love a good margarita. On a hot day, it’s nice and refreshing; on a cold and yucky day, it can help me forget that it’s cold and yucky. As I’ve gotten older, though, I can’t tolerate super-sweet margaritas, especially ones that are made with a pre-fab mix.

So when I read in a food magazine about the Paloma being like a “less sweet margarita with bubbles,” and saw that it only required three ingredients, I was intrigued.

What’s in a paloma?

It’s similar to a margarita in that it contains tequila and fresh lime juice, but it gets its sweetness from Italian grapefruit soda instead of triple sec or cointreau.

When I first tasted it, I was pleasantly surprised by 1) how delicious it was, and 2) how subtle the grapefruit flavor was. It really did taste just like a less sweet, bubbly margarita.

If you like margaritas, you will love palomas. Combine tequila, italian soda, and fresh lime juice.

How to make a paloma:

  1. Rim a glass with salt (optional)
  2. Fill the glass with ice and add about a shot of tequila.
  3. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime.
  4. Top off with Italian grapefruit soda.

That’s it! Gently stir, taste and adjust to your liking. If it’s not sweet enough, just add more soda. If it’s too sweet for you, you could try cutting it with some club soda or sparkling water. Since each drink is made individually you can play around with the ingredients until you find your ideal balance.


You can also try experimenting with different flavors of Italian soda. I was going to attempt a version with pomegranate Italian soda over the holidays, but I never got around to it. If anybody does try a different flavor, please comment with your results!

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5 from 6 votes
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Servings: 1

Paloma Cocktail

A paloma cocktail is like a light, bubbly, mildly grapefruity version of a margarita


  • 1/2 lime
  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • 3/4 cup Italian grapefruit soda
  • 1/2 cup club soda, optional


  • Fill a glass with ice. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lime over the ice. Add a shot of tequila and top off with grapefruit soda. (If you prefer it less sweet, top off with a blend of grapefruit soda and club soda or sparkling water).

Nutrition Facts

Calories 180kcal (9%)Carbohydrates 21g (7%)Sodium 68mg (3%)Sugar 18g (20%)Vitamin C 9.7mg (12%)Calcium 23mg (2%)Iron 0.2mg (1%)
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