Paloma Cocktail Recipe with Fresh Grapefruit

January 15, 2020 (Last Updated: August 12, 2020) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Paloma Cocktail recipe is refreshing, easy, and a great way to celebrate one of the best citrus fruits available. Move over margaritas, because this simple tequila recipe can be put together in just minutes and will knock your socks off with its beautiful flavor. Try this classic drink today.

Two Paloma Cocktail recipes made - one on a white table and the other on a silver platter.

Paloma Cocktail Recipe Summary

There really isn’t much to this drink. We mix up grapefruit juice, a little lime, some sweetener, optionally top it off with a bit of soda water and there you have it. We previously spent quite a bit of time covering the Greyhound cocktail and this is a close cousin that is just as good. I guess what I am trying to say is that I really like grapefruit and booze. If we are kindred spirits and you have the ingredients on hand, this can be yours to make.

What Kind Of Tequila Should I Use?

Whatever you have! That being said, some tequilas are more appropriate and I would look to a young Blanco tequila to do the job for this drink. The good news is that there are some great Blanco tequilas available at great prices. We tend to keep a bottle of Espelon on hand for tequila drinks and if you are building a home bar, consider them as your staple Blanco tequila. If you haven’t read it already, check out this comprehensive tequila article we wrote a while back.

What Kind of Grapefruit Should I Use?

Generally, Pink or Ruby Red are great bets for this Paloma cocktail recipe, but really any kind of grapefruit works well. There are several varieties that can vary in tartness. Because we add sweetener to this cocktail, we will tend to neutralize any pucker from the fruit. Use what you can find, but sweet grapefruits work well in cocktails.

Making Your Own Simple Syrup

Making simple syrup is really as easy as adding equal parts heated water and white sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved into the drink. Put it into a sealable container and keep it in the fridge. At your local liquor store, you would probably be able to find simple syrup on the shelves, but this is one of those things you can make at home and is really easy.

Topping With Soda Water Is Optional

The origin of this drink is with grapefruit soda or probably more likely Squirt. A simple Squirt and tequila recipe might fall under the umbrella of Paloma cocktails and, not gonna lie, would probably taste great. We, however, are making ours with fresh grapefruit and while I don’t feel this needs soda water, nor do I use it in mine, you can top off my recipe with it.

Topping off this cocktail with soda water adds a bit of carbonation and gives it a ‘soda’ feel.

History of the Paloma

I love digging into the history of cocktails and I was going to spend some time on this one, but I found a great page that really digs deep into the history of this drink with multiple sources, including references to the esteemed David Wondrich. Alcademics really puts it together with this Paloma history article I suggest you check out.

Basically, like much in the cocktail and food history realm, there is limited history and a bunch of people giving bad information! Looking through the article, it looks like there are some references to grapefruit and tequila drinks throughout the latter half of the 20th century. Printed recipes don’t start really coming around until the very late 1990s and definitive recipes in the 2000 time frame.

Paloma Cocktail Tips

  • Use what you have for grapefruit, but Pink Grapefruit or Ruby Red Grapefruit Work great!
  • Make your own simple syrup to save money. It is SUPER easy.
  • Blanco Tequila for the win.

Overhead view of Paloma cocktail and a little bit of a silver platter, showing.

Products Used In This Recipe

Did you make this cocktail and like it? Awesome! Let me know in the comments section below how it went and give it a rating. Of course, I would love you to share it on Pinterest and on Facebook, but mostly thanks for giving a visit. If you want to get more from me, sign up to get updates via email on this page.


Paloma Cocktail Recipe with Fresh Grapefruit

Two Paloma Cocktails ready for drinking

A simple and tasty tequila recipe that highlights grapefruit. This Paloma classic cocktail hits the spot whether you are drinking it in the Winter when grapefruit is in season, or trying to find a unique Summertime sipper.

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • 2 Ounces Blanco Tequila
  • 4 Ounces fresh Grapefruit Juice
  •  1.5 Ounces fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 Ounce Simple Syrup
  • Grapefruit or lime peel for garnish (optional)
  • Soda Water, to top (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients (minus garnish) to an ice filled shaker.
  2. Mix with mixing spoon for 15 seconds.
  3. Strain into ice-filled highball glass
  4. If needed, top off with soda water.
  5. Garnish with Grapefruit or lime peel.


  • Use what you have for grapefruit, but Pink Grapefruit or Ruby Red Grapefruit Work great!
  • Make your own simple syrup to save money. It is SUPER easy.
  • Blanco Tequila for the win.


  • Serving Size: 1 Drink
  • Calories: 259 Calories
  • Sugar: 32 g
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Paloma

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  • Reply
    Sandhya Ramakrishnan
    January 16, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    That color is literally wanting me to make a glass right now! This is just perfect for entertaining or for a date night. I now know what I will be serving on Valentine’s day.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 8:10 am

    I absolutely love this cocktail. Love grapefruit and lime together. Sounds so refreshing and summery. I need to give this a try soon.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Fresh grapefruit is amazing in this recipe! I love the flavor of a ruby!

    • Reply
      January 17, 2020 at 11:14 am

      I need a little sweetener with my grapefruit and this drink brings it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cheese Curd In Paradise
    January 17, 2020 at 10:27 am

    This is one of my all-time favorite drinks! I love grapefruit and it is so yummy and refreshing with the lime. The color is just beautiful too!

    • Reply
      January 17, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Thank you so much and I do love this drink.

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