The Paloma

the paloma

If you’re in the mood for something other than your classic, top-shelf margarita or a refreshing glass of horchata this Cinco de Mayo, I highly recommend giving The Paloma a shot. A lively cocktail of freshly squeezed juices — grapefruit and lime — plus tequila (100% agave, of course), a spoonful of sugar and splash of seltzer, it’s quickly become my signature Spring-Summer 2013 drink — and I’m not even a much of a grapefruit fan!

You don’t need any special tools to whip this drink up, but if you like freshly squeezed citrus as much as me — I’m particularly fond of adding a splash of lime or lemon juice to sparkling water (along with a splash of vodka on occasion) and making homemade lemonade — I cannot recommend an inexpensive electric citrus juicer enough. (I purchased mine a couple years back through Amazon Warehouse Deals, it cost me about fifteen bucks.) It makes quick, albeit noisy work of squeezing citrus of all sizes — all the better for rapidly getting grapefruit to glass (limes, too) in the form of a Paloma!

What’ll you be drinking this Sunday?

The Paloma

(adapted from 10th Kitchen, Thyme Paloma Cocktails via NoshOn.It)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 or 2 cocktails

The backbone of the recipe is really easy to remember ratio for those times when you need to scale up quantities for a party (or if you’re shaking up another batch after you’ve already had one or two):

3 parts grapefruit juice : 2 parts tequila : 1 part lime juice
(Plus: 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 ounce of seltzer for every part/ounce of tequila).


  • 3 ounces (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons or 85 grams) freshly squeezed (and strained of pulp, if desired) ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup or 57 grams) 100% agave tequila¹
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or 28 grams) freshly squeezed (and strained of pulp, if desired) lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) seltzer or club soda
  • Ice
  • Garnish: Sugar for rim (lime wedge to moisten), grapefruit wedge (optional)


Shake it up:

In a Mason jar (with lid) or cocktail shaker, combine grapefruit juice, tequila, lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar and a couple ice cubes. Cover and shake for about 30 seconds, or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is cold and frothy; set aside

Sugar rim (optional):

Place a couple tablespoons sugar on a small plate or saucer. Lightly moisten the rim of glass (about 6 ounce capacity for two cocktails, 12 ounces for one large) with lime wedge. Dip into sugar, tap away excess.

Garnish and serve:

Strain shaken cocktail mixture into prepared glass(es). Top with seltzer (if making two cocktails, pour 1 ounce into each). If desired, garnish with grapefruit wedge and pop a cube or two of ice in if there’s room. Serve immediately!


¹ I use Hornitos reposado. I recommend skipping the really expensive tequila for this recipe since there’s enough fruit juice and seltzer (2 juice:1 seltzer:1 liquor) in this cocktail to disguise any less desirable flavors in the liquor.

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  • Reply
    Danguole Lekaviciute
    May 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Lovely! Also, I’ve never made horchata from scratch, but yours looks fantastic–I want to add rum to it, naturally.


    • Reply
      Heather Sage
      May 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Thank you — I love your paloma with the thyme so much, it’s especially great on foggy San Francisco evenings! If you make the horchata just be prepared for a big ol’ mess in the kitchen. Which, come to think of it, would be a whole lot more tolerable if there was some rum involved . . . Cheers!

  • Reply
    Summer is coming on the Central Coast | Frolic & Detour
    May 16, 2013 at 11:08 am

    […] Amalgam and I spent all day yesterday making tamales for the first time (and drinking her delicious palomas), which may become an entry of its own on either or both of our blogs.  Depends on if we are going […]

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