Paloma Cocktail Recipe

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

The Paloma is one of my favorite tequila-based cocktails 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?

  • 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.

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 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.

Cut up citrus next to bowl of salt and ice.

What’s in a paloma cocktail?

  • Tequila
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Lime Juice
  • Soda Water
  • Honey Simple Syrup

What tequila do you use for palomas?

  • Look for a high-quality blanco or silver tequila for this recipe.
Close up of paloma in glass on grey counter.

How do you make a paloma?

  • Rim your glass with salt. My preference is using my own homemade citrus salts (which are so easy to make and make perfect gifts).
  • Fill your glass with ice .
  • Add tequila, soda water, grapefruit juice, lime juice and a bit of the honey simple syrup.
  • Garnish – I like to garnish with some grapefruit wedges and/or lime wheels. Or, dried orange slices.
  • Stir and enjoy!

I hope that you all enjoy this easy 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.

If you loved this Paloma Cocktail recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings & Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

More cocktail recipes

Side view of paloma cocktail garnished with grapefruit wedge.

Paloma Cocktail

This 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! 
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin
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. The original paloma recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

Watch the web story on how to make a paloma here.

16 thoughts on “Paloma Cocktail Recipe”

  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!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.