The Ultimate Guide to Making a Perfect Paloma: Mexico's Beloved Cocktail

Delicious paloma cocktail in salted rim cocktail glass on a plate on a table


Paloma means "The Dove" in Spanish, and this delightful cocktail is a strong contender for Mexico's number one cocktail, often rivaling the Margarita. Traditionally made with grapefruit soda, the modern twist uses freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and soda, enhancing its fresh and tangy flavors.

A Brief History of the Paloma

The origins of the Paloma are somewhat mysterious, but it is widely believed to have been created in the 1950s. Unlike the more globally known Margarita, the Paloma has long been a local favorite in Mexico, celebrated for its refreshing and light profile, perfect for warm weather.

Best Liquors to Use in a Paloma

The key to an exceptional Paloma lies in the quality of the tequila. 100% Blue Agave Tequila is a must, as it offers a smooth and authentic base. Blanco tequila is typically preferred for its clean and crisp flavor, which pairs wonderfully with the citrusy grapefruit juice.

When to Enjoy a Paloma

The Paloma is versatile and can be enjoyed on various occasions. It's an ideal summer drink, perfect for beach outings, pool parties, or simply relaxing on a sunny afternoon. Its light and refreshing taste also makes it an excellent choice for brunch or a casual gathering with friends.

What can you serve with a Paloma?


Palomas pair well with spicy Mexican foods like tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole. Their refreshing citrus flavor complements the heat and spices of these dishes perfectly. Here is a link to one of my favourite writers on for mexican cuisine - Here

What is the Difference Between a Margarita and a Paloma?

While both the Margarita and Paloma are popular tequila-based cocktails, they have distinct differences. A Margarita includes triple sec and is usually sweeter, while a Paloma is made with grapefruit soda or fresh grapefruit juice, offering a more tart and refreshing profile

How can I make Paloma Variations?

There are several ways to customize your Paloma to suit your taste:

  • Salty: Rim the glass with salt or Tajín for an extra savory touch.
  • Spicy: Add thin slices of jalapeño or serrano pepper to the shaker for a kick.
  • Floral: Substitute St-Germain liqueur or honey simple syrup for a floral note.
  • Extra Citrus: Add a few dashes of orange bitters to enhance the citrus flavor

How to Make the Perfect Paloma

Learning to make the perfect Paloma is simple with the right ingredients and tools. Below, we provide a detailed recipe and step-by-step guide to crafting this delightful cocktail.


The Paloma is a delightful cocktail that embodies the vibrant and refreshing spirit of Mexico. By following this guide, you'll be able to create a perfect Paloma that can be enjoyed on any sunny day. Whether you're hosting a party or simply relaxing, this cocktail is sure to impress.