This Paloma recipe is the best one out there! It strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart and is the ideal year-round sipper. The cocktail is simple to make and even easier to memorize, so you’re never too far from a fresh and impressive cocktail!

Paloma Cocktail Ingredients

Grapefruit juice: this Paloma recipe is best when made with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. If grapefruit is out of season or you can’t find any, bottled grapefruit juice will work in a pinch. In the case of using bottled grapefruit juice, make sure the ingredient lists just grapefruit juice, and purchase the juice from the refrigerated section.

Tequila: we like to use tequila blanco to make a paloma. It’s clean and smooth in flavor—perfect for highlighting the combination of citrus juices. As we always say, the “best” liquor to use in cocktails is one you enjoy. Our go-to tequila is either Cazadores or Don Julio.

Lime juice: fresh squeezed lime juice is key to a good margarita! To get the most out of your limes, look for limes that have a smooth skin and are slightly soft when squeezed.

Agave Syrup: use light agave or blue agave syrup. Avoid dark agave syrup as it will add too deep of a flavor.

Soda water: just a splash right before serving adds a nice effervescence and dilutes the cocktail just enough.

paloma cocktail in a glass rimmed with red spice set on a blue counter

3 Simple Steps to Make a Paloma

  1. Rim the cocktail glasses with either kosher salt or Tajin. Fill with ice and set aside.
  2. Shake the citrus juices, tequila, and agave in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Strain the cocktail into the glasses then top with club soda and a grapefruit wedge.

Tips for Making the Best Cocktail

  • If you don’t want to use fresh grapefruit juice, you can use bottled or even grapefruit soda. We like to use Jarritos.
  • If you like a smoky cocktail, try making this cocktail with mezcal instead of tequila.
  • Instead of using agave, sweeten the cocktail with an infused simple syrup. We like to use the sage simple syrup from the recipe notes of our Mezcal Margarita.

More Tequila Recipes to Try

Our Mezcal Margarita is the perfect balance of smoky and tart.

If you love our Mezcal Margarita, try our Spicy Mezcal Margarita—flavored with pineapple, cilantro and jalapeno.

Or keep it classic with a Tommy’s Margarita. You only need 3 ingredients—tequila, lime and agave!

When apples and apple cider is in season, try our Apple Cider Margarita!

One of our favorite margaritas is this Italian Margarita. It’s made with a trio of citrus juices and a splash of amaretto. It’s deliciously addictive for sure!

Paloma Recipe

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 2 cocktails
Category Cocktails / Drinks
Cuisine Mexican/ American


A classic recipe for one of the most popular tequila drinks—the paloma! Made with grapefruit juice and lime, this cocktail is sweet, tart and refreshing.


  • 4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 4 ounces tequila blanco
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce agave syrup
  • 1 ounce soda water
  • kosher salt or Tajin, and grapefruit wedge, for garnish


  • Run a grapefruit wedge around rim of two rocks glass. Dip rims of glasses in salt or tajin to coat. Fill glasses with ice.
  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 4 ounces grapefruit juice, 4 ounces tequila, 1 ounce lime juice, and 1 ounce agave.
  • Secure lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds.
  • Strain Paloma over ice into glasses. Top with 1 ounce club soda.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and serve.


Fresh citrus juice is always best for cocktails! In a pinch, you can use bottled fresh grapefruit juice. Just make sure the only ingredient is grapefruit juice (no other fruit juices). 


Serving: 1 cocktailCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 20gSugar: 19g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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