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. ┬áDepends on if we are going […]

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