This refreshingly delicious Paloma cocktail is my new favourite cocktail! This pink grapefruit and tequila Mexican cocktail is a cinch to make and tastes absolutely divine with the perfect balance of sweet and tart! Best of all it doesn't need a shaker or any special equipment and it can be mixed in the glass. This is a pushy cocktail Dear Reader!
While the margarita is most commonly associated and most well known Mexican tequila cocktail, the Paloma is more popular tequila cocktail in Mexico. The simplest version of the Paloma is just tequila and grapefruit juice or soda but I really love the balance when adding lime juice to it. Paloma cocktails don't seem to be huge in Australia but they're popular in the US which is where I recently saw them and once I tried one I became absolutely obsessed with them. And I promise you don't even have to be a grapefruit lover to appreciate a Paloma cocktail. I don't even like grapefruit but I really love Palomas!
What is a Paloma cocktail? The base for a Paloma is tequila mixed with grapefruit juice, grapefruit soda, simple syrup and lime juice. All of these things are easy to buy here (yes even pink grapefruit soda is available at the supermarket in mini cans). You can salt the rim if you want to get fancy and even buy some pink grapefruit to decorate. We have been making this every weekend since I got back from America and I sometimes bother with the salt rim, other times I don't.
Who Invented the Paloma cocktail? Legend has it that the famed Paloma cocktail derives its name from the beloved folk song, La Paloma from the early 1860s. However, according to the wisdom imparted by the Diffords guide, this refreshing drink was the brainchild of mixologist Don Javier Delgado Corona, the owner and skilled bartender at the renowned La Capilla in the town of Tequila, Mexico.
Can I change the Paloma ie. less alcohol or sweeter? Yes! I sometimes play with quantities and this is also good with half the amount of tequila if you're driving or a bit more sugar syrup if you like your drinks on the sweeter side but I suggest trying the recipe below and changing it if it doesn't suit your exact taste. I love the balance of sour and sweet with this cocktail. It is so refreshing but not super sweet.
What cocktails is the Paloma similar to? If you like cocktails like Pisco Sour I think you'll love the Paloma. I find it a bit easier to drink than a Pisco Sour as there's more mixer in this than a Pisco Sour, it's just the flavour profile is somewhat similar.
What type of tequila should I use in a Paloma cocktail? You can use blanco tequila that is unaged or a reposado one where the tequila is aged in oak barrels. I used the latter because I had it handy on the counter but it's really up to you. It's versatile and you can use yellow grapefruit soda or a pink grapefruit one which is what I used.
How Do I Make Quick Simple Syrup? Typically to make sugar syrup you boil equal parts sugar and water but if you can't be bothered getting out a saucepan you can do this all in a cup without boiling it! To make quick simple syrup dissolve equal parts sugar in boiling water with a whisk, it will go cloudy for a second and then clear. Chill for cocktails and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Dear Reader I know that now is not the time to be trying to pitch a chilled cocktail if you happen to be in the Southern Hemisphere and going through winter but in my defence it has been quite sunny on most weekends. For the past couple of weekends I mix up a couple of these and we have them in the afternoon. Then once the sun goes down I flee inside while Mr NQN tends to the garden. He doesn't feel the cold anywhere near as much as I do (it's those Finnish genes) and he often does it barefoot (ugh!) and in a tshirt and a light jumper. Meanwhile I'm in three layers sitting in front of the fireplace (I guess it's those Singaporean genes).
This differences between our body temperatures does have its obvious drawbacks. There's the classic battle for the thermostat. He knows that if it isn't balmy then I invariably start to sniffle and get a cold. One weekend we went away to a cold destination and I asked him if he could leave the living room air con on overnight but agreed to turn off the bedroom air con.
I slept like a log but in the middle of the night he woke up very thirsty. He went to turn down the air conditioning and stumbled back to bed thoroughly annoyed. He had a bad night's sleep and he woke up very grumpy. "How did you sleep?" I asked him the next morning. "I slept terribly! All because of your air conditioning," he said, very upset. "Why didn't you just turn it off?" I asked him. But he would not be placated. He was in a terrible mood all day and said that he would not be able to go away on holidays anymore. He was really having a moment.
"You know there's a solution for all of this right?" I said (apart from just turning the aircon off of course). I ordered a portable humidifier to moisten the air and counteract any dryness from air conditioning. Now he can take it along whenever we go away and likely to turn the air conditioning on. We've tested it out and so far he seems very happy with this solution and that means no more fighting or tantrums!
So tell me Dear Reader, are you in a battle for the thermostat and if so, who wins? And do you feel the cold more or less than others? Have you ever tried a Paloma cocktail?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
- 200ml/7flozs pink grapefruit sparkling drink soda (Fresca, Squirt, Jarritos or Bundaberg), chilled
- 120ml/4flozs tequila (I used a Patron reposado tequila)
- 120ml/4flozs grapefruit juice
- 60ml/2flozs lime juice
- 30-60ml/1-2flozs simple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
- Pink grapefruit and lime wedges to serve
Optional prep: place egg white in a small, rimmed plate. Dip the rim of a glass into the egg white and then roll in flaked salt.
Step 1 - Mix all ingredients (soda, tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup) in a jug or shaker or in the glasses and stir to mix. Add ice and serve with a pink grapefruit wedge on the side.
Easiest Simple Syrup
- 120g/4ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 120ml/4flozs boiling water, straight from a kettle
Step 1 - Dissolve sugar in the boiling water with a whisk, it will go cloudy for a second and then clear. Chill for cocktails and store in the fridge for up to 1 month.