Mezcal Paloma Cocktail


Experience a world of Mexican cocktails beyond margaritas with the Mezcal Paloma, a smoky yet refreshing blend of mezcal, lime juice, and grapefruit soda.

Mezcal Paloma Cocktail featured image above

Think Mexico, our lovely neighbors to the south, are only about margaritas and Corona? Think again. The country’s national drink is in fact the paloma, a refreshing mix of tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. One taste and you’ll see why it has attained such a level of fame throughout the nation.

It has been made by bartenders since the mid–20th century and supposedly named after the song “La Paloma” (“dove” in Spanish), which was popular in the early 1900s. It’s clearly a drink that is very near and dear to the hearts of all Mexicans.

You know what else they hold dear? Mezcal. Mezcal is like tequila’s smoky cousin. It has started to develop a following here in America as more and more enthusiasts find more and more cocktails in which to use it. Which brings us to the Paloma. Gone is the tequila that is traditionally used; in its place is mezcal. The result is a sophisticated sipper that can be enjoyed in a leather lounge chair or at the bar with friends.

What is the best Mezcal to Use?

The smokiness is the distinguishing characteristic in mezcal. It comes from roasting agave hearts in underground pits (the agave plant also gives us tequila, just an FYI). The type of agave and how it is then smoked and produced will influence the taste of the resulting liquor. You’ll want one with a smokiness that doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in your cocktail. So attention to balance is key. I recommend a mezcal made from espadín agave; its taste is accessible to newbies and shouldn’t be difficult to find. You can experiment with tobalá or tepeztate varieties once you familiarize yourself with not only mezcal, but the mezcal paloma as well.

Can I Use Bottled Lime Juice?

I understand the urge to go for the convenience of the bottled stuff but you should really use real lime juice. You’ll appreciate it more because you not only put your own blood, sweat, and tears into squeezing it, it will taste so much better. If you intend on making juice-based cocktails regularly, you can get manual juicers at stores like IKEA for a couple of dollars; they’ll make it so that you only have to expend sweat (the blood and tears and stay where they are). I always found the pre-packaged juice to taste synthetic, due mainly to the preservatives they add to them.


  • 2 oz. mezcal
  • 1/2 oz. lime Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 oz. grapefruit soda
  • salt (optional rim)
  • slice grapefruit (optional garnish)
Mezcal Paloma Cocktail ingredients


Rim (optional)

Wet the rim with a lime wedge then dip it in a shallow bowl/saucer of salt.


Fill the glass with ice.


Pour the mezcal into the glass. Add the lime juice. Top with grapefruit soda and gently stir to mix.

Garnish (optional)

Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.


Mezcal Paloma Cocktail featured image below

FAQs & Tips

How do I store a Mezcal Paloma?

Pour your leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for no longer than a day. Remember, it contains soda, so you will want to consume it before the fizz is completely gone.

Can I shake this cocktail?

Given there is a carbonated beverage in there, I don’t recommend it. Things could get messy. What’s more, shaking will kill the bubbles. So, besides burning off some pent-up energy, you will gain nothing from shaking this cocktail.

How many calories are in a Mezcal Paloma?

There are about 131 calories in this Mezcal Paloma recipe. A vast majority of them come from the mezcal, so if you want to lower that number, seek out a “light” variation.

Which glass and garnish do I use?

A rocks or Old-Fashioned glass is ideal, though a highball will work in a jam. For garnish, I use a salt rim here, though it’s by no means the only option. You can use Tajin, a Mexican mix of chili powder, lime, and salt; sugar; or citrus zest.

Can I make a mezcal paloma in advance?

Yes, though you will want to wait until serving to add the soda. The mezcal and lime juice should last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. Really, though, given how simple it is to make this drink, you’d be better off just making it all when you want to drink it.

Mezcal Paloma Cocktail featured image below

Mezcal Paloma Cocktail Variations

  • The Paloma: This is the original cocktail, made with tequila, grapefruit, and lime.
  • Spicy Mezcal Paloma: Muddle some jalapeno peppers in the bottom of your glass then proceed with the recipe.
  • Herbal Mezcal Paloma: Add an aroma to your cocktail by muddling cilantro or basil in your glass.
  • Bitter Mezcal Paloma: Got some bitters on hand (e.g., Angostura)? Add a dash. There also exists grapefruit bitters; if you find some, I highly recommend giving them a go.
  • Virgin Mezcal Paloma: Remove the mezcal and use instead smoked grapefruit juice or smoked simple syrup. You’ll get the mezcal taste without the mezcal booze.


Mezcal Paloma Cocktail

Experience a world of Mexican cocktails beyond margaritas with the Mezcal Paloma, a smoky yet refreshing blend of mezcal, lime juice, and grapefruit soda.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 158kcal
Author FoodFaithFitness


  • 2 oz. mezcal
  • 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 oz. grapefruit soda
  • salt (optional rim)
  • 1 slice grapefruit (optional garnish)


  • (Optional) Wet the rim with a lime wedge and then dip it in salt. Fill the glass with ice.
  • Pour 2 oz of Mezcal into the glass.
  • Add the 1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Top with grapefruit soda and gently stir to mix. If you like, garnish with a slice of grapefruit.


Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.04mg

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