This Paloma Cocktail features fresh grapefruit juice and lime juice, tequila blanco and honey simple syrup with a splash of sparkling water. Light and refreshing, it goes down easy.

This Paloma cocktail features fresh grapefruit juice and lime juice, tequila blanco and honey simple syrup with a splash of sparkling water. Light and refreshing, it goes down easy.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to post a Paloma recipe! There are already a lot of recipes out there for Palomas, but here is my take on it.

Fresh grapefruit and lime juice, with tequila, lightly sweetened with honey simple syrup with an optional twist if so inclined; infuse the honey simple syrup with bay leaves; it’s so delicious! Make a salt and sugar rim.

Paloma Ingredients

paloma ingredients

Ingredient Notes

  • Use Fresh Grapefruit Juice – Instead of using grapefruit soda, use fresh grapefruit juice.
  • Use Fresh Lime Juice – We use fresh lime juice here instead of lime soda.
  • Tequila Blanco – A light or clear-colored tequila is nice here, giving the Paloma a springy look with a clean flavor.
  • Honey Simple Syrup – instead of sugar, we make a quick honey simple syrup. Infuse with bay leaves for added flavor. Vegans can sub agave.
  • Sparkling Mineral Water – Instead of club soda, we use mineral water, because we all can use more minerals, right?
  • Salt and Sugar Rim – Instead of a salt rim, or a sugar rim, we blend and both, for the ultimate flavor!

How to make a Paloma cocktail

Make the Honey Simple Syrup. Heat equal parts water and honey, stir until combined, add a couple of bay leaves if you like. Let cool. You can make this 1-2 days ahead for a stronger infusion.

Honey simple syrup in fused with bay leaves.

Mix the salt and sugar together and place in a shallow bowl or plate. Rub the rim of the glass with lime or grapefruit and dip the edge of the glass in the salt/sugar mix to coat.

coating the rim in salt sugar mix.

Mix the cocktail in a shaker. Fill with ice, add grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila, and honey simple syrup. Shake.

mixing the cocktail.

Pour into an ice-filled glass and top with a little splash of sparkling mineral water.

pouring a Paloma into a glass

A cool refreshing drink, perfect for spring!

Paloma cocktail in a glass

Paloma Faqs

What does Paloma mean?

In Spanish, Paloma means dove.

Can Palomas be made ahead?

Yes! Make a big batch of Palomas in a pitcher leaving out the ice and sparking water (until serving), and refrigerate up to one day ahead.

Can Palomas be made with Mezcal?

Palomas are delicious with Mezcal (a smoky tequila) but may need extra lime juice and simple syrup to balance.

Can you make an alcohol-free Paloma?

Mix 1 part grapefruit juice with 2 parts mineral water and a squeeze of lime over ice. Add a couple of drops of grapefruit bitters.

What can you use instead of tequila?

I’ll often make this same drink with gin. It’s tasty!

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paloma coctail

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

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This Paloma cocktail features fresh grapefruit juice and lime juice, tequila blanco and honey simple syrup with a splash of sparkling water. Light and refreshing, it goes down easy.


Units Scale
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey simple syrup
  • 12 ounces sparkling mineral water
  • Salt and sugar for the rim
  • Garnish: Fresh grapefruit and fresh bay leaves
  • Ice


  1. Make honey simple syrup: Mix one part honey with one part water in a small pot over medium-low heat. (for example, 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup water, or make a bigger batch.) Optional: Add a couple of bay leaves and let this infuse for 3o minutes or overnight.
  2. Rim- Mix one part salt and one part sugar for the rim. Place on a plate or shallow bowl. Rub the rim of the glass with grapefruit or lime wedge, then dip in the salt/sugar mixture to coat. Fill with ice.
  3. Cocktail- Place ice in a shaker. Add the grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila and simple syrup. Shake to combine.  Pour into the ice-filled glass and top with sparkling mineral water.
  4. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and a fresh bay leaf. Enjoy!


Feel free to sub 1 teaspoon agave for the simple honey syrup.


  • Serving Size: 1 glass
  • Calories: 171
  • Sugar: 9.5 g
  • Sodium: 9.2 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. Cannot wait to try – do you have a seltzer replacement for something like a white claw 🙂

    1. I’m not sure I know what you mean. Yes you can replace mineral water with any sparking water, or seltzer water.

  2. I really liked this for a signature cocktail; bay leaf makes it. I prepared the tequila with simple syrup, let sit in container, then squeeze a juicy pink grapefruit and lime that I pick from neighbors tree if a Paloma crosses my mind after work. Floating in the pool adds to the experience

  3. Looks fantastic! I doubt I will find fresh bay leaves near me. Can dried work just as well for the syrup?

  4. So delicious and fresh!! I used Topo Chico for mineral water. I love this 1000x more than any Paloma made with Squirt. Can’t wait to make this in bulk for groups. I juice grapefruits at the height of citrus season and freeze the juice in 1 oz cubes for purposes such as this one 🙂

    Sylvia, Tonia, and crew, please make your own app or Patreon, or something where us folks who are willing to pay to get exclusive, ad-free access to your genius! Happy Spring!

  5. This looks so delicious and beautiful!
    Can you please share where you got those amazing glasses you’re serving it in. Thank you! Love and make so many of your recipes!

    1. Hi Maria- a friend gifted me the glasses, so I am not sure. They are quite cute, arent they? I would google “round cocktail glasses” and see what comes up?

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