paloma power

wpid-paloma_02.jpgWelcome to Post #3 of Cocktail U. The first two sessions featured classic sippers taught in a cocktail class I took at a local cooking school. This post, we go off the course syllabus grid to find a beverage well-suited to last week’s 1977 version of guacamole.

Margaritas always work with guacamole (frita anyone?), but memory of another tequila-based beverage gave me a different answer. Crafthouse, crafter of fine cocktails, names the Paloma as “perhaps the PERFECT TEQUILA COCKTAIL, giving the venerable margarita a run for its money.” They go on to say,

Little is known about the historical origin of the Paloma, the most popular tequila-based cocktail in Mexico. Some conjecture that it is named after La Paloma (β€œThe Dove”), the popular folk song composed in the early 1860s.

I hadn’t known these details when, searching for a fun party drink, I came across the recipe in The PDT Cocktail Book. It was a good choice for the taco-themed dinner we were hosting and I knew it had great potential as a guac go-with.wpid-paloma.jpgInstead of buying the grapefruit soda used in classic recipes, I juiced the in-season citrus already on hand. Sweetness came via agave syrup and I doubled the lime juice for a better balanced tang.wpid-lime-and-grapefruit.jpg.jpegRefreshingly light in a way that a margarita is not, the Paloma went down easy. And technically, it counts for nearly two daily fruit servings as it took 1 1/2 grapefruit and 1 lime to yield the juice needed for one drink. Combining all of this vitamin C with the healthy fats in the guac’s avocados means this cocktail-and-snack combo is practically health food.wpid-paloma_01.jpgDrink up, then, and enjoy. And please come back next week as we’ll be rifling through Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box to see what treasures we can find. Cheers!


  • 12 ounces (3/4 cup) fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) tequila
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • Coarse salt, for rimming glass

In cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine grapefruit juice, tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup; shake a bit to chill glass. Rub rim of cocktail glass with grapefruit wedge; rim with salt. Strain drink into glass.

54 thoughts on “paloma power

  1. I agree–practically health food! I’ve been buying 6 for a dollar grapefruits for over a month now (I will never get scabies with all this Vitamin C), so this is right up my alley. Sounds more refreshing than fake-grapefruit tasting Fresca! I have never seen Paloma on a list of bar drinks, but I DID know it means dove. In fact, I told my mother I was pregnant while we were eating at Las Palomas Restaurant. Doves are always a good sign, no? The downside of margaritas is that they are full of calories. This sounds like a much better alternative, especially during the last few weeks of remaining New Year’s Resolutions. Viva la paloma revolucion!

    • Wow–them’s cheap grapefruit! But you probably have trees in your backyard, too πŸ˜‰ I haven’t seen these on cocktail menus, either, so was surprised to see it cited as being more popular than the margarita in Mexico. ?? Yes to viva la paloma revolucion. πŸ˜€

      • Oh, they’re usually nearly $1 apiece, so I never buy them. This is some weird fluke, like blackberries were in January. And oh, do I WISH we could grow citrus here. We have no soil in our backyard. Just limestone. We had to pay a pretty penny to truck in pallets of grass, but the yearly droughts just kill the grass. It’s a miracle our fig tree grows!

        • at least you have figs. Found blackberries for $1.29 at a discount grocer, so not too bad. Not sure what we pay for grapefruit. Have a big box of them bought as a fundraiser for a school band in Larry’s hometown. Odd, but fruity πŸ˜‰

          • We’ve had them since December! Keep them chilled in their box covered with a blanket in our garage. Peeling them like orange is my favorite way to eat them.

        • We’ve had them since December! Keep them chilled in their box covered with a blanket in our garage. Peeling them like orange is my favorite way to eat them.

    • You would like this, Nancy! So simple, too. And your photo comment means a lot. Not always my strong suit, but when I catch the right sunlight and make the right Photo Editor decisions, the photos do ok. My favorite part is finding the right “props” as then I can justify my compulsion to buy fun plates, glassware, etc πŸ™‚

    • It’s a must-make if a person likes refreshing citrus cocktails. Am surprised it is not more well known than it is as it is easy to make and the ingredients are easy to come by. Appreciate you being here, Tasty πŸ˜€ Thanks!

  2. Wow, I’ve never heard of a Paloma but it sounds absolutely lovely! I like that you added fresh grapefruit too, making this cocktail particularly seasonal. How did it go with the tacos?

    • I want to know where the Paloma is hiding. It’s amazing and just as easy to mix up as the margarita. It was lovely with tacos, but that party was more of a drinking crowd so it was all about the paloma. Made it with canned grapefruit juice and served it from one of those spigoted beverage jugs.

    • You’re always welcome, Shanna! This is definitely #mama juice πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by. Saw that you were catching up last week. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate you reading. THANK YOU!!!!

  3. This looks so refreshing and healthy to boot. I am all for calling a cocktail healthy!! The fresh juice would indeed be nice. I have heard of the Paloma, just never had one. Maybe soon. I have been on a prosecco cocktail kick lately.

    • It’s pretty much all fruit juice, Mama πŸ˜‰ Was looking over the RumChata recipes on the cardboard I cut out from the back of its box. Have you cooked with it yet? Love that you’re onto Prosecco!

      • I have not baked with the RumChata yet but have thought of so many things. Right now I am all about chocolate during Valentine’s week. Yesterday I got an almond sparkling wine at Trader Joe’s that is calling my name, perhaps with a shot of pear liqueur!

  4. “…is practically health food”
    Love this endorsement – so much!
    This is a definite must try, must try very soon! Now, excuse me as I run off to purchase some tequila and limes. πŸ™‚

    • Thinking of you tonight, Bonnie, as I poured myself a Mama’s Manhattan. You would like the Paloma. Wish we could toast with them. Good to see you here–thanks for coming by. Hope all is super duper in your world πŸ˜€

    • glad you appreciate my dedication to good nutrition, Beth πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming over, especially as I’ve been a rotten visitor to yours. Glad to at least catch the posts on facebook when I see them there. You get a Blue Ribbon in Blog Supporting πŸ™‚

    • Hadn’t thought spring so much because grapefruit is a winter fruit for me, but you’re so right! It’s like a margarita, but seems more special. Tequila gets a bad rap–definitely worth having on hand.

  5. Yum! I’m normally more of a wine person, but when it comes to cocktails I definitely prefer a margarita! How fortunate that I happen to have all of these ingredients available at home πŸ˜‰ I might just go and make one right now. Thanks for sharing, Liz!

    • Thanks, Anna. Definitely refreshing, yes. And you could sub the tequila out for lemonade or even limeade. Would taste different, yes, but still be refreshing πŸ™‚ Appreciate you being here!

  6. This sounds really great, Liz. I adore margarita’s and I’ll definitely be trying this version. The nutritionist in me is a little doubtful about the value of its contribution to your daily fruit intake though!!

    • OK, so the fiber isn’t there since it’s just the juice, but still–no sugar or corn syrup or what not. Just freshly squeeze fruit juice πŸ™‚ And tequila, of course πŸ˜‰ Thanks for checking it out, Georgina. Glad if you like the drink. Thinking of it as margarita’s cousin.


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