g (approx.)
    • Sugar: 12g (approx.)
    • Fat: 0g (approx.)
    • Protein: 0g (approx.)

Disclaimer: These figures are approximate and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


Crafting cocktails at home is a rewarding experience that allows you to impress your guests and create lasting memories. The Paloma, with its simple ingredients and refreshing taste, is the perfect starting point for your mixology journey. So, fire up the blender, grab your favorite highball glasses, and get ready to impress!

Now that you've mastered the Paloma, what other classic cocktails will you conquer next? For those who want to take their home bartending skills to the next level, Barprints offers a comprehensive online bartending course called "Mixology Mastery." This course dives deep into the history, techniques, and recipes behind all your favorite cocktails, empowering you to create applause-worthy classics and develop your signature drinks.

how to make a paloma

So, what are you waiting for? Start mixing, mingling, and making memories with the perfect Paloma!

how to make a paloma