Paloma Flavors, Recipes, and More!

When it comes to different kinds of Mexican drinks, many options likely come to mind. Margaritas and Mexican soda might jump out first. Tepache and tequila might be on that list too. 

However, there is one drink that flies under the radar, and it deserves the same kind of glory other beverages enjoy. We are, of course, talking about the Paloma. 

Spanish for "dove," the Paloma is a bubbly, fruity, fantastic beverage. And just as exciting as the classic Paloma are the plethora of options for Paloma flavor variations. 

The ingredients in a Paloma are simple. This makes the beverage a perfect playground for experimentation with flavors. 

Whether you’ve had a thousand Palomas or you’ll be pouring your first one today, we’ve got options for you. From the history of the Paloma to the modern takes on it, this article covers it. 

Here you’ll find different recipes for creating your own version of the classic cocktail. In addition to classic versions of the cocktail, we will also dive into recipes that venture off the beaten path. 

The light, sweet flavor of the classic Paloma lets you get funky with your own version. The drink’s versatility is only one piece of what makes it a worthy invite to your next cocktail hour. 

We love the drink and are sure you’ll be glad to check it out too. Our options just scratch the surface of all of the fantastic flavors you can enjoy when a Paloma is in play. 

Read on to check out all of the different Paloma flavors, recipes, and more. We love them and are certain you will too. 

What Is a Paloma

Before diving into all of the different ways to enjoy the Paloma, we need a handle on just what the drink itself has to offer. The Paloma has been a staple drink in Mexico for many years. 

The bare-bones, basic ingredients for our fizzy, fruity friend are: 

  • Tequila 
  • Grapefruit soda 
  • Lime Juice

Yes, that’s really it! The simplicity of the drink is part of what has ingrained it as a cornerstone of the culture. Whether you use blanco tequila, reposado tequila, or even your favorite mezcal, Paloma cocktails are both easy to make and easy to enjoy. 

Grapefruit is an often underutilized flavor in American drinks. However, this dynamic fruit is gaining momentum as its many delights come to light. The Paloma is just the beginning, and it is steadily gaining momentum among those who already love its cousin, the margarita. 

The lime-grapefruit combination is a match made in heaven. While the grapefruit is the star of the Palom, the lime acts as a fantastic supporting actor. 

The History of the Paloma

The exact origins of the drink are difficult to pin down. However, the Paloma slowly made its way from Mexico to the United States through Texas. 

The abundance of grapefruit, the starring component of the Paloma, in Texas made it an easy cocktail to Americanize, especially as it was so similar to the Greyhound gin drink. One way this was done was by using a few ounces of Fresca as the grapefruit soda base. 

Where otherwise Jarritos or a different grapefruit soda may be used in a Paloma recipe, the version that was popular in the U.S used easy-to-access sodas. There are also other versions of the drink that utilize different bases, including tepache.

The ever-present lime-centric margarita is even challenged by the Paloma’s grapefruit prominence.  

With this newfound knowledge about the Paloma and its growing popularity, we can dive into all of the different ways to enjoy the beverage. Let’s see what we can mix together! 

The Frozen Paloma

This cocktail is a great option for those hot summer days. Try this frozen fruity delight next time you need to cool off. 

The frozen Paloma follows the same general structure as the classic cocktail, with the bonus aspect of an icy addition. If you are a fan of the frozen margarita or daiquiri, make room for the frozen Paloma. 

To make the frozen Paloma, you will need the following; 

  • Ice 
  • 2 Juiced Limes 
  • Grapefruit Soda 
  • Tequila 

Begin by adding all of the ingredients into a blender. With the Paloma, you want to be sure to highlight the fruity flavors, so do your best not to drown out the citrus notes with too much ice—or water down the alc.

Blend all of the ingredients together. You should be left with an icy slush. 

Serve the drinks as cold as you can. You can garnish the drink with a grapefruit wedge or a lime wedge on the rim of your highball glass for a fun flair, and enjoy! 

The Mango Paloma 

What is more fun than two fruits in a cocktail? A third, of course. This variation of the Paloma brings in another tasty tropical topper, mango. 

To make this drink, you will need the following ingredients; 

  • Ice 
  • 2 Juiced Limes 
  • Grapefruit Soda 
  • Tequila 
  • Mango Simple Syrup

This drink follows a relatively straightforward mix. You’ll simply make a classic Paloma while adding the mango syrup of your preference. 

All of the ingredients can be added to a cocktail shaker to combine them. The amount of mango syrup added depends on how sweet the drinker prefers their Paloma. 

The dash of simple syrup adds a dynamic sweetness to an otherwise gently bitter beverage. Though fruity drinks may invoke thoughts of syrupy sweetness, the Paloma errs on the sour side. 

If a sour cocktail isn’t your cup of tea, but you are interested in the flavors of the Paloma, the mango variation is sure to be a hit. You can even add agave nectar or up the sweetness or dip the rim of the glass in kosher salt for a wild combination of flavors. You can even add some gin to create a lethal Cinco de Mayo drink to serve with your biscochito cookies.

The beauty of these Paloma variations lies in their versatility of flavor. From sweet to sour to everything in between, there is a Paloma variation for you.  

Blood Orange Bourbon Paloma 

This version of the pretty Paloma takes the most creative liberty of our three selections. This version of the drink adds both another fruit flavor and another alcohol. 

Scooch over tequila, and make some room grapefruit—this blood orange bourbon Paloma requires the following ingredients; 

  • Ice 
  • 2 Juiced Limes 
  • Grapefruit Soda or juice of ½ of a Grapefruit
  • Tequila 
  • Bourbon 
  • Juice of ½ of a Blood Orange 

The process to stir together this treat is the same as our mango Paloma. All ingredients have the option of mixing to your own tastes. 

Be careful with the bourbon. Its strong flavor may overpower the fruity, delicate notes of a tequila concoction. In addition, the squirt of blood orange interacts well with the fresh grapefruit juice if you are looking to cut down on the fizz of your drink with little bitterness. 

If you choose to forgo the grapefruit soda, consider adding Sprite, soda water, or another carbonated soda to fizz up the beverage. Grapefruit tepache would do the trick nicely! 

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Sip Back and Enjoy 

The Paloma is a versatile drink. Its subtle yet sure flavors will sneak their way into your staple cocktail list, we’re certain. 

Whether you prefer the classic flavors of a traditional Paloma or are looking to get creative at the bar cart, there is an option here. Regardless of the kind of Paloma in your glass, be sure to share it with friends or family. The best drinks are always served in good company! 


Sources: 

9 Fruity Facts About Limes | The Fact Site 

Grapefruit Is One of the Weirdest Fruits on the Planet |Gastro Obscura

In Praise of La Paloma, Mexico's Preferred Tequila Drink | Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

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