Mezcal Paloma is a refreshing cocktail made with mezcal, grapefruit, lime and club soda. Known for its bright, crisp flavours, this drink puts a fun twist on the classic paloma by swapping tequila for smoky mezcal.

The smoky essence of mezcal adds an intriguing layer of complexity to accentuate the tartness of grapefruit and lime. Light yet bold, each satisfying sip transports you to sun-drenched locales with every delightful drink.

Best enjoyed on a hot summer day, the Mezcal Paloma is the perfect seasonal refreshment. Its elegant balance of flavours profile the versatility of mezcal in creative cocktails while still retaining the crisp essence of the classic paloma everyone loves.

Overview Of Mezcal Paloma

The Mezcal Paloma takes the refreshing simplicity of the classic paloma cocktail and elevates it with smoky mezcal. Where tequila is typically used, mezcal adds an earthy layer of complexity that pairs beautifully with grapefruit and lime. Light yet bold, each sip transports you with its aromas of agave and citrus. 

The nuanced interplay of flavours in this deceptively simple drink makes it a sophisticated yet enjoyable choice for sunny days. Light, bright, and perfect for summer sipping, the Mezcal Paloma is a refreshingly reimagined take on a cocktail standard.

Preparation Time 

Cocktail DetailsDetails
Servings1 drink
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes

What Is A Paloma?

What Is A Paloma?

A Paloma is a popular Mexican cocktail made with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice. Light, crisp and refreshing, it hails from the Baja California region of Mexico and makes a wonderfully thirst-quenching drink.

Combining the tartness of grapefruit and lime with the flavour of tequila, each ingredient shines through in a well-balanced paloma. Simple yet deliciously complex, it’s easy to understand why this drink has become so beloved around the world on hot summer days.

What Is The Difference Between A Margarita And A Paloma

The difference between a Margarita and a Paloma is:

  • A Margarita contains tequila, orange liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau, and lime juice. A Paloma substitutes grapefruit soda like Squirt or Saska for the orange liqueur.
  • The flavors are tangier and less sweet in a Paloma compared to a Margarita due to the grapefruit soda replacing the orange liqueur.
  • A Paloma has a lighter, more refreshing flavor profile than a Margarita. The grapefruit cuts through the alcohol flavor more than orange.
  • Margaritas are typically served over ice or shaken then strained into a salt-rimmed glass. Palomas are usually mixed directly in a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Garnishes differ, with Margaritas often using a lime wedge and Palomas garnished with a grapefruit slice.
  • Palomas originated in Mexico while Margaritas became popular in the mid-20th century after gaining popularity along the US-Mexico border.

The main differences are the grapefruit soda substitution, lighter flavour profile, and different serving and garnishing methods compared to the sweeter, tangier Margarita.

Mezcal Paloma Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces mezcal – Mezcal is the agave-based spirit that is the foundation of this cocktail, giving it a smoky flavor.
  • 4 ounces grapefruit soda – Popular brands used include Squirt or Jarritos. The grapefruit soda provides sweetness and acidity to balance the mezcal.
  • 1/4 lime, sliced – The fresh lime slices contribute brightness and citrus flavor.
  • Ice
  • Salt (optional) – A salted rim is common for Palomas but optional. You can moisten the glass rim with lime and dip in coarse salt.
  • Grapefruit slice – Used as a garnish, either squeezed into the drink or placed on the rim.

How To Make A Mezcal Paloma

Here is a simple, step-by-step guide to make a Mezcal Paloma cocktail:

  1. Gather ingredients: You will need mezcal, grapefruit soda, lime, ice, and salt or grapefruit for garnish (optional).
  2. Prepare glass: Use a tall glass like a highball glass. You can add salt to the rim by rubbing lime around the edge and dipping in salt.
  3. Add ice: Fill your glass with ice cubes. This will help keep your drink cold.
  4. Pour in mezcal: Measure out 1 1/2 ounces or one shot of mezcal and pour it over the ice.
  5. Top with soda: Slowly pour in 4 ounces or 1/2 cup of grapefruit soda. This adds sweetness and bubbles.
  6. Squeeze lime: Cut a lime wedge and squeeze juice into the glass. Drop in wedge for decoration.
  7. Stir gently: Use a spoon or straw to stir the ingredients together in the glass.
  8. Garnish and serve: Skewer the lime wedge and a grapefruit slice on a pick if using. Drop it in the drink. Sip and enjoy!

With just a few simple steps you can make this tasty Mexican cocktail at home.

When To Serve A Mezcal Paloma

The Mezcal Paloma is ideal for serving on hot and sunny afternoons. Its combination of lime, grapefruit and smoky mezcal makes it the perfect thirst-quenching drink to cool you down when temperatures rise.

