3 New Paloma Cocktail Riffs

Refreshing. Versatile. Easy to make. What isn’t there to love about the wildly popular Paloma? In honor of World Paloma Day, here are three simple spins on the classic recipe that are just begging to be made.
Nicole Habif - Blog Author
Nicole Habif

Simple cocktails = a blank canvas for the inventive mixologist. They’re also approachably appealing for consumers at home or for anyone looking to enjoy a less-potent potable. After all, something with just three ingredients is easier to customize to suit any sipping preference.

Enter: the Paloma, Mexico’s other signature cocktail. The easy-going drink, technically a spritz, has a bit of a muddled origin story. There were rumors of an American bartender, Evan Harrison, whose pamphlet “Popular Cocktails of the Rio Grande,” purported to be the origin, but that proved to be a marketing stunt gone too far. Many industry folks now point to Don Javier Delgado Corona as the Paloma's creator — a bartender in Tequila, Mexico, Don Javier was already noted for his cola/tequila/lime juice cocktail known as the Batanga.

But where the Paloma came from is not nearly as important as where it’s going.

As a quick-mixing, simple serve, it’s been making progressively bigger waves across the United States (and beyond) for a few years now.

“The Paloma cocktail has been gaining quite a lot of popularity, partly due to its refreshing taste and how it appeals to a wide range of palates,” says Cian Wrynne, On-Premise Development Manager for The Shed Distillery of PJ Rigney in Ireland.

“While on my travels, I have found post-pandemic, there’s been a growing interest in cocktails that are easy to make at home with simple ingredients, and the Paloma fits the bill perfectly.”

DC-area mixologist and US Sherry Week ambassador Chantal Tseng agrees.

“The Paloma can be as simple or as complex as a bartender or mixologist feels like,” she says. “It's still tasty as long as you're using good ingredients. So whether you're building your highball with grapefruit soda, lime, and tequila or you are fresh-squeezing grapefruit, brewing up a house-spiced soda to siphon or adding any fun savory salt tinctures or rims ... you'll end up with a highly crushable and delicious drink.”

The Curious Paloma

Wrynne’s Irish riff on the Paloma stars Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin and Tequila Bribón Blanco.

“The gin has a wonderful backbone of fresh citrus including red grapefruit, which links well with the blanco tequila and fresh citrus components,” he says. “The black pepper syrup offers a warm and earthy spice that brings everything together.” Get the recipe here.  

The Curious Paloma - Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
The Curious Paloma adds Spirit Brand of the Year 2023 Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin to the traditional, tequila-based Paloma recipe.

The GAD Mezcal Paloma

Mezcal swapped in for the tequila is a very on-trend Paloma improv — and the team at Gracias a Dios in Oaxaca make a killer Espadín for the job. It’s smooth and subtly herbal with lemongrass, ginger, and anise notes. (Amp up the fruity notes even further by using the GAD Piña or Mango Mezcals.) Here’s how to make it.

Mezcal Espadín Paloma - Gracias a Dios

The Brunchy Paloma

Prosecco makes just about everything better — including brunch and Palomas. So, we swapped in a healthy splash of our Lunetta Prosecco for the bubbly element here. Fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and a kiss of simple syrup give the drink a pleasingly sweet/tart balance. (And serving it in a wine glass just feels right for a classy alfresco brunch.) Full recipe here. 

The Brunchy Paloma - Tequila Bribon Lunetta
Lunetta Prosecco gives this version of the Paloma its uplifting bubbles — pass the Eggs Benedict.

Cheers to whatever way you Paloma — and as always, happy mixing.

Our latest Notes

From the PBI Journal

Our Wines

Hand-selected, exceptional wines that deliver quality and enjoyment at every level.

Our Spirits

A distinctive selection of artisanal spirits that inspire creativity and exploration.