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Close front view of a trio of refreshing pink paloma cocktails with grapefruit garnish

Want to know the secret to making the best Paloma cocktail? Then you’ve come to the right place. We have a classic Paloma recipe and our usual super crafty tips and tricks to help you up the wow factor without breaking a sweat. Cross the border with us to Mexico to discover this iconic cocktail’s history and learn how to make a Paloma drink like a pro. 




If you don’t like a salted rim, add a pinch of salt straight into your Paloma cocktail instead.


Like a bit of heat? Add some chili spice to the salt before rimming the glass.


Make this cocktail in pitchers for bigger parties and let your friends help themselves.



1 Person

1.5 Oz

45 Ml

1.5 Parts

3 Oz

90 Ml

3 Parts

Grapefruit soda
0.75 Oz

22.5 Ml

0.75 Parts

Freshly squeezed lime juice 
Lime wedge for garnish 
Coarse sea salt for garnish  


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Rim a tall glass with lime juice and coarse salt


Fill the glass with ice


Add the tequila


Top with grapefruit soda


Garnish with a fresh wedge of lime

The history of the Paloma cocktail

This epic tequila and grapefruit cooler’s history is a little bit muddled. The most accepted version is that it was created by highly acclaimed bartender, Don Javier Delgado Corona, at La Capilla — a bar in Tequila, Mexico.  

But that was back in 1950 and today you’ll find plenty of variations of the classic Paloma recipe, with modern twists that add different flavors and results.  

Paloma cocktail ingredients

Like most cocktails, we really appreciate the classics, and this one is no different. Learning how to make a Paloma drink couldn’t be easier. With only two components, the Paloma drink ingredients will be easy to remember: grapefruit soda and tequila. Our recipe adds a few extras to elevate it to a whole new flavor level. Ingredients are always the most important part of any recipe, so let’s chat about those first:  

  • Tequila: this is serious business. For the best Paloma cocktail, you want the best tequila. We suggest reaching for a bottle of Espolón Tequila Blanco. This unaged tequila is created with 100% Blue Weber agave, delivering a smooth and balanced taste perfect for cocktail making.
  • Grapefruit soda: This classic Paloma recipe calls for grapefruit soda, which can be a little on the sweet side for some. If you prefer a drink that’s more tart than sweet, we suggest swapping out the grapefruit soda for fresh grapefruit juice, a little sugar syrup and club soda.
  • Fresh lime: the bitter sweetness of the grapefruit juice blends beautifully with the zesty lime and will result in a lovely, zingy cocktail

More serious tequila business: A Beginners Guide to Tequila

Recipe tips and tricks

While the Paloma cocktail is one of the best tequila cocktails for beginners, you can take it to the next level with some handy tips and tricks.  

  • If it’s too sweet: Use fresh grapefruit, soda water and a little simple syrup instead of grapefruit soda. 
  • If it’s too strong: Add more grapefruit soda, or wait for the ice to dilute into the drink. 
  • If you want some spice: add a pinch of chilli powder to your salt mix

You might also like: 12 Easy Grapefruit Cocktails to Try

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To make a traditional Paloma mix together tequila and grapefruit soda.

The best tequila for a Paloma is a Blanco. Or if you want to try something different but equally delicious, use mezcal instead. 

Sweeten your Paloma with either agave nectar or simple syrup. 

The only alcohol in a traditional Paloma is tequila.