Mezcal Paloma Cocktail Drink

Mezcal Paloma

Craving a one-of-a-kind cocktail? You’ve got to try this Mezcal Paloma recipe! It’s as delicious as it’s easy to make, and the Mezcal gives it a full and complex character.

Mezcal Paloma Recipe

Either you’re a mezcal aficionado or you’re new to the world of Mezcal drinks, this one may just be the one for you: the blend of citrus fruits and the fizziness of the soda makes this drink approachable while subliming the mezcal unique flavors and character.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

209 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Squirt Grapefruit Soda or another brand, to top
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters, optional
  • Salt, for rimming
  • Grapefruit slice, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Rim your highball glass with salt: to do so, use a pomelo slice to slightly wet the rim of the glass. Then, delicately press the edge of the glass into the surface of a plate filled with salt. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters (optional): If using, pour 2 dashes grapefruit bitters into the shaker.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Measure and pour ½ oz simple syrup into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Add 1 oz fresh lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Mezcal: Finally, add 2 oz Mezcal to the mix.
  • Shake Well: Fill the shaker with ice, close it, and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Add Ice: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Strain: Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass.
  • Fill up: Fill up the glass with Squirt Grapefruit soda.
  • Garnish: Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Mezcal: If you don't have Mezcal on hand, tequila is an excellent substitute: it's also an agave-based spirit and it’s actually the original main spirit in a Paloma cocktail. However, remember that tequila gives a smoother, less smoky flavor than Mezcal.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: In case you run out of fresh limes, bottled lime juice can work in a pinch, but fresh is always best for cocktails. If you’re out of lime juice altogether, lemon juice can do the trick as well.
  • Grapefruit Soda: A few brands such as Squirt, Thomas Henry, or San Pellegrino make great grapefruit/pomelo soda that you can use in a paloma. However, if you can’t find any or are simply out of it, you can process as follows:
    1. Pour 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters, 0,75 ounces of simple syrup, 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 2 ounces of mezcal, and 2 ounces of grapefruit juice (preferably fresh) into a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, close it, and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
    2. Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass, previously filled with ice cubes and rimmed with salt.
    3. Fill up the glass with seltzer water.
    4. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, mix gently to combine without breaking the fizziness.
    5. Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).
  • Simple Syrup: If you're out of simple syrup, agave syrup or honey can be used as a sweetener. Just remember to adjust to taste.
  • Salt: for a fun twist, you can also rim the glass with a mix of salt and chili powder. It brings a bit of heat to the drink and the flavor of chili goes very well with both the mezcal and the pomelo.

Making a Pitcher of Mezcal Paloma:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of Mezcal, 8 oz of fresh lime juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the grapefruit bitters (if using), Mezcal, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and stir well.
  • Strain and serve: Strain to remove the ice, serve immediately into highball glasses rimmed with salt and filled with ice cubes. Top-up with grapefruit soda, stir gently, and garnish with a grapefruit slice. 
  • Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, top with soda water, garnish with a grapefruit slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Mezcal Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic spirit substitute; these are available and do a reasonable job mimicking the smoky flavor of Mezcal. However, if you can’t find any, you can simply substitute the mezcal with grapefruit or orange juice (preferably fresh). A good way to easily give this drink more complexity is also to add a grapefruit peel into your shaker: gently muddle it before adding the other ingredients, and proceed as usual. The oils in the grapefruit peel will give a nice touch to the final drink, bringing some bitterness and tanginess to the mix.
  • Grapefruit bitters: To get the citrusy touch brought by the Grapefruit bitter, you can slightly muddle a grapefruit zest into the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. Also, note that 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink: the drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your tolerance of the topic, you can choose to keep the dashes of bitters in this recipe or not.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of Mezcal, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including mezcal, are vegan-friendly (just make sure not to use a “Pechuga” type of mezcal, as this kind is not vegan-friendly). However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
209
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
15
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
20
g
7
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Potassium
 
44
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
14
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
9
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
7
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%

 

Mezcal Paloma Cocktail Drink

Mezcal Paloma Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Either you’re a mezcal aficionado or you’re new to the world of Mezcal drinks, this one may just be the one for you: the blend of citrus fruits and the fizziness of the soda makes this drink approachable while subliming the mezcal unique flavors and character.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 209

