How To Make A Paloma

The Paloma is, hands down, the best drink you can make in a matter of seconds - without any fancy bar equipment.

A little sweet and slightly tart, grapefruits make most other citrus look lazy and one dimensional - and they deserve to be in more cocktails. For reasons we don’t understand, grapefruit drinks just aren’t that common. Sure, you could always have a Greyhound or a Salty Dog - but those lack balance. What you really need is some fizz and a splash of lime juice. In other words, you need a Paloma. This is, hands down, the best drink you can make in a matter of seconds - and it doesn’t really require any bar tools. Except for a jigger. Things taste better when you measure them.

How It Tastes: Crisp, Tangy, Summery

Drink If You Like: Margaritas, Greyhounds

How To Make A Paloma image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

The Paloma

You’ll Need:

  • Ice

  • A highball

  • 2 ounces tequila

  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice

  • .5 ounce lime juice

  • .5 ounce simple syrup

  • Sparkling water

  • Salt

Step One: Salt Your Rim

Before you start making your Paloma, you need to prep your glassware. (That’s Rule No. 2.) So take your highball, and roll the rim along a piece of lime or grapefruit so that you get a little moisture on your glass. Next, pour a thin layer of salt on a small plate, then roll the rim of your glass in that salt. This takes a little practice, but, eventually, you’ll be able to add “rimming a glass with salt” as a skill on your LinkedIn page.

Step One: Lime Juice

Time to make our Paloma, starting with lime juice. Yes, we’re also adding grapefruit juice, which is already a little tart - but you need a bit of lime to give this drink some added depth and acidity. So go ahead and juice a lime, then pour .5 ounce lime juice straight into your highball.

Step Two: Simple Syrup

Traditionally, a Paloma is made with grapefruit soda - and if you just want to pour tequila, grapefruit soda, and a splash of lime juice in a highball, feel free. It’ll be delicious. But we like to control how much sugar we’re putting in a drink, so we prefer fresh juice and simple syrup. Add .5 ounce simple syrup to your highball.

Step Three: Grapefruit Juice

Hopefully, you have a grapefruit lying around your house somewhere. Find it, and juice half. Fresh grapefruit juice is going to make all the difference here. Put 2 ounces in your highball.

Step Four: Tequila

For this drink, you can really use any kind of tequila: blanco, reposado, even añejo (the kind that’s aged the longest). But we typically go with a blanco. Pour 2 ounces into your highball.

Step Five: Sparkling Water

Finally, top your drink off with sparkling water - it should be about 2 ounces - and give everything in the highball a quick stir, just enough to mix the ingredients. For a garnish, take the other half of the grapefruit you didn’t squeeze, cut off a nice-looking wedge, and stick it in your glass. That’s a Paloma.

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