Made of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and tequila, the Classic Paloma cocktail is the national drink of Mexico. It’s light, bright, and totally refreshing.
Not everyone loves grapefruit, but I grew up eating it halved, with a sprinkle of sugar on top. I find it refreshing and light. If done right, it’s not too tart. Take this Grapefruit Aperol Margarita – tart grapefruit is combined with a bitter orange liquor and tequila for a delicious drink. It’s a cocktail that is at home at both brunch and a night with your favorite Mexican dishes.
I knew that this year, for Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to share Mexico’s national drink. No, Mexico’s national drink is not a margarita, but rather, the Paloma. The Paloma is a grapefruit and tequila cocktail that’s sweetened with just a little bit of sugar. Easy to make and in my opinion, quite refreshing.
More Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Recipes!
- 30 Minute Easy Cheese Enchiladas from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- 7 Layer Dip from Magical Ingredients
- Caldo de Queso from Pandemonium Noshery
- Carnitas Bowls from That Recipe
- Classic Paloma from Books n’ Cooks (below!)
- Easy Pico de Gallo from Jen Around the World
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Mango Agua Fresca from Art of Natural Living
- Margarita Sangria from Family Around the Table
- Mexican Red Rice from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Southern Fried Chicken Tacos from Palatable Pastime
- Steak Street Tacos from Blogghetti
- Taco Dip from Devour Dinner
- Tacos Americano from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- White Chicken Enchiladas from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!
If the above isn’t enough for you, here are some of my personal favorite Mexican or Mexican-inspired recipes to celebrate with.
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Roasted Tomato Salsa (a summer favorite, when I have an abundance of fresh tomatoes from the garden)
- Queso with Chorizo
- Cilantro-Lime Rice
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Slow Cooker Beef Tacos with Salsa Verde
- Sopapilla-Inspired Cheesecake Bars
Recipe Notes for the Classic Paloma Cocktail:
- Use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for best results. 1 grapefruit should yield at least 1/2 c. of juice.
- Use pink grapefruit for a beautiful red color. I clearly did not due to availability. 🙂
- Tip: I reserve the juiced grapefruit wedges for rubbing the rim of the glass.
Made of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and tequila, the Classic Paloma cocktail is the national drink of Mexico. It's light, bright, and totally refreshing.
- kosher salt for rim
- 1/4 c. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (from about 1/2 a grapefruit)
- 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. granulated or superfine sugar
- 2 oz. tequila
- 2 oz. club soda
- wedge of grapefruit for garnish (optional)
Sprinkle kosher salt on a small plate. Rub half the rim of a highball glass with one of the leftover (juiced) grapefruit wedges. Dip rim in salt, rotating to ensure rim is evenly coated.
Add grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar to the glass. Stir to combine. Add tequila and ice. Again, stir to combine. Top with club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge, if desired, and serve immediately.
1 grapefruit should yield at least 1/2 of juice.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit.
11 thoughts on “Classic Paloma”
Hello happy hour!
Yum! I’m really liking the fresh grapefruit flavor in this!
You are all set for Cinco de Mayo with this cocktail! I need to get some grapefruit juice!
I love grapefruit and eat it all winter! This would be even more fun for summer! Any tips on juicing a grapefruit–I’ve never done that… (won’t fit in my lemon press clearly 😉 )
Great question! I usually use a handheld juicer (sized for a lemon or lime) and cut the grapefruit into eighths. I press each piece twice – skin up and skin down to ensure I get as much juice as possible.
Oh good–no new equipment then!
Such a refreshing cocktail and perfect for Cinco de Mayo.
Dear husband loves grapefruit and we’re always looking for new things to sip on the patio!
Love the grapefruit flavor in this cocktail!
Classic palomas are made with grapefruit soda (Jarritos or Squirt) and not grapefruit juice. You should try it!
I’ll have to look for those and try it! Thanks for the feedback!