The Mezcal Paloma is a smoky version of the classic Paloma cocktail, which itself is a riff on our all-time Mexican favorite, the Margarita.
This refreshing drink is perfect for Mezcal-lovers, but it is also a great way to introduce people to the smoky agave spirit.
With our recipe and the right choice of Mezcal, you can create a drink you, your friends, and guests will love and certainly remember.
Ingredients of the Mezcal Paloma
The Mezcal Paloma is a mix of grapefruit, lime, Mezcal, and agave syrup, and, of course, it sports the salt rim, characteristic of so many Mexican cocktails.
Mezcal is a traditional Mexican spirit made from charred agave plants. And the method of charring also is what brings the smokiness into the liquid. The degree of smokiness varies depending on the brand and individual product.
If you want to know more about the Mexican agave spirits, here are some interesting reads:
Grapefruit for the Mezcal Paloma
You need two grapefruit components in a Mezcal Paloma. The first is grapefruit juice.
To get that natural, refreshing taste of the bittersweet fruit, go for freshly squeezed grapefruit juice in your cocktail.
The pink grapefruit soda brings in additional grapefruit flavor, a bit of sweetness, and the necessary, refreshing carbonation. Fever Tree and Thomas Henry are two great choices for mixing top-notch drinks.
Same as with the grapefruit juice, the lime juice for the Mezcal Paloma should always be freshly squeezed. Especially with citrus fruit, that is an absolute must in mixology.
A quick tip for making the juicing process easier: roll the lime with the flat of your hand with a bit of pressure on the counter before cutting it. That loosens the inside and releases some juice already.
Further, you can consider aging your lime juice for a few hours to remove the sour edge.
The sweetener is necessary for balancing these tart and bitter components in your cocktail. If you don't have agave syrup on hand, you can also use simple syrup instead. -That's also easy to make at home.
However, the agave syrup enhances the earthy flavors of the Mezcal base. Therefore, I definitely recommend going for agave syrup if you can get some.
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.
Which Mezcal for the Paloma?
As mentioned before, Mezcal is available in different degrees of smokiness. And, like many other spirits, you can also get it in aged and unaged versions.
For the Mezcal Paloma, I recommend an unaged version. It adds a little bit of an edge to your drink, and it saves you a few bucks compared to an aged product.
If you look for a Mezcal that's more on the smoky side, try the Montelobos Joven. For a Mezcal Paloma softer on the smoke, go for the Alipús San Luis Del Rio. The same recommendations also apply to the frozen version of the Mezcal Paloma.
Take a look at this overview for more Mezcal recommendations.
Other Mezcal Cocktails
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. You can find some really amazing recipes there.
Other Grapefruit Cocktails
Did you buy too many grapefruits? Or do you simply love the taste and pink color of the pink fruit? Here are some more grapefruit-flavored drinks for you to try:
- The Sea Breeze, a mix of Vodka, cranberries, and grapefruit
- Cantarito, a cocktail made from orange, lime, grapefruit, and Tequila
- The Hemingway Daiquiri, an homage to the eccentric writer, mixed with Rum, lime, Maraschino liqueur, grapefruit, and simple syrup.
- The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita, a hot twist on the classic made with chilis and grapefruit.
- 1 Jigger
- 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.
- Add Mezcal, the freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juice, and the agave syrup into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
- 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.
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