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Cocktail Hour: Toast to World Paloma Day With The Delicious Mexican Drink

The Paloma is the sweet and zesty grapefruit cocktail loved around the world, here’s why you should make it

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By House & Garden South Africa | May 21, 2024 | Recipes

Every year on 22 May, cocktail-lovers, mixologists, and residents of Mexico toast in celebration of the Paloma, a spicy, yet sweet grapefruit cocktail that is both easy on the eyes and your tastebuds.

A simple combination of good quality tequila, sparkling water, grapefruit, and lime juice with salt to rim your glass, plus a few ice cubes, the Paloma is sure to wow your guests at your next siesta at home.

What is a Paloma?

A Paloma is a blushing pink, grapefruit-based cocktail filled with citrus notes thanks to the addition of lime juice and a salted rim. For Cape Town bar-hoppers, few places are as well-known for their Paloma’s as the Kloof Street hangout, Blondie.

@mercycocina PALOMA TEQUILERA Ingredientes: - Jugo de toronja - Jugo de limón - Gaseosa de toronja - Tequila - Hielo Adicional: Limón, sal de Jamaica y Tajín para el garnish Procedimiento: 1. Escarcha los vasos con el limón y la mezcla de sal de Jamaica y Tajín 2. En un mixer agrega el hielo, tequila, jugo de limón, gaseosa y jugo de toronja. Mezcla bien y vierte en el vaso escarchado. ¡Disfruta! #paloma #cocteles #guatemala #drinks #tequila ♬ sonido original - Mercy Cocina

What is the History of the Paloma?

Like many iconic cocktails, the story of the Paloma cocktail is unclear, but there are tales that have become widely agreed upon as the most feasible origin story. The lore of the Paloma starts at Mexico’s oldest bar La Capilla where it’s famed owner Don Javier Delgado Corona is credited as the inventor of the Paloma.

In Spanish, La Paloma means “the dove”, which some believe may be the key to decode the mirky history of the Paloma: The drink may be named in reference to a popular Mexican folk song composed in the 1860’s. Others swear it’s named “the dove” because of the pale white/pink colours of the cocktail.

@freiruum Prickelnd, fruchtig und erfrischend - das ist unser Paloma ☀️ 18+ @Fever-Tree #donjulio #tequila #drinks #freiruum #zug #kantonzug #fevertree #grapefruit #bar #cocktail #mixing #drinkrecipe #foodies #sparkling #summerdrinks ♬ Originalton - Freiruum

How to Make a Paloma


1.5 ounce of high quality tequila blanco

3 ounce Fresh grapefruit juice

.5 ounce Agave syrup (1:1)

.5 ounce Fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 ounce Sparkling water

Sugar and salt for rimming

A Grapefruit wedge for garnish


Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a shaker tin and shake with ice to chill.

Strain onto fresh ice in a sugar and salt rimmed collins glass.

Top with sparkling water and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.