The Paloma cocktail is a delicious drink to make with blanco tequila. It’s served long, topped with soda, which makes it refreshingly light and a perfect alternative to margaritas for those who love the flavour of tequila but want to try something different.
The recipe for a Paloma cocktail can be incredibly simple to make if you have grapefruit soda around as it brings the citrus flavour, a bit of fizz and some sweetness to this drink. However, it can be difficult to source grapefruit soda in the UK so an easy alternative (which I’ve used for the recipe below) is to use freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice in combination with soda water (club soda) or sparkling water.
Ingredients for the Paloma cocktail
- Blanco Tequila – a blanco tequila is one which is bottled shortly after distillation and isn’t aged (unlike reposado or añejo tequilas). This gives it a clear appearance and a cleaner, lighter flavour than aged tequilas which works so well with the zesty flavour of the grapefruit.
- Pink or Red Grapefruit Juice – whilst this brings a lovely pink hue to this drink, the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is sweet, sour and floral. It also has a slight bitterness which brings some relief from the sweetness of the drink.
- Lime Juice – another way to balance sweetness in a drink is from acidity and we know that the crisp flavour of lime juice pairs perfectly with tequila. It’s the perfect way to bring a kick of tartness to this cocktail.
- Simple Syrup or Agave Syrup – as we’re not using a sweetened soda water, a small splash of simple syrup or agave syrup helps to enhance the beautiful flavours of the Paloma.
- Soda Water or Sparkling Water – whilst soda water is preferable for its slightly salty notes, it can be harder to find so sparkling water will do. The fizz adds another dimension to the experience of the drink whilst making it lighter and more refreshing.
KAH Tequila Blanco
Over the past few years we’ve really got into making tequila-based cocktails and love having a range of different bottles to hand for different types of drink. I was kindly gifted a sample bottle of the new KAH Tequila Blanco which I used to develop this Paloma recipe. If you’re looking for a high-quality blanco tequila for your cocktails (or even for sipping neat, over ice), this is a wonderful option. Made with 100% blue agave spirit and double distilled for a smooth, peppery & citrus-forward flavour, it’s the perfect addition to your drinks cabinet. If you want to try it out, this exclusive 70cl bottle design is currently only available at Tesco (for £35).
Thank you to KAH for providing a sample bottle of Tequila Blanco for this recipe.
More cocktail content:
- Rhubarb, Grapefruit & Thyme Cocktail
- Homemade Rhubarb Gin Recipe
- Aquafaba Grapefruit Gin Sour Cocktail
- salt for the rim
- 60 ml (2 ounces) tequila blanco
- 60 ml (2 ounces) pink grapefruit juice freshly squeezed
- 15 ml (1 ounce) lime juice freshly squeezed
- 15 ml (½ ounce) simple syrup or agave syrup
- ice cubes
- 90 ml (3 ounces) soda water or sparkling water
- For the salted rim, moisten the rim of the glass with a lime or grapefruit wedge and dip the rim into a plate of salt (I like to use a flaky salt like Maldon, here).
- If you're just making one drink: fill a salt-rimmed glass with a generous handful of ice, then pour over the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and syrup. Top with soda, give it a stir and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
- If you're making a batch of drinks: combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup and soda water/sparkling water with a generous few handfuls of ice, stir to combine and to chill it down. Pour the mixture into salt-rimmed glasses which have a handful of ice in them and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.