Light yet interesting flavours also make the Mezcal Paloma a great drink to serve at outdoor gatherings like backyard BBQs or patio parties. Guests will enjoy sipping on its refreshing tartness under the warm sun or stars.

How To Serve A Paloma

How To Serve A Paloma

To serve a Paloma, begin by filling a highball glass with ice. Add salt to the rim of the glass if desired. Then pour tequila over ice, followed by lime juice and top with grapefruit soda.

Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve. Encourage sipping slowly to best appreciate the balanced interplay of tart grapefruit, lime and smokey tequila. Enjoy!

Nutrition In Mezcal Paloma Recipe

Calories180 kcal
Carbohydrates13 g
Protein0.4 g
Fat0.1 g
Sodium18 mg
Potassium115 mg
Fiber0.1 g
Sugar12 g
Vitamin A11 IU
Vitamin C20 mg
Calcium10 mg
Iron1 mg

Best Mezcal For This Paloma Recipe

Look for a brighter, fruit-forward mezcal like Del Maguey Vida or Ilegal Joven for this cocktail. Their lighter smokiness allows grapefruit and lime flavours to shine through.

For a touch more complexity, try a mezcal with notes of roasted agave like El Silencio Espadín. Its earthy Character lends an interesting layer without overwhelming tart citrus. Either choice makes an excellent base spirit for discovering the versatility of mezcal in cocktails.

Use Both Mezcal And Tequila For Balance

For those seeking an even more intriguing mix, try combining both mezcal and tequila in your Paloma. The smokiness of the mezcal balances the brighter qualities of the tequila.

Playing with the proportions allows you to fine-tune the depth of flavour. Start with more tequila for greater brightness, or favour mezcal if you prefer smoky undertones to come through in the grapefruit and lime blend. Experimentation leads to the perfect customised Paloma.

What’s The Best Mezcal For A Paloma?

Look for a mezcal with subtle smokiness to allow the bright citrus flavours to shine through. Del Maguey’s Vida expression offers notes of agave, earth and a light touch of smoke that blend seamlessly.

Ilegal Joven is another top choice with its mild yet complex profile. The touch of minerality pairs marvellously with grapefruit and lime, for a refined Paloma that showcases mezcal’s versatility in classic cocktails. Both options enhance rather than overpower this thirst-quenching drink.

What’s The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila?

What’s The Difference Between Mezcal And Tequila?
Made from any type of agave plant, most commonly espadin, tobala or tepextate agave.Made only from blue agave plants.
Fermentation and distillation process typically involves baking agave in underground pits with hot rocks, imparting a smoky flavor.Agave is steamed, roasted or baked in ovens but smoke is not a key characteristic.
Produced in Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico.Produced primarily in the states of Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato and Tamaulipas.
Wider range of alcoholic strengths from low to high proof.Bottled varieties must be at least 38% ABV (80 proof) according to Mexican regulations.
Can be aged in wood barrels or left unaged. Barrel-aging adds woody notes.Only aged tequilas are aged in oak barrels, imparting caramel, vanilla and toasted nut notes.
Has an earthier, rustic flavor profile compared to tequila which is crisper and fruit-forward.Considered smoother with sweeter agave notes compared to the smokier mezcal.
Traditionally seen as a spirit best enjoyed neat or with a squeeze of lime.Often mixed into cocktails like Margaritas due to its mixability.

Mezcal cocktails

Mezcal adds intriguing layers of complexity to cocktails with its notes of earth, smoke and agave. Its flavour profile lends itself to unique creations beyond the typical tequila drinks.

From smoky margaritas to mezcal mules, innovative bartenders are exploring new frontiers with diverse spirits. Looking beyond the obvious also yields delightful discoveries like a mezcal paloma or negroni that broaden drinkers’ horizons.

More Cocktail Recipes

  1. Mezcal Margarita: A classic margarita gets an earthy twist by swapping in mezcal for tequila. Look for a smoother mezcal to let the citrus flavours shine.
  2. Paloma Verde: Replace grapefruit soda with a green cocktail like celery or cucumber. Infuse mezcal with herbs for extra complexity.
  3. Mezcal Daiquiri: Lime joins forces with simple syrup and mezcal for a lighter summer number. Garnish with lime wedge.
  4. Smoky Boulevardier: This riff on a negroni utilizes mezcal, sweet vermouth and Campari. Sip slowly to savour the rich blend.
  5. Jalapeño Mezcal Fizz: Muddle jalapeños with simple syrup then top with soda, mezcal and lime. A sparkling refreshing pick with kick.
  6. Mezcal Old Smoked Fashioned: An old fashioned gets an agave upgrade. Smoke intensifies as ice melts into a sweet-bitter blend.

Mezcal’s distinctive characteristics make it a great base spirit for revamping classics or exploring new cocktail horizons. Its complexities shine through in a variety of delightful drinks.

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