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13 Astounding Facts About Paloma Cocktail

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The Paloma cocktail has become an increasingly popular drink in recent years. Its refreshing blend of grapefruit, lime, tequila, and sparkling water makes it the perfect cocktail for hot summer days. This classic Mexican drink has a tangy, citrusy flavor that is light and crisp.

While the Paloma may seem simple, its history and composition are quite fascinating. Read on to learn 13 astounding facts about this beloved cocktail.

Interesting Facts About the Paloma Cocktail

  1. The Paloma is a variation of a Mexican soda – The cocktail evolved from a popular Mexican soda made of grapefruit, lime, and salt. The tequila and sparkling water were later additions to transform this non-alcoholic drink into a cocktail.
  2. It’s name means “dove” in Spanish – The word “paloma” translates to “dove” or “pigeon” in Spanish, likely referring to the light and delicate nature of this drink.
  3. The Paloma was created in the 1940s – The tequila-based Paloma cocktail as we know it today traces its origins back to the 1940s in Mexico.
  4. It was originally made with Squirt soda – In Mexico, early Paloma recipes called for Squirt, a grapefruit-flavored soda, instead of fresh grapefruit juice. Many bars still make it this way.
  5. The grapefruit juice should always be fresh – For the best flavor, freshly squeezed ruby red or pink grapefruit juice is preferred over pre-packaged juice.
  6. The lime juice balances out the sweetness – The tart lime helps cut the sweetness of the grapefruit so the cocktail doesn’t become overly sugary.
  7. Use a 100% agave blanco tequila – Blanco tequilas let the bright citrus flavors shine, while reposado or añejo tequilas introduce oaky, vanilla notes that compete.
  8. Any sparkling water works – While soda water is traditional, mineral waters like Topo Chico or club soda also work well.
  9. The classic ratio is 3:2:1:1 – A standard Paloma is made with 3 parts grapefruit juice, 2 parts tequila, 1 part lime juice, and 1 part sparkling water.
  10. It’s commonly served in a salt-rimmed glass – A salted glass rim accentuates the margarita-like flavors and also pays homage to the drink’s soda origins.
  11. The Paloma is lower in alcohol – With carbonated water diluting the tequila, the ABV of a Paloma lands between 4-7%, making it lighter than a margarita.
  12. It inspired the Paloma Fresca – Jose Cuervo introduced the Paloma Fresca (fresh Paloma), swapping the tequila for vodka and soda water for Prosecco.
  13. The cocktail has many riffs – Popular variations include grapefruit liqueurs, agave nectar, spices like jalapeño, and different citrus juices.
Grapefruit Juice3
Lime Juice1
Sparkling Water1


The refreshingly fizzy Paloma cocktail has a tangy citrus flavor profile that makes it the quintessential Mexican summer drink. Its origins trace back over 80 years to the 1940s in Mexico, but it has recently soared in popularity at bars across the Americas.

The Paloma has a simple base of grapefruit juice, lime, tequila, and sparkling water that can be endlessly riffed upon. No matter how it’s made, the Paloma is crisp, light, and the ideal cocktail for hot weather sipping. The next time you need a drink to beat the heat, consider mixing up one of these dovelike Palomas. ¡Salud!

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