Tasty reasons why the Paloma is the refreshing summer cocktail

Paloma, photo provided by Q Mixers
Paloma, photo provided by Q Mixers /

What do you think is the perfect refreshing summer cocktail? While many people pick an iced cold beer, hard seltzer or even that glass of lemonade, it might be time to mix up a paloma. If you haven’t that this cocktail in a while, it is time to add this citrus forward beverage to the mix.

While many people think of the margarita as a warm weather, beach cocktail, a paloma is just as refreshing, almost a more refreshing option. Although not quite as sour or tart as a margarita, the flavors can be more nuanced than other citrus forward beverages.

Recently, the paloma has seen a surge in popularity. According to Google, it was one of the top search cocktail recipes of 2020. While the cocktail isn’t necessarily new, more people are discovering it.

Although the exact origins of the paloma can be debated, the flavor is what draws people back to enjoy it over and over. The beverage seems to capture sweet, sour, salty, and a touch bitter. And, unlike a margarita, it has that effervescence from the bubbles. Who can resist a cocktail with bubbles?

What makes a paloma such a refreshing summer cocktail?

Many people are drawn to the paloma because of the grapefruit flavor. While a traditional recipe often uses a grapefruit soda, grapefruit juice or freshly squeezed grapefruit can be used too. Depending on how grapefruit forward you want the beverage should determine the mixer.

Here’s how Jose Cuervo recommends making a Paloma.

Jose Cuervo Paloma Picante


  • 2 oz. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Tequila Plata
  • 6 oz. grapefruit soda
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Chili salt for the rim & garnish with grapefruit wedge

Preparation Instructions:

  • Run a grapefruit wedge around the rim of a highball glass and dip it into chili salt. Place ice in the highball glass and add the ingredients. Stir and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Since grapefruit is the primary flavor, it lends itself to all types of cocktail creativity. Even by adding by splitting the grapefruit soda with half juice, the grapefruit flavor is more intense. Also, adding more fresh fruit can enhance both the flavor and the aroma.

Although the paloma is traditionally made with tequila, a substitute of mezcal adds a more robust flavor to each sip. Since mezcal can have some smoky characteristics, that flavor plays well with the tart yet sweet grapefruit. While all mezcals are different, it can be an enjoyable afternoon seeing how the various artisan libations impact the various flavors.

Lastly, adding a few herbs to a paloma can be a delightful idea. Rosemary and grapefruit are a delicious flavor combination. Consider a sugared sprig of rosemary as a garnish for the cocktail. The woody notes with a hint of sweetness plays well with the citrus.

If your cocktail routine needs a change, try the paloma. You might be convinced that this refreshing summer cocktail deserves a second, third or more taste.

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What is your pick for a refreshing summer cocktail? Have you discovered the next great beverage trend?