How To Make the Best Paloma


Like a fruitier twist on a margarita, this grapefruit cocktail is ready to party. 

Hands On Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

Tequila cocktails are having a moment, and it's about time. While you might already be a Ranch Water groupie or a margarita maniac, there's another classic tequila drink to enjoy on any night: the paloma. Like a fruity twist on a margarita, this grapefruit cocktail will even have your tequila-adverse friends asking for refills.

Traditionally, a Mexican paloma involves using tequila, lime juice, and a grapefruit soda, such as Jarritos. (You can also use Fever Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit.) However, our recipe uses grapefruit juice and a more basic sparkling water — Topo Chico, of course! — to make it very possible that you can always have these ingredients on hand. You can also customize it to fit your preferences and have it reasonably low on sugar. Happy hour on the fly? Handled.

Paloma Cocktail
Getty Images/bhofack2

We recommend using either the Twist of Grapefruit or Twist of Lime flavor of Topo Chico, as well as salting the rim of your glass to get just a taste with each sip. If you're not choosing to salt the rim, sprinkle a pinch of salt right into the cocktail itself. (The salt helps to offset any bitterness or sourness from the grapefruit.) You can also use mezcal in lieu of tequila if you want to add a smoky kick. We don't prefer using any sugar or simple syrup, but we'll provide the option below for anyone who likes a sweeter cocktail.

Meet your new favorite sweet, sour, fruity drink in this party-ready Paloma.


  • 3 ounces blanco tequila, such as Espolon or Casamigos (about 2 shots)

  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice (about 1 1/2 shots)

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice (about half a shot)

  • Salt rim (preferably coarse sea salt) 

  • Topo Chico (preferably Twist of Grapefruit or Twist of Lime) 

  • Ice

  • Grapefruit wedge or lime slice for garnish 


  1. Rim the glass with salt, if desired. (Using a grapefruit or lime wedge, rub juice around the rim and then dip rim into any salt you have on hand.)

  2. Fill a glass with ice. Add tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime juice. Top with Topo Chico or sparkling water of your choice. Garnish with grapefruit or lime wedge. Enjoy!


If not rimming the glass, add a pinch of salt to the cocktail before stirring and serving.

If you want a sweeter cocktail, add a teaspoon of simple syrup (or sugar dissolved in water).

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