Zesty Paloma Cocktail Recipe

You've heard of sweet cocktails, and you've heard of dry ones, but what about a zesty cocktail? With this Paloma recipe, courtesy of developer Ting Dalton, you can enjoy a zesty tequila-infused cocktail that is not to be mistaken for a margarita. Of course, a fondness for margaritas does typically mean that you'll also enjoy this cocktail, especially if you ask Dalton herself. "If you love margaritas, then you have to try a Paloma cocktail," she explains. "Zesty, refreshing, and really delicious, this drink is perfect as an aperitif or for summer parties or barbecues."

While limes help provide that zesty flavor, the grapefruit juice also adds a citrusy kick, and that's what really makes a Paloma, well, a Paloma. The cocktail is essentially a grapefruit and tequila soda, and it is as refreshing as it sounds. The addition of lime complements the grapefruit perfectly, and the agave nectar helps break up any overtly sour flavors for a smooth and incredibly enjoyable cocktail.  

Gather your zesty Paloma ingredients

Since it is the key ingredient, you'll obviously need tequila to make a Paloma, along with grapefruit juice to keep it classic. "To make this quick and easy, I use store-bought grapefruit juice. But if you have the time, you could juice [fresh] grapefruit," Dalton says. 

For added zest, you'll need fresh lime juice, and you may even want to slice some up and use the wedges as a garnish. The cocktail also requires some agave syrup for a touch of sweetness (Dalton notes that you could use honey instead), soda water, crushed ice for serving, and sea salt to rim the glass and pack an extra flavor punch. 

Rim the glass with salt

To add the salty rim, sprinkle sea salt onto a small plate, then rub a lime wedge around the edge of your serving glass. Next, press the juiced-up rim into the salt, rotating it to ensure the entire rim gets some of that salty goodness. 

"If you don't want salt rim your glass, you can leave that [out]," Dalton notes. "But the added saltiness with the zesty citrus really is a fantastic combination of sour notes and the sweetness of the agave." So, a salt rim isn't purely necessary here, but it sure does taste good!

Build the Paloma cocktail

You don't need a cocktail shaker to make a Paloma — all you need is the glass you'll be serving it in and a spoon for stirring. Into that salt-rimmed glass, pour the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave nectar, then give it all a stir. Add in the crushed ice, and fill the glass up the rest of the way with soda water. 

Garnish with a lime wedge and serve

For one final hit of zesty goodness, go ahead and garnish your Paloma with a lime wedge. Then, you're ready to sip on and enjoy this cocktail. Though the refreshing nature of the Paloma makes it an ideal summertime drink, you can certainly enjoy it in any season. Serve up these easy Palomas during the appetizer course at your next dinner party, and guests will relish the zesty and citrusy flavors. 

Zesty Paloma Cocktail Recipe
5 from 19 ratings
The Paloma is a simple and zesty tequila cocktail featuring lime and grapefruit. Discover how to make this popular drink from scratch in just a few minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Paloma cocktails with lime wedges
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 ½ ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ ounce agave nectar
  • soda water, for serving
Optional Ingredients
  • sea salt, for rimming glass
  • sliced limes or wheels, for garnish
  1. If you like, salt the rim of the glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of sea salt.
  2. Pour the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave nectar into the glass, and stir well. Fill the remainder of the glass with soda water and ice.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Calories per Serving 167
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 15.7 g
Sodium 101.1 mg
Protein 0.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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