The traditional Paloma cocktail is a simple combination of tequila, grapefruit soda, lime, and salt. It's a perfect drink on a hot day and even better when served frozen. To elevate this recipe, we bring in the smoky flavors of Mezcal and improve the consistency.
Tastewise, this frozen Paloma recipe packs a smoky punch from Mezcal and has the consistency of frozen Margaritas. The best part is, that this frozen twist on the classic is super easy to make.
To make this frozen Paloma slushie, you'll need a smoky Mezcal, fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, a dash of simple syrup, and sea salt. Put all these ingredients plus ice in a blender, and blend until it has the perfect slushy consistency. Then pour the drinks into your glasses and garnish with some extra salt, a grapefruit wedge, and a bit of chili powder.
- 1 Blender
- 1 Jigger
- 2 oz Joven Mezcal
- 2 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.75 oz Fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz Agave syrup
- 1 cup Ice cubes
- 1 pinch Salt
- Kosher salt or fleur de sel (for rim)
- Chili powder
- Salt rim a glass and set it aside.Kosher salt or fleur de sel (for rim)
- Add all ingredients, including the ice and a pinch of salt, into your blender.2 oz Joven Mezcal, 2 oz Fresh grapefruit juice, 0.75 oz Fresh lime juice, 0.5 oz Agave syrup, 1 cup Ice cubes, 1 pinch Salt
- Blend the mixture until it reaches the desired texture. We're looking for a perfectly smooth slushy consistency.
- Once done, transfer into a glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Ingredients for Frozen Mezcal Paloma
For the frozen version of the Mezcal Paloma, you only need a few ingredients:
- Mezcal: The Mexican alcohol distilled from agave has been trending in the United States for the past years and is now gaining traction internationally. The traditional way of drinking Mezcal is neat from a jicara or copita. However, the bold smoky flavors are more accessible when you mix the spirit into cocktails - especially frozen ones that soften the taste.
- Citrus juice: Instead of grapefruit soda, we use a combination of freshly squeezed lime and red grapefruit juice are key to this beautiful frozen Mezcal cocktail.
- Agave syrup: A hint of sweetness to balance the booze, the smokiness, and the tart and bitter flavors from the grapefruit and the lime.
- Salt: A pinch of salt goes into the drink and you can also consider making a salt rim. That's optional for a Paloma, though.
Mezcal Paloma Pitcher Recipe
To make a pitcher of this recipe is super simple. Multiply the ingredients and blend everything to create 8 servings of frozen Mezcal Palomas.
You don't have to drink these batches all at once. After everything is blended, pour the drinks and leave the rest inside your lidded blender in the freezer. Alternatively, you can also store the frozen mezcal mixture in a resealable container. Give it another quick blend before serving round two.
- 16 ounces Ruby red grapefruit juice (or use pink grapefruits)
- 16 ounces Joven Mezcal
- 6 ounces Lime juice
- 4 ounces Agave syrup or honey
- 8 cups Ice
- 6 pinches of Sea salt
About this Frozen Paloma Cocktail
The Paloma (Spanish term for dove) cocktail is a traditional Mexican drink based on tequila. It's an easy-to-make drink featuring Silver or Reposado Tequila, freshly squeezed lime juice, and grapefruit soda like Fresca or Squirt.
The original Paloma cocktail is typically served on the rocks, garnished with a lime wedge, and sometimes a salt-rimmed glass. While this classic is an excellent drink for every occasion, the homemade frozen Paloma is our absolute favorite for pool or beach sessions. You simply add all ingredients to a mixer and blend until they have the smooth and slushy consistency you want.
Similar drinks from Mexico are the Monte Paloma (incorporating Amaro Montenegro), classic Margaritas, made with tequila, triple sec, and lime juice, and the Cantarito cocktail. The latter uses a tequila base with lime and lemon juice, fresh orange juice, grapefruit soda, and a sprinkle of salt. Give the mixture a quick stir and garnish with some lime slices.
A Primer on Mezcal
Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic spirit derived from various types of maguey plants, has deep roots in Mexico's cultural and gastronomic heritage. The term "mezcal" originates from the Nahuatl word mexcalli, signifying "oven-cooked agave."
While over 70% of mezcal production occurs in the state of Oaxaca, it is crafted and distributed throughout Mexico. Mezcal remains true to tradition, utilizing the agave plant's heart, known as the piña, much as it did two centuries ago.
This spirit boasts a robust, smoky flavor, setting it apart from its close cousin, tequila, which is produced exclusively from the blue Weber agave. Mezcal's popularity is steadily growing beyond Mexican borders, with exports finding favor in countries like Japan, Canada, and the United States.
Best Mezcal for Cocktails
Choosing the right Mezcal for a cocktail can be tricky. Each brand and bottle of Mezcal has a unique aroma, flavor profile, and distinct level of smoky flavors. Some have just a subtle smoky note, others are significantly more smoke-forward.
You can pick any of the different types of Mezcal, but we usually use Joven in a Paloma. Personally, I'm a fan of Mezcal and prefer smokier bottles like Montelobos Joven Mezcal. If you're not keen on too many char notes in your drink, try something like Alipús San Luis Del Rio or look at our recommended bottles of Mezcal for more inspiration.
Plus, here's a quick overview of Mezcals you could try in this recipe:
- Banhez Joven
- Bozal Mezcal Ensamble
- Del Maguey Vida Clásico
- Mezcal El Silencio – Espadin
- El Buho Espadín
Tips for making the Frozen Mezcal Paloma even better
- Add bubbles: If you want to add a bit of bubbles to your slush cocktail, add a bit of chilled club soda or grapefruit soda to the drink.
- Fresh juice: Always use fresh juices when making cocktails. The taste is fresher, more natural, and more intense than store-bought juices.
- More garnish: A sprig of rosemary (smoked or not) or fresh basil leaves are an excellent way to elevate the drink.
- Add Tajin: Tajin is a popular spice mix often used with Mezcal cocktails. Use it to rim your glass, or sprinkle a bit of tajin over your drink to add some spice.
- Make it spicy: Just like infusing tequila with jalapeño, you can add spice to your Mezcal by infusing it with your favorite peppers. I like to use habanero to add an extra kick of spice, but poblanos or jalapeño peppers work fine, too.
More Mezcal cocktails
In case you're looking for more delicious mezcal cocktails you can make with the smoky Mexican spirit, you can almost always use it as a substitute for cocktails mixed with tequila.
Plus, here's a list of the best Mezcal cocktails with some must-try recipes, like:
- Mezcal Sour: This twist on a classic sour cocktail recipe uses Amaro liqueur for added depth and complexity.
- Mezcal Negroni: One of my favorite Negroni riffs uses Mezcal instead of gin for a smokier taste and harsher flavors.
- Mezcal Margarita: A smoky and spicy twist on the traditional Margarita recipe.