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Refreshing Paloma Cocktail

A Grapefruit Paloma is a wonderful alternative to a margarita. Made from grapefruit juice, tequila, club soda, and a little sugar and salt, it’s a great summer cocktail.

Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

I’ve made it no secret that I love margaritas. After all, I’ve already posted 3 different variations of margarita recipes (with more to come). But I found another tequila cocktail that just might be a major competitor – the Grapefruit Paloma. A paloma is a super refreshing  cocktail, often made with Grapefruit soda (eg. Fresca or Squirt) mixed with tequila and ice. Some versions, like mine, are made with fresh grapefruit juice.

Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

If grapefruits aren’t in season, or you just don’t feel like juicing one, you can use bottled grapefruit juice, but be aware that they are often pre-sweetened, in which case you may need to adjust or omit the sugar in this recipe. I highly recommended using pink grapefruit juice, like Ruby Red, because it gives these light cocktails a nice rosy hue. The club soda you top your cocktail off with could be plain or flavored. I’ve tried it with lime and grapefruit flavored versions and both were great.

Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

The Paloma is a popular drink in Mexico, so it is perfect to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with as a change from your standard Margarita. And, because it’s nice and light and a little fizzy, it is perfect to sip on all summer long.

Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma
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Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail

A Grapefruit Paloma is a wonderful alternative to a margarita. Made from grapefruit juice, tequila, club soda, and a little sugar and salt, it’s a great summer cocktail.
Servings: 1


  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice (see note)
  • 1 Tablespoon superfine sugar (see note)
  • 1 1/2 ouces tequila
  • plain or citrus flavored club soda
  • cubed or crushed ice


  • Spread a thin layer of kosher salt on a small plate. Wet the rim of a margarita glass or old fashioned glass with a dab of grapefruit juice. Dip the rim of the glass in the salt (if you want to skip the salt rim, add a pinch of salt directly into the cocktail shaker in the next step). Fill the glass half full with crushed or cubed ice.
  • Stir the grapefruit juice and sugar together in a measuring cup until the sugar is dissolved. Add the juice and tequila (and salt, if using) to a cocktail shaker filled half with ice. Shake vigorously.
  • Pour the juice mixture into your prepared glass. Top off with club soda and stir gently to mix. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or lime, if desired.


Fresh grapefruit juice tastes the best, but if grapefruits aren’t available, you can use bottled Red Grapefruit Juice. Just make sure it’s just plain grapefruit juice, with no added sugar.
Superfine sugar is just granulated sugar that has been ground into a fine powder to make it easier to dissolve. You can make it yourself by placing regular granulated sugar in a food processor or clean coffee grinder until if forms a powder. Do NOT use powdered sugar, as it contains cornstarch, which does not make for a good cocktail. If you don’t feel like making superfine sugar, just use granulated sugar, but you will have to stir it longer to get it to dissolve.
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Grapefruit Paloma Nutrition Info

Refreshing Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail Nutrition Notes:

Like most mixed drinks, the calories from a Paloma come mostly from the alcohol and added sugar. To reduce calories, use only one ounce of tequila (hint: this trick doesn’t work if you end up drinking more drinks because of it).

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