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Squirt Grapefruit Soda or another brand - to top
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters - optional
  • Salt - for rimming
  • Grapefruit slice - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Highball Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Cocktail Strainer
  • Fine strainer
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Stirrer or Bar Spoon

Instructions

  • Prep Glass: Rim your highball glass with salt: to do so, use a pomelo slice to slightly wet the rim of the glass. Then, delicately press the edge of the glass into the surface of a plate filled with salt. Set it aside.
  • Add Bitters (optional): If using, pour 2 dashes grapefruit bitters into the shaker.
  • Add Simple Syrup: Measure and pour ½ oz simple syrup into the shaker.
  • Add Lime Juice: Add 1 oz fresh lime juice into the shaker.
  • Add Mezcal: Finally, add 2 oz Mezcal to the mix.
  • Shake Well: Fill the shaker with ice, close it, and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
  • Add Ice: Fill your highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Strain: Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass.
  • Fill up: Fill up the glass with Squirt Grapefruit soda.
  • Garnish: Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Mezcal: If you don't have Mezcal on hand, tequila is an excellent substitute: it's also an agave-based spirit and it’s actually the original main spirit in a Paloma cocktail. However, remember that tequila gives a smoother, less smoky flavor than Mezcal.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: In case you run out of fresh limes, bottled lime juice can work in a pinch, but fresh is always best for cocktails. If you’re out of lime juice altogether, lemon juice can do the trick as well.
  • Grapefruit Soda: A few brands such as Squirt, Thomas Henry, or San Pellegrino make great grapefruit/pomelo soda that you can use in a paloma. However, if you can’t find any or are simply out of it, you can process as follows:
    1. Pour 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters, 0,75 ounces of simple syrup, 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 2 ounces of mezcal, and 2 ounces of grapefruit juice (preferably fresh) into a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice, close it, and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).
    2. Using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass, previously filled with ice cubes and rimmed with salt.
    3. Fill up the glass with seltzer water.
    4. Using a bar spoon or a long stirrer, mix gently to combine without breaking the fizziness.
    5. Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).
  • Simple Syrup: If you're out of simple syrup, agave syrup or honey can be used as a sweetener. Just remember to adjust to taste.
  • Salt: for a fun twist, you can also rim the glass with a mix of salt and chili powder. It brings a bit of heat to the drink and the flavor of chili goes very well with both the mezcal and the pomelo.

Making a Pitcher of Mezcal Paloma:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 16 oz of Mezcal, 8 oz of fresh lime juice, and 4 oz of simple syrup.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the grapefruit bitters (if using), Mezcal, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and stir well.
  • Strain and serve: Strain to remove the ice, serve immediately into highball glasses rimmed with salt and filled with ice cubes. Top-up with grapefruit soda, stir gently, and garnish with a grapefruit slice. 
  • Pour the mixture into ice-filled highball glasses, top with soda water, garnish with a grapefruit slice, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Mezcal Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic spirit substitute; these are available and do a reasonable job mimicking the smoky flavor of Mezcal. However, if you can’t find any, you can simply substitute the mezcal with grapefruit or orange juice (preferably fresh). A good way to easily give this drink more complexity is also to add a grapefruit peel into your shaker: gently muddle it before adding the other ingredients, and proceed as usual. The oils in the grapefruit peel will give a nice touch to the final drink, bringing some bitterness and tanginess to the mix.
  • Grapefruit bitters: To get the citrusy touch brought by the Grapefruit bitter, you can slightly muddle a grapefruit zest into the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients. Also, note that 2 dashes of bitter in an otherwise alcohol-free drink won’t raise the overall ABV of the drink: the drink will indeed chemically contain a drop of alcohol, but won’t make you intoxicated at all. Depending on your reason for not drinking alcohol and your tolerance of the topic, you can choose to keep the dashes of bitters in this recipe or not.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use this non-alcoholic substitute instead of Mezcal, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This cocktail is already vegan-friendly as it doesn't contain any animal products. Most spirits, including mezcal, are vegan-friendly (just make sure not to use a “Pechuga” type of mezcal, as this kind is not vegan-friendly). However, some brands may use animal products in their production process, especially if a filtration process is involved. Always check the brand's website or contact them directly to ensure their products are vegan.

