A paloma is a refreshing cocktail made with grapefruit flavored soda, tequila and lime. This paloma cocktail recipe is a delicious alternative to a margarita, and full of juicy grapefruit flavor!

Many traditional paloma recipes include grapefruit juice plus club soda and simple syrup. I’m taking a shortcut here for a three ingredient version that is just as delicious!

Try one for yourself and see if you’ll skip the margarita next time and choose a paloma instead!

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I’m thinking about sunshine and summer days, and I’m ready to celebrate with my favorite fresh cocktails. While I love a fresh mixed, made-from-scratch cocktail, I also like a shortcut like this one.

This is a light, refreshing, low calorie cocktail recipe. Similar to my lightened up skinny margaritas, you’ll love this refreshing citrus twist and will never miss the calories. We often enjoy sipping one on the dock, boat or poolside.

Ingredients for a paloma cocktail laid out on a marble surface

Paloma Ingredients

  • Sparkling Grapefruit Soda – Take a shortcut with a bottle of Fever-Tree sparkling pink grapefruit, Fresca, Izze or any grapefruit sparkling water. Or, use grapefruit juice.
  • Lime Juice – Much like a margarita, the sweet and sour flavor of lime is imperative to this cocktail. Fresh squeezed lime juice is best, but you can also use the bottled kind.
  • Tequila – Blanco or Silver tequila works well here. They are more agave-forward and work beautifully for cocktails.
  • Salt – Optional: salt rim of a highball glass by rimming it with grapefruit or lime juice. Then dip the rim into thick flakes of sea salt, margarita salt or even Tajin seasoning.

Fill a highball glass with crushed ice. Add the tequila, filling the glass with sparkling grapefruit juice next. Squeeze a lime wedge into the drink and garnish with a fresh slice of lime.

A paloma recipe on a marble surface with a slice of lime for garnish

Variations

  • Try Mezcal instead of tequila. Mezcal offers a deeper, smokier flavor you might enjoy.
  • Want it a little less sweet? Add a little club soda or more sour lime juice. For a sweeter cocktail, add more grapefruit juice or sparkling soda. You can even add a touch of agave or simple syrup! 
  • If you want to create a sweeter paloma cocktail, use a can of soda instead of the sparkling grapefruit juice or Fresca. You can use Jarrito’s grapefruit soda (which is most often used in Mexico) or Squirt, but Fresca has zero calories.
  • Our Paloma Mix is the best way to make the traditional cocktail for parties!
A glass of pink paloma cocktail with a lime slice on the rim, ice cubes, and a halved grapefruit in the background on a light surface.
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Tips

  • Sip, Adjust – If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add a splash more sparkling grapefruit soda or grapefruit juice, or even some agave or simple syrup. For a more sour twist, add a little more lime juice.
  • Ice matters – Our favorite ice is from this countertop ice maker. We love it so much for cocktails.
  • Without salt – Personally, I prefer my palomas without salt on the rim of the glass – unlike margaritas. It’s just a personal preference! 
A glass of pink paloma soda with ice, garnished with a lime slice, on a white background with a grapefruit slice visible.
A paloma cocktail with a lime garnish and a slice off grapefruit in the background
5 from 8 votes

Paloma

A Paloma is a popular cocktail in Mexico made with grapefruit flavored soda, tequila and lime. It's a delicious alternative to a skinny margarita that is full of flavor, yet low calorie!
Prep: 3 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
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Ingredients  

  • crushed ice
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco or silver
  • 2 ounces Sparkling Grapefruit Soda (or grapefruit juice) Fever-Tree, Izze, Fresca are great options.
  • ½ ounce lime juice (one tablespoon) fresh squeezed juice of ½ lime

Instructions 

  • Fill a glass with crushed ice.
    crushed ice
  • Add tequila and sparkling grapefruit.
    2 ounces tequila
    Grapefruit soda being poured into a paloma cocktail glass filled with ice cubes on a white background.
  • Squeeze lime juice into the drink to taste. Garnish with a fresh slice of lime or grapefruit.
    2 ounces Sparkling Grapefruit Soda, ½ ounce lime juice
    Lime juice being poured into a paloma cocktail glass filled with ice cubes on a white background.

Julie’s Tips

Variations

  • Optional: salt rim of a highball glass by rimming it with grapefruit or lime juice. Then dip the rim into margarita or kosher salt.
  • I prefer my palomas without salt on the rim of the glass – unlike margaritas. It’s just a personal preference! Sip and taste test to see what you like, too. 
  • Want it a little less sweet? Add a little club soda or more sour lime juice. For a sweeter cocktail, add more grapefruit juice or sparkling soda. You can even add a touch of agave or simple syrup! 
Serving: 5ounces | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh m goodness does this look so delicious! I’m bookmarking this for the weekend! I can’t wait to make this!