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
- A highball
- 2 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces grapefruit juice
- .5 ounce lime juice
- .5 ounce simple syrup
- Sparkling water
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 (the clear kind), because it’s crisp, clean, and ideal for summery cocktails like this one. Pour 2 ounces in 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.