What is a Mezcal Paloma?

A Mezcal Paloma is a mezcal-based cocktail made of Mezcal, grapefruit soda, lime, simple syrup, and a pinch of salt. This drink is not complicated to make as it only requires the simple process of mixing these ingredients. It’s an exciting variant of the well-known Paloma cocktail, which traditionally uses tequila instead of Mezcal. The smoky-flavored Mezcal gives this version its unique twist and a lot of character. that sets it apart from other cocktails in its category.

A side shot of a Mezcal Paloma in a highball glass on a white coaster placed on a beige table surrounded by a shaker, a green cloth, two grapefruits and two limes.

What is a Mezcal Paloma made of – The ingredients

The following ingredients are necessary for a Mezcal Paloma:

  • Mezcal: This is the star of the show. It’s a smoky, agave-based spirit that gives the cocktail its distinctive flavor.
  • Fresh Lime Juice: Enhances the tartness and balances the cocktail.
  • Grapefruit Soda: this sweet and fruity soda acts as the mixer in this cocktail, bringing all the ingredients together and adding a pleasant fizziness to the drink.
  • Simple Syrup: a simple and efficient sweetening agent, used here to balance the drink without altering its flavor profile.
  • Salt: Used for rimming the glass. It enhances all other flavors and adds a savory touch to this sweet-tart cocktail.
  • Grapefruit Slice (for garnish): Adds an aesthetic appeal to your drink while hinting about one of its main ingredients.

Mezcal, lime juice, simple syrup, grapefruit bitters, and grapefruit soda laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Mezcal Paloma?

Follow along with our guide to prepare a Mezcal Paloma:

1
<p>Start by rimming your glass with salt. This can be done by wetting the rim with a grapefruit wedge and dipping it gently into a plate or large container filled with salt. This step adds an extra layer of flavor to your Mezcal Paloma; if you’re not sure about the salt, only rim half of the glass so you can taste both versions in the same glass, with and without the salt.</p>

Start by rimming your glass with salt. This can be done by wetting the rim with a grapefruit wedge and dipping it gently into a plate or large container filled with salt. This step adds an extra layer of flavor to your Mezcal Paloma; if you’re not sure about the salt, only rim half of the glass so you can taste both versions in the same glass, with and without the salt.

2
<p>Next, pour 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters into the shaker (if using). This will bring an extra layer of flavor to your drink.</p>

Next, pour 2 dashes of grapefruit bitters into the shaker (if using). This will bring an extra layer of flavor to your drink.

3
<p>Measure and pour 0.5 oz of simple syrup into the shaker.</p>

Measure and pour 0.5 oz of simple syrup into the shaker.

4
<p>Add 1 oz of fresh lime juice into the shaker.</p>

Add 1 oz of fresh lime juice into the shaker.

5
<p>Finally, add 2 oz of mezcal to the mix. Mezcal is a smoky, complex spirit that is the base of this cocktail.</p>

Finally, add 2 oz of mezcal to the mix. Mezcal is a smoky, complex spirit that is the base of this cocktail.

6
<p>Fill the shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill the shaker with ice cubes.

7
<p>Close the shaker and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).</p>

Close the shaker and give it a good shake (10-15 seconds).

8
<p>Fill your highball glass with a generous amount of ice cubes. Then, using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass (this is called a “double strain”).</p>

Fill your highball glass with a generous amount of ice cubes. Then, using both the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer, strain the mixture into the highball glass (this is called a “double strain”).

9
<p>Fill up the glass with Squirt Grapefruit soda (or any other brand). This will bring the cocktail together, as grapefruit goes particularly well with mezcal.</p>

Fill up the glass with Squirt Grapefruit soda (or any other brand). This will bring the cocktail together, as grapefruit goes particularly well with mezcal.

10
<p>Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).</p>

Place a grapefruit slice into the glass for garnish (optional).

