This traditional Mexican cocktail is made with fresh grapefruit juice and tequila. My version has a subtle kick of heat from a chili-infused simple syrup.
When I order cocktails I am always looking for something fizzy, slightly tart and not too sweet. Fresh herbs like mint are always a plus and I’m a huge fan of ginger or chilis to add a little spicy kick to balance the sweetness.
Most recently I decided to come up with a healthier version of the Paloma cocktail, a Mexican drink typically made with grapefruit soda such as Squirt or Jarritos. Instead of using store bought soda I decided to combine fresh grapefruit and lime juice with a chili-infused simple syrup. If you don’t want this to be spicy, simply omit the chilis. Ginger would be a great alternative as well.
To bring all the flavors together I like to rim the glass with a combination of coarse Kosher salt and sugar. The subtle sweetness from the grapefruit juice, tartness from the lime juice and spicy-sweet simple syrup create the ultimate well-balanced cocktail. Tequila is used traditionally but gin or vodka would work too.
Your straw is waiting.
Grapefruit Paloma Cocktail
- 8 ounces tequila
- 1 cup fresh pink grapefruit juice roughly two juiced
- 1/4 cup lime juice roughly one juiced
- 12 ounces club soda
- additional lime and grapefruit slices optional garnish
Chili-Infused Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 fresno chili thinly sliced
Sugar Salt Rim
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- Start by preparing the Chili-Infused Simple Syrup. Place the sugar and water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add chili slices and remove from heat. Let chilis steep in simple syrup until syrup is cooled. Drain then refrigerate for up to 5 days. Note: If you need the syrup sooner, place in the freezer to quickly bring down the temp before draining the chilis.
- When you're ready to make the cocktail, place the tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and chili-infused simple syrup in a large pitcher and stir well. Place the sugar and salt for the rub on a small plate and mix with a fork to combine. Run a lime wedge along the rim of each glass then carefully dip the glasses into the sugar-salt rub until coated.
- Fill the cocktail glasses with ice and pour mixture until 3/4 full. Top off each glass with club soda and fruit garnish to serve.
Check out more of my drink recipes on my Pinterest board!