Easy Paloma Cocktail

This easy Paloma cocktail is a refreshing drink made with grapefruit & lime juice, tequila and a splash of soda water. Serve it on the rocks with a salted rim and enjoy!

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The Paloma is one of my favorite tequila-based cocktails. It’s right up there with all my favorite margaritas – like these Italian Margaritas, Grilled Pineapple Margaritas, Hibiscus Margaritas, and St. Germain Margaritas.

Palomas are the perfect summer cocktail.

Bucket list =  spend time on the patio, with a few good magazines to sink into and at least one of these paloma cocktails!

What is a paloma cocktail?

  • The paloma is a popular cocktail from Mexico. It’s a tequila cocktail that’s light and refreshing with just a bit of effervescence. My version of the traditional paloma cocktail is naturally sweetened with a honey simple syrup and served on the rocks with a citrus salt rim.
Cut up citrus next to bowl of salt and ice.

Ingredients needed

  • Tequila
  • Grapefruit Juice – Fresh squeezed is best. But any high-quality juice will work.
  • Lime Juice – Again, fresh squeezed is the way to go!
  • Soda Water – Aka club soda or sparkling water.
  • Honey Simple Syrup – To make the simple syrup, simply combine water and honey in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Don’t want to make simple syrup? You can also use agave nectar in its place.

I’m a huge fan of using honey in cocktails. It adds sweetness without using refined sugars, plus it lends an extra element of richness and a creamy flavor.

To make the honey simple syrup for this recipe, you simply combine equal parts honey and water in a saucepan. Heat it until the mixture is combined and smooth and then let it cool. That’s all there is to it! (Here’s a whole post on how to make honey simple syrup.)

We’re going to add in two teaspoons of the honey simple syrup to each paloma cocktail. And you’ll definitely have plenty of honey simple syrup on hand to make cocktail after cocktail.

If you have leftover honey simple syrup, it will keep in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. It’s great in iced tea, hot green tea or drizzled on top of sorbet. It also goes into this yummy cocktail, The Bees Knees.

What tequila is best for palomas?

  • Look for a high-quality blanco tequila or silver tequila for this recipe. Reposado tequila will have a more pronounced flavor and will turn your palomas a darker color.
Close up of paloma in glass on grey counter.

How to make it

  • Rim your glass with salt. My preference is using my own homemade citrus salts (which are so easy to make and make perfect gifts). To rim the glass, just run a lime wedge around the lip of the glass and dip it into kosher salt.
  • Fill your glass with ice.
  • Add tequila, soda water, grapefruit juice, lime juice and a bit of the honey simple syrup.
  • Stir, garnish and enjoy!

How to make a batch of palomas

To serve a crowd, use the recipe card adjuster below to mix a triple or quadruple batch in a pitcher. Add some ice and garnish with fresh fruit.

What do you garnish a paloma with?

I like to garnish with some grapefruit wedges and/or lime wheels. Or, dried orange slices.


  • In place of the soda water, you can use grapefruit soda, squirt or fresca for even more grapefruit flavor.
  • Give your paloma a smoky flavor by using mezcal in place of the tequila.

I hope that you all enjoy this simple paloma recipe as much as I do!

I love it’s pretty pink color and the combination of the salted rim with that bitter grapefruit and the tangy lime juice.

I like to think of it as the answer to when you want a tequila cocktail, but you don’t want something as syrupy sweet as a margarita… Cheers!

Side view of paloma cocktail garnished with grapefruit wedge.

More easy cocktail recipes

Did you try this easy Paloma cocktail?

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Side view of paloma cocktail garnished with grapefruit wedge.

Easy Paloma Cocktail

This Easy Paloma Cocktail with honey simple syrup is a refreshing, citrus cocktail made with tequilla and a splash of soda water. Serve it on the rocks with a salted rim and enjoy! 
4.88 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


Honey Simple Syrup


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces soda water
  • 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey simple syrup
  • ice (as needed)
  • grapefruit wedges (for garnish)
  • salt (for rimming )


Honey Simple Syrup

  • Combine water and honey in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


  • Moisten the rim of serving glass with a grapefruit wedge. Pour salt into small dish. Turn your glass upside down and twist glass around to salt the rim.
  • Fill serving glass with ice.
  • Pour in all ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin C: 19.7mg | Iron: 0.7mg

This recipe was originally published in 2018. It was updated in 2021 to add new photographs, and again in 2023 to add new content. The honey paloma recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

17 thoughts on “Easy Paloma Cocktail”

  1. 5 stars
    Yes! I just used honey simple syrup in one of my recipes and I love it. It makes me feel so much better about having a little sugar when it’s not refined. These sound super refreshing!

4.88 from 8 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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