Mezcal Paloma Variations

Want something similar to Mezcal Paloma? We recommend one of these variations:

  • Spicy Paloma: A kick of heat from chili peppers or a spicy salt rim introduces an exciting contrast. The spiciness livens up the sweet and tart elements, making each sip vibrant.
  • Hibiscus Paloma: Hibiscus syrup or flowers infuse the beverage with a floral, slightly tangy flavor. Adding a vibrant, ruby color and a hint of tartness, the hibiscus complements the grapefruit beautifully.
  • Elderflower Paloma: Elderflower liqueur lends a sweet, floral nuance. Its subtle sweetness pairs wonderfully with the citrus, enhancing the flavor profile with delicate floral notes.
  • Tamarind Paloma: Tamarind paste or syrup adds a unique sweet-sour profile. It enriches the grapefruit’s natural tartness, offering an exotic and layered taste.
  • Cucumber Paloma: Muddled cucumber or cucumber juice brings a refreshing twist. The cucumber adds a cool, crisp freshness that lightens the overall feel with a clean, green note.
  • Jalapeño Paloma: Slices of jalapeño or a dash of jalapeño-infused syrup introduce a fiery dimension. The spicy jalapeño enhances the sweetness and acidity of the grapefruit. I’m particularly fond of how the jalapeño’s heat invigorates the palate; it’s both refreshing and bold.
  • Pineapple Paloma: Pineapple juice adds a tropical sweetness. It complements the grapefruit’s tartness, creating a cheerful blend that’s both sweet and tart.
  • Blood Orange Paloma: Blood orange juice or slices offer a rich, citrusy sweetness with a hint of raspberry-like flavor. The deep, vibrant flavor and color of blood orange make it visually stunning and deliciously appealing.

A Mezcal Paloma cocktail, shot from above, in a highball glass on a beige table surrounded by Mezcal, lime juice, simple syrup, grapefruit bitters, grapefruit soda, sugar cubes, two limes and a grapefruit slice.

History and Origin

The Paloma, which simply means “dove” in Spanish, seems to have been around since the 1960s. Don Javier Delgado Corona, inventor of the Batanga cocktail and owner/bartender at La Capilla, a famous cantina in Tequila, Jalisco (Mexico), is widely credited for creating this drink. The Paloma cocktail is originally made from tequila, but it makes a lot of sense that this recipe got adapted using mezcal as well. Just like tequila, mezcal is an agave distillate that can only be produced in Mexico. To put it simply, mezcal is kind of a “smoky tequila”: while the agave plants are usually boiled or steamed before distillation in order to make tequila, mezcal production requires the agaves to be cooked in a special oven, sometimes built directly into the ground.

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FAQ

How many calories are in a Mezcal Paloma?
A standard serving of Mezcal Paloma contains approximately 200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the specific ingredients used (especially the type of grapefruit soda) and their quantities.
What is the strength of a Mezcal Paloma cocktail?
The strength of a Mezcal Paloma largely depends on the Mezcal used. Typically, Mezcal has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 40-55%, translating to 80-110 proof. Therefore, considering other non-alcoholic ingredients, a Mezcal Paloma cocktail usually falls around 10-20% 20-30% ABV or 40-60 20-40 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Mezcal Paloma?
As the name suggests, a Mezcal Paloma uses Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico.
What kind of glass is a Mezcal Paloma served in?
A Mezcal Paloma is traditionally served in a highball glass rimmed with salt, allowing plenty of room for ice and garnishes without compromising the ratio of the drink.
What does a Mezcal Paloma taste like?
A Mezcal Paloma offers a unique blend of flavors—the smoky and earthy notes from the mezcal balance perfectly with the tartness of grapefruit and lime juices. The addition of grapefruit soda Adding club soda adds effervescence that lightens the drink, making it refreshing and easy to sip.
What is the ratio in a Mezcal Paloma?
The typical ratio for a Mezcal Paloma is 2:1:½ (2 parts Mezcal to 1 part fresh lime juice and 1 part simple syrup). The grapefruit soda top-up amounts to more or less 3 parts. to 3 parts fresh grapefruit juice, adding half part lime juice and half part simple syrup. This is then topped off with club soda.
How is a Mezcal Paloma served with ice?
A Mezcal Paloma is usually served over ice cubes. This method helps to keep the drink chilled without diluting it too quickly.

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