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Spicy Paloma: the ultra-refreshing tequila cocktail to drink this summer

Total time: 10 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist


jalapeño slices
lime wedge
Lime juice
1/2 ounce
tequila blanco
2 ounces
grapefruit juice
1 ounce
grapefruit soda

The spicy Paloma might be the most refreshing cocktail you can mix up this summer. Based on tequila and featuring freshly squeezed lime juice, grapefruit juice, and slices of spicy jalapeño peppers, the spicy Paloma is a sparkling Mexican cocktail that's perfect for when the weather is hot. It's a spicier drink than the classic Paloma to enjoy at picnics, barbecues, and summertime parties, especially because it's so easy to make. Just muddle the jalapeños and lime juice, pour in the tequila and grapefruit and top with soda. This fantastic cocktail can even be batched to serve a crowd. Spicy Paloma punch? Yes, please!

What is a Paloma Cocktail?

A Paloma is a classic Mexican cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda. The name means dove and is one of the most popular cocktails in Mexico. This recipe builds on the traditional Paloma by adding jalapeños for spice, and fresh grapefruit juice for a more intense grapefruit flavor and refreshing taste.

How strong your spicy Paloma is will depend on how much grapefruit soda you add to your cocktail, but it's slightly less strong than a Margarita.

Spicy Paloma Ingredients

There are a few essential ingredients you'll need to make the perfect spicy Paloma. Fresh jalapeños add a spicy heat to the drink, while lime juice, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit soda make it oh so zesty and refreshing – tailor-made for a balmy summer's day. Tequila gives this tasty tipple its signature kick while also complementing the citrus. A match made in heaven? We think so.

How to Make a Spicy Paloma Cocktail

If you've ever made a Mojito, you'll find that mixing up a spicy Paloma is a similar affair. Put your jalapeños in your highball glass and squeeze in the lime juice. Muddle them to release the jalapeños' juice which gives this cocktail its spicy kick. Pour in the ice, followed by tequila and grapefruit juice. Give the drink a quick swirl to mix the ingredients then top your glass up with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño, grapefruit, or lime – whatever you prefer!

Tips for Making the Best Jalapeños Cocktail

– Fresh is always best. Use freshly squeezed lime juice and grapefruit juice for the best flavor in your Paloma cocktail.

Ruby red grapefruits are ideal for making Palomas.

– Use blanco or silver tequila for your cocktail. These unaged tequilas will give your spicy Paloma the cleanest, freshest flavor.

For a spicier Paloma, you can use more jalapeños or substitute the jalapeño slices for a slice of serrano chili.

– You can use grapefruit sparkling water instead of grapefruit soda for a less sweet cocktail.

– Mix things up by using a flavored salt or sugar rim to garnish your glass. Add a little grapefruit or lime zest to the salt for an even brighter cocktail.

– Make your spicy Paloma into a mocktail by leaving out the tequila. Use 2 ounces of grapefruit juice instead of one if you're making a mocktail.

How to Make a Spicy Paloma

Run the lime wedge around the rim of a cocktail glass and dip in salt.

Place the jalapeños in the glass. Squeeze the lime wedge into the glass.

Gently muddle the lime juice and jalapeños together. Pour in ice.

Pour in tequila and grapefruit juice, stirring to combine.

Top with grapefruit soda, and enjoy.


This is an easy cocktail to make, however, you will need a cocktail muddler for the best results. If you don't have one, a wooden spoon will work in a pinch.

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