A paloma is a refreshing, classic Mexican cocktail. Some people call it a margarita, some don’t; I think it depends where you’re from. I’ve also heard it called a “paloma tequila,” Traditionally, it has tequila in it, but if you’re not a drinker, you can leave the tequila out for a homemade grapefruit soda—or I suppose you could call it a “toronjada.”
The drink is often made with grapefruit-flavored soda such as Jarritos de toronja or Peñafiel toronja or even Squirt or Fresca, but I also like to make the classic recipe with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and agua mineral (sparkling water) for a little fizz.
The classic and original Mexican tequila cocktail made with grapefruit juice, mineral water tequila and sugar.
- 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar (not refined white sugar; I use Zulka Azúcar Morena Pure Cane Sugar)
- 1/4 cup of water
- One 12.5-ounce bottle of agua mineral (sparkling water), chilled
- 3 grapefruits, juiced (should yield about 1.5 cups of juice) and one slice for garnishing
- 1/4 cup tequila blanco
- Optional: A small pinch of kosher salt in each glass
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of pure cane sugar in 1/4 cup of water to make a simple syrup. Set aside.
- Juice the grapefruit into a large measuring cup. If you'd like to garnish the glasses or float a small wedge, be sure to cut one quarter-inch thick slice from one grapefruit before you do all the juicing.
- Over a pitcher, strain the grapefruit juice to remove any pulp or seeds. Add the simple syrup mixture, 1/4 cup tequila blanco and the chilled agua mineral to the pitcher. Stir well.
- Garnish with grapefruit wedges or twists and serve over ice.
Zulka Azúcar Morena Pure Cane Sugar is a Mexican brand of granulated cane sugar sold at many Latin grocers and can also be purchased online.
- Do you make your palomas differently or do you have any favorite places where you’ve had them before? Share with me below in the comments!