This delicious tequila-infused Paloma cocktail is served on the rocks with grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave nectar, then topped off with sparkling water.

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Side view of 3 glasses of Paloma cocktails with flaky sea salt decorating the rim of the glass.

About Paloma Cocktail

With a tart twist of grapefruit and lime, the punch of silver tequila, and the delicate sweetness of agave nectar, this bright Paloma cocktail is ideal for sipping in fair weather or for serving at a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

What’s in a paloma cocktail?

  • Flaky sea salt – For lining the rim of the glass. You can skip this if you’d like.
  • Lime juice – Adding flavor and also to help line the rim of the glass with salt.
  • Silver tequila – Also called tequila blanco, this is the only alcohol in the drink.
  • Grapefruit juice – The main fruit flavor of a paloma cocktail.
  • Agave nectar – A sugar substitute, this helps soften the sharp flavor of the grapefruit and tequila.
  • Sparkling water – For adding a bit of fizz.
  • Grapefruit slices – For garnish and a touch of extra flavor.

Which tequila should you use?

This recipe calls for silver tequila (also called tequila blanco), with the main characteristic being that it’s completely clear, like vodka or water. It’s a type of tequila that’s bottled directly after being distilled, so it is rarely aged.

As far as what to look for, any silver tequila between the $20-$40 range should be a good fit for this drink. An opened bottle of tequila can last up to a year, so you have plenty of time to make use of the rest of the bottle.

For mixed drinks like this, I personally like to use Patron. It’s a decent tequila with a taste that compliments most mixed drinks. Plus, you can usually find a bottle of it in just the size that you need.

Top down view of 3 Paloma cocktails, showing off the grapefruit garnish.

Can you make this drink in advance?

Technically, yes, you can – but with some adjustments:

  • For best results, mix the silver tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and lime juice together by themselves (no ice) and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve (up to 24 hours).
  • When ready to drink, add ice to a glass and then pour the mixed drink on top. Finish by topping off the glass with sparkling water.

If you’re making a large pitcher of this Paloma cocktail (be sure to see other notes on this page about this) you would follow the same steps: mix the four main ingredients, store it without ice for up to 24 hours, and then serve with sparkling water.

Can you make a big batch of Paloma cocktail?

Technically, yes, you can – but for this particular drink, I either wouldn’t recommend it or you would need to make some adjustments in how the drink is served.

The problem: A Paloma cocktail has a set ratio of core ingredients (silver tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and lime juice) which are then followed by a “topping off” of the glass with sparkling water. This means that the amount of sparkling water you use can vary per the size of the glass or to your tastes.

The possible solutions:

  • Mix a big batch of the four main ingredients then add then pour in sparkling water for each glass served.
  • Don’t worry too much about the ratio of the sparkling water and mix everything together.

So if you’re dead set on whipping up a big batch of this drink, and have decided on which of the two options above works best for you, all you need now is to measure the drink in parts.

Recipes that measure in parts usually mean it’s written so that you can adjust the size of the drink to whatever you want. The measurements they give you (1 part, 1/2 part, etc) are so you can keep the ratio of the ingredients correct.

For example, let’s say you wanted to make one drink – this typically means you’re using 1 standard shot glass for measuring. So then when the recipe says “1 part” you would interpret that amount as “1 standard shot glass” full. If the recipe says “1/2 part” you’d fill the shot glass halfway so that it’s “1/2 standard shot glass.” OR, let’s say you wanted to make enough drinks for a few friends. When making the drink you could interpret “1 part” as “1 cup” (or “1/2 part” to “1/2 cup.”)

Given the above, to measure a Paloma cocktail in parts, you would need:

  • 4 part silver tequila
  • 4 part grapefruit juice
  • 1 part tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 10 part club soda (this is just a guideline; taste test for best results)

Keep in mind that the above measurements are for mixing the whole drink together in a pitcher. If you would prefer to mix the core ingredients together while serving sparkling water with each glass, be sure to adjust your drink-making accordingly.

Notes & tips for this Paloma cocktail

  • When serving this drink, wine glasses (with stems or without) or whisky glasses work very well!
  • For a sweeter and more intense grapefruit flavor, substitute the sparkling water for grapefruit soda.

Other delicious drinks

More great recipes for Cinco de Mayo

How to make a paloma cocktail

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Place the sea salt on a small plate (or in a bowl). Wet the rim of a short glass with lime juice, then dip the rim in the sea salt, giving the glass a decorative coating of salt.

Step 2 – Fill the glass halfway with ice.

Step 3 – Pour in the following ingredients: silver tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and more lime juice.

Step 4 – Top off the drink with some sparkling water and grapefruit slices.

Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Side view of 3 glasses of Paloma cocktails with flaky sea salt decorating the rim of the glass.
5 from 1 vote

Paloma Cocktail

5 mins prep
230 kcal
Yields: 1 drink
This delicious tequila-infused Paloma cocktail is served on the rocks with grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave nectar, then topped off with sparkling water.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • On a small plate, add flaky sea salt. Use 1 tablespoon of lime juice to wet the rim of a short glass, then gently dab the top of the glass in the flaky sea salt, coating the rim.
    2 tablespoons flaky sea salt, 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Fill the glass halfway with ice.
  • Add silver tequila, grapefruit juice, agave nectar, and remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice to glass.
    2 ounces silver tequila, 2 ounces grapefruit juice, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Top off club soda and garnish with grapefruit slices (optional).
    sparkling water, grapefruit slices
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 13956mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy