How To Make The Best Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

Learn how to make the best Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail with this 5-minute recipe! This refreshing, zesty, tequila-based cocktail is a classic Mexican drink perfect for your next summer get-together! The tangy grapefruit flavor pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the simple syrup, making it the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day!

Grapefruit paloma in a salt rimmed glass garnished with grapefruit and lime wedges.

The Grapefruit Paloma, a zesty twist on Mexico’s classic Paloma, blends grapefruit and lime juices with tequila, simple syrup, and club soda for a vibrant cocktail.

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for sipping on a hot day or pairing it with a spicy Mexican meal. It’s also an excellent option for entertaining guests, as it’s easy to make and looks impressive!

Like our Strawberry Margarita, Strawberry Moscow Mule, and Blackberry Mojito, you just need to shake it up or mix it in a glass.

Want it in mocktail form? Make this Grapefruit Paloma Mocktail instead!

๐Ÿ’— Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Delicious and refreshing: This cocktail is super refreshing and perfect for those warmer months.
  • Easy to make: It’s incredibly easy to make and can be made in 5 minutes with just a few simple ingredients you likely already have.
  • Customizable: The Grapefruit Paloma is a customizable cocktail that you can adjust to your personal preferences by varying the amount of grapefruit juice, tequila, and simple syrup used.
  • Perfectly balanced: This cocktail has a perfectly balanced flavor, with tangy and tart fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, lime juice, and a kick of tequila.
  • Impressive for entertaining: The salt-rimmed glasses and attractive garnishes make the Grapefruit Paloma an impressive and sophisticated drink to serve at your next summer gathering.

๐ŸงŠ Ingredient Notes + Substitutions

This recipe can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients you likely already have.

The ingredients for the paloma placed on a wooden table.
  • Tequila: I love a great Blanco tequila – which is perfect for this recipe – I used 1800 Blanco tequila.
  • Grapefruit juice: I used store-bought grapefruit juice, but you can use fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice for even better flavor.
  • Simple syrup: I used my homemade simple syrup made of a 1:1 mixture of water to sugar. You can also use honey or agave nectar. Adjust the sweetness of the cocktail by adding more or less sweetener.
  • Club soda: I used club soda, but you could also use sparkling water, soda water, or Topo Chico – a brand of sparkling mineral water from Mexico. You can also use Grapefruit soda if you can find it.

See the recipe card for quantities and a full list of ingredients.

๐Ÿ“– How To Make The Best Grapefruit Paloma

First, grab your favorite glass. It can be a highball glass, old-fashioned glass, or tumbler glass. Begin by rubbing the rim of the glass with a wedge of grapefruit and dipping it in a shallow dish of kosher salt, coarse sea salt, pink salt, or cane sugar.

A rim of a glass being moistened with half a grapefruit.
A glass with the moistened rim being dipped in a small plate of salt.

Fill your glass with ice cubes.

In a cocktail shaker or glass, combine 2 oz. of tequila blanco, 2 oz. of fresh grapefruit juice, 1 oz. of fresh lime juice, and 1 oz. of simple syrup. Cover and shake for approximately 30 seconds.

The grapefruit juice being added to a cocktail shaker.
The tequila being added to the cocktail shaker.

Strain the mixture into your salt-rimmed glass.

Add the club soda or sparkling water and stir gently. You just want to add a splash of club soda to add some fizz and bring the grapefruit cocktail to the rim.

The paloma being poured into a glass with ice.
The club soda being poured into the glass.

Garnish your cocktail with a grapefruit wedge, lime wedge, or a slice of lime.

Grapefruit paloma in a salt rimmed glass garnished with grapefruit and lime wedges.

๐Ÿน Can I make this recipe in advance for a party?

Yes, you can definitely make the Grapefruit Paloma in advance for a party. The cocktail can be mixed, stored in a large pitcher in the refrigerator, and poured over ice before serving. When making the cocktail in advance, it’s best to leave out the ice and the carbonated soda until just before serving. This will help prevent the cocktail from being watered down or losing its carbonation.

You can also prepare the salt rim in advance by rubbing a wedge of grapefruit around the rim of each glass, dipping the glasses into a plate of salt, and setting aside until ready to use.

๐Ÿ’ญ Expert Tips

  • Use fresh grapefruit juice and freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass in the freezer for a few minutes before making the cocktail to keep it cold.
  • For a sweeter cocktail, add more simple syrup.
  • For a spicier kick, add jalapeรฑo slices to the cocktail.
  • Serve and enjoy immediately!
  • Drink responsibly and have a designated driver or call a cab if you plan on drinking more than one.

๐Ÿงพ Recipe FAQs

What is a Paloma cocktail?

A Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail traditionally made with grapefruit soda, fresh lime juice, and a pinch of salt. It’s one of Mexico’s most popular cocktails and is known for its refreshing grapefruit flavor.

What’s the difference between a Paloma and a Margarita?ย 

While both cocktails are made with tequila, the Paloma is a bit sweeter and has a more pronounced grapefruit flavor, while the Margarita is typically made with orange liqueur and has a stronger lime flavor.

Can I make a large pitcher of Paloma?ย 

Yes, you can! Simply multiply the recipe by the number of servings you want to make, and mix everything together in a large pitcher.

What type of tequila should I use in this recipe?

A good quality Blanco tequila (Silver tequila) is recommended for this recipe. I recommend you avoid using aged tequilas as they can affect the flavor of the cocktail.

Can I make this recipe without alcohol?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of this recipe by substituting the tequila with grapefruit juice, lime juice, or soda water.

The grapefruit paloma in a highball glass with a lime wheel.

If you tried this Grapefruit Paloma recipe or any other recipe on our website, please leave a star rating ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ and let us know how it went in the ๐Ÿ“ comments below. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

How To Make The Best Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

A grapefruit paloma in a stemless wine glass, garnished with a lime wheel and grapefruit wedge.
Learn how to make the best Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail with this 5-minute recipe! This refreshing, zesty, tequila-based cocktail is a classic Mexican drink perfect for your next summer get-together! The tangy grapefruit flavor pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the simple syrup, making it the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day!
Author: Jeri Walker
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving

Equipment

  • Cocktail shaker or glass

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup or agave syrup (see Note 1)
  • 1ยฝ ounces club soda or soda water
  • coarse salt for the rim
  • grapefruit wedges and lime slices for garnish optional

Instructions

  • Moisten the rim of the glass with a grapefruit slice and dip the rim in a shallow dish with salt.
    coarse salt for the rim
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes.
    1 cup ice cubes
  • In a cocktail shaker, add a handful of ice, tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Cover and shake for approximately 30 seconds. If you do not have a cocktail shaker you can add the ingredients directly to a glass.
    2 ounces grapefruit juice, 2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 2 ounces simple syrup
  • Strain the mixture into your salt-rimmed glass.
  • Add the club soda or sparkling water to the glass and stir gently.
    1ยฝ ounces club soda
  • Garnish your cocktail with a grapefruit wedge, lime wedge, or a slice of lime.
    grapefruit wedges and lime slices for garnish

Notes

Nutritional information is approximate and is meant as a guideline only.
  1. Simple syrup: Mix together ยฝ cup of granulated sugar and ยฝ cup of water in a small saucepan. Heat over low-medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Let cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If you plan on mixing lots of drinks, double or triple the amounts.
Expert Tips:
  • Use fresh grapefruit juice and freshly squeezed lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass in the freezer for a few minutes before making the cocktail to keep it cold.
  • For a sweeter cocktail, add more simple syrup.
  • For a spicier kick, add jalapeรฑo slices to the cocktail.
  • Drink responsibly or have a designated driver.

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