Paloma cocktail recipes normally call for tequila but we jazzed this one up with a smokey Mezcal. This healthy Mezcal Paloma recipe is easy to make with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and a honey simple syrup.
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We have been all about mezcal cocktails lately (check out our mezcal mule recipe) and the citrus (hello, can you say coconut lime margarita?). This paloma recipe is the perfect match between smokey and citrusy.
Paloma Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chili Lime Salt- A salt rim isn't necessary. But this salt is special with chili powder and lime zest. I am not typically a salt rim fan but this is special. And so worth making.
- Mezcal- Mezcal is Tequila's cousin. While tequila is only made from one type of blue agave, Mezcal can be made from any agave plant. The smokiness comes from roasting the plants over an open fire. I used Mezcal Vargo for this Paloma recipe. You can substitute tequila to make a traditional Paloma. If you want to learn more about Mezcal, this article from Wine Enthusiast is an interesting read.
- Grapefruit Juice- Ruby red or pink grapefruits are the best options. If you look closely at the photos you might notice the glasses are different colors- apparently, I had one ruby red and one pink and didn't realize until I cut into them. Whoops! You can use fresh squeezed or buy a bottle. Just watch out for added sugar, it will change the outcome of the drink.
- Honey Simple Syrup- One part honey and one part water warmed together. You can use a granulated sugar-based simple syrup as well. The syrup will mix in better with the liquids so either way, simple syrup is necessary. Resist the temptation to just drop in a little honey or granulated sugar. You won't be happy with the results.
- Club Soda- Simple and to the point. Just to top off the cocktail and provide a little fizz. I use my Soda Stream all the time for cocktails like this!
How To Make a Paloma
Combine the kosher salt, lime zest and chili powder on a plate. Take a lime wedge and rub on the rim of a rocks glass. Dip the glass in the salt mixture. Fill the glass with ice.
To make the drink, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the mezcal, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup. Shake for about 15 seconds. Strain the drink into the glass.
Top off the drink with club soda. Sit back, relax and enjoy! You probably should have a snack too. Maybe this roasted salsa has your name on it?
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Make Chili-Lime Salt Rim
- Combine salt, chili powder, and lime zest and spread out a small plate.
- Wipe the rim of a highball glass with a wedge of lime. Dip into the chili-lime salt to coat rim.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the mezcal, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup and shake about 15 seconds.
- Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and top off with club soda and a few ice cubes. Garnish with mint and grapefruit wedges.
Honey Simple Syrup- Combine equal parts water and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring constantly until honey dissolves. Cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.