Cocktail Hour: Classic Paloma Cocktail

I think it is all that time I spent living in Los Angeles, but I love Mexican food. As a result, up there with Chinese New Year Cinco de Mayo tomorrow is one of my favourite food-related festivals. I’ve already got the perfect, classic margarita down (the recipe, as well as a recipe for beer margaritas is in my first book, Student Eats #ad) as well as a few variants here on the blog (hands up who wants a Blood Orange Margarita or a Cucumber and Jalapeno Margarita anyone?) but until now I’ve yet to share a recipe for one of my favourite tequila-based drinks to order at a Mexican restaurant whenever I see one on a drinks list: a Paloma. Light, bright and fresh this tequila and lime cocktail is grapefruit juice based, made long with a generous splash of soda water.

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Classic Paloma Cocktail

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Mexican


A classic Mexican cocktail, the super-refreshing Paloma is made with ruby grapefruit juice, fresh lime, simple syrup, silver tequila and a splash of soda water.


  • 60120ml (2-4 oz) silver tequila (to make singles or doubles!)
  • 190ml (6.5 oz) fresh ruby grapefruit juice
  • 40ml (1.5 oz) fresh lime juice
  • 40ml (1.5 oz) simple syrup (see note)
  • 2 large handfuls ice cubes
  • chilled soda or sparkling water
  • lime wheels, to garnish


  1. In a small jug, combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup.
  2. Divide the ice between two small to medium glasses, and divide the Paloma mix between the two – they should be about 3/4 of the way filled.
  3. Top up each glass with soda or sparkling water, mix briefly with a long spoon and garnish each with a lime wheel before serving.


To make simple syrup, dissolve equal parts sugar in water.