Classic Paloma Cocktail

paloma cocktail horizontal
Amanda Gryphon

Though the margarita has become a staple of American bars, the margarita's pink-hued cousin, the Paloma, is heralded by many in Mexico as the better cocktail. It is beloved not just for its bittersweet, citrusy grapefruit flavor but also for its simplicity. Not counting ice, all you need is 4 ingredients: tequila, lime juice, salt and grapefruit soda. It's endlessly drinkable and the perfect addition to a spicy dish or a day at the beach. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when making this delicious Mexican classic:

What type of soda should I use?

Any grapefruit soda is perfect but if you can find it, but for a more traditional version we recommend Squirt. The soda was introduced to the Mexican market in the 1950's and is believed by many to be the original soda used in this cocktail.

What if I can't find grapefruit soda?

You can easily sub in equal parts grapefruit juice and club soda. If you're missing some of the sweetness, add a couple bar spoons (about 2 teaspoons) of simple syrup.

Why a pinch of salt?

While it already has a salted rim, having that extra bit of salt in the drink itself helps to brighten the flavor of the grapefruit and lime.

Tried making this classic? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

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Yields: 1
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 hours 0 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 5 mins
2 oz.



lime, plus a wheel for garnish

Grapefruit soda

Kosher salt

  1. Pour salt into a small plate. Rim a Collins glass with lime then roll in salt, turning to coat. 
  2. Fill glass with ice. Add tequila, juice of the lime, and a pinch of salt into the glass. Top with grapefruit soda and stir slightly with a bar spoon. 
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel before serving.

Amanda Gryphon
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