The Mezcal Paloma is a smoky version of the classic Paloma Cocktail. This refreshing drink is perfect for avid mezcal lovers but is also a great way to introduce people to the smoky agave spirit.
Quick Facts Mezcal Paloma
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: sour
- How to serve it: over ice
- Glassware: rocks glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 11.5% ABV, 20 grams of alcohol per serving
With our recipe and the right choice of mezcal, you can create a drink you, your friends, and your guests will love and certainly remember.
- 1 Jigger
- 1 Cocktail Shaker
- 1 Hawthorne Strainer
- 1.5 oz Mezcal
- 1.5 oz pink grapefruit juice - freshly squeezed
- 0.5 oz lime juice - freshly squeezed
- 0.25 oz agave syrup
- 1.5 oz grapefruit soda
- fleur de sel - for salt rim
- grapefruit wheel - for garnish
- Moisten the rim of your glass with a grapefruit wedge and dip it in fleur de sel or sea salt.fleur de sel
- Add Mezcal, the freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, and the agave syrup into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.1.5 oz Mezcal, 1.5 oz pink grapefruit juice, 0.5 oz lime juice, 0.25 oz agave syrup
- Shake the mix for a few seconds until the shaker feels cold, then strain your drink over ice into the prepared glass.
- Top everything up with the pink grapefruit soda and garnish your drink with a grapefruit wheel.1.5 oz grapefruit soda, grapefruit wheel
Ingredients of the Mezcal Paloma
The Mezcal Paloma recipe is a mix of five ingredients: grapefruit, lime, mezcal, and agave syrup, and, of course, it sports the salt rim expected of a traditional Mexican cocktail.
- Mezcal is a traditional Mexican spirit made from charred agave plants, which leads to its smokiness. The degree of smokiness varies depending on the product. You can find some recommendations below.
- Grapefruit Juice: You need two grapefruit components in a Mezcal Paloma. To get the natural, refreshing taste of the bittersweet fruit, opt for freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. Especially with citrus fruit, which is an absolute must in mixology.
- Pink Grapefruit Soda: The pink grapefruit soda brings in additional grapefruit flavor, sweetness, and refreshing carbonation. Fever Tree and Thomas Henry are two great choices for mixing top-notch drinks.
- Lime Juice: The lime juice should be freshly squeezed, as well. A quick tip: roll the lime with the flat of your hand with a bit of pressure on the counter before cutting to loosen the flesh. Further, consider aging your lime juice to remove the acidic bite.
- Agave Syrup: The sweetener is necessary for balancing these tart and bitter components in your cocktail. If you don't have agave syrup, use simple syrup instead. However, agave syrup enhances the earthy flavors of the Mezcal base. Therefore, I definitely recommend going for agave syrup if you can get some.
- Salt for the rim: use fleur de sel or one of the Mexican specialty salts explained below.
Which Mezcal for the Paloma?
As mentioned, mezcal is available in different degrees of smokiness. And, like many other spirits, you can also get it in aged and unaged versions.
For this drink, I recommend an unaged type of mezcal. It adds a bit of an edge to the mix and is more affordable than barrel-aged products.
If you want a mezcal that's more on the smoky side, try the Montelobos Joven. For a Mezcal Paloma Cocktail softer on the smoke, go for the Alipús San Luis Del Rio.
Take a look at this overview for more Mezcal recommendations.
Salt rim for your Mezcal Paloma
The salt rim is optional with a Mezcal Paloma, but it, sure enough, lifts the cocktail to the next level. I recommend sea salt or Fleur de Sel for the perfect salt rim. It has a flaky texture and a slightly more restrained saltiness.
Alternatively, you can also try Tajín salt or worm salt. The first is a Mexican seasoning made from a blend of chile powder, dehydrated lime juice, and salt. The latter is a mix that contains the maguey worm - in powder form, of course.
If you want something even more refreshing than this recipe, you can make a frozen version of the Mezcal Paloma. The overall flavor is pretty similar, but it works without the grapefruit soda and the salt rim.
Another option is the cocktail that brought forth the Mezcal Paloma, the classic Paloma made with tequila - a subtype of mezcal. The Paloma, in turn, is a twist on the Margarita.
Another Mexican drink that's directly related to this recipe and might even have played a role in the creation of Paloma drinks is the Cantarito. -A mix of various citrus juices, tequila, soda, and salt.
More about Mezcal
Mezcal is an agave spirit from Mexico with a long tradition. What was formerly known as a cheap spirit is more and more evolving into a quality product. It has been trending in the US for years and is now gaining traction outside North America.
If you want to know more about the mezcal and how it relates to other Mexican agave spirits, here are some interesting reads:
- A Complete Guide to Mezcal
- Mezcal vs. Tequila
- 8 Traditional Mexican Spirits
- How to Trink Mezcal like a Mexican
Are you looking for other drinks to mix with your favorite mezcal? You can basically use it as a substitute for any cocktail mixed with tequila.
Or, if you want some inspiration, head over to our list of the best cocktails made with mezcal.
Did you buy too many grapefruits? Here are some recipes that call for this bittersweet citrus fruit: