Whether you’re hosting a family gathering or you’d like to celebrate an occasion it can be hard to find the right cocktail for your guests.
And, I love finding a drink that is easily turned into a mocktail and looks just as fantastic.
Because cocktails and mocktails aren’t an every day event, they remind us that this time together is special and there’s nothing better than making a toast with extra dazzle.
If you’ve not heard of the Paloma cocktail before, I’d love to introduce you to an easy recipe that turns this homemade sparkling drink into a refreshing wow in so many different ways.
What is a Paloma cocktail?
Paloma is the national drink of Mexico and many traditional recipes use a blend of Blanco tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit-flavoured soda however we’re making this version without the syrup and flavourings!
Instead, we’ll switch out the grapefruit-flavoured soda with fresh pink grapefruit juice and add club soda to reduce the extra sugar and additives.
If you have a soda-stream at home, even better!
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While preparing your cocktail, don’t forget the glassware!
These cat-designed cocktail glasses from Etsy are cute and the gold goes well with soft colours of pink grapefruit.
I also like to consider how the drinks are served – will you leave them on the kitchen counter, the table or use a matching serving tray?
The soft hues of copper in this tray work for any coloured cocktail drinks.
Can I make my cocktail or mocktail sweeter?
For those who prefer a slightly sweeter drink, you can add a little powdered Monk Fruit simple syrup, or you could use agave syrup instead.
There’s a recipe below that tells you how to make simple syrup with Monk Fruit.
Monk Fruit, also called Luo Han Guo, is harvested from vines growing in South-east Asia, Thailand and China.
It is a vegan, plant-based sweetener and is often used in Paleo, Keto, and low-carb diets.
If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s similar to Stevia which is also a plant-based sugar, just not as sweet.
Stevia is approximately 10 times sweeter than traditional sugar while Monk Fruit is 200 times sweeter.
How do I serve a Paloma cocktail?
Paloma cocktails are usually served in highball glasses.
Remember, there is nothing stopping you from using whiskey glasses, stemless wine glasses, stemmed glasses, or even champagne flutes!
While considering glassware, I love to also think about the garnishes!
Here are just a few of many things you can do.
- Skip the garnish and you’ll have a simple elegant look that focuses on the soft hues of pink grapefruit.
- Add a slice of citrus to the rim, whether it’s from a lime or an orange, and combine it with jalapeno and you’ve got a small kick to your cocktail.
- Replace the jalapeno with a basil leaf and you’ve got a cocktail of intrigue.
- Add chunks of grapefruit for a robust, more casual look that offsets the delicate hues. For a less coloured cocktail use just a hint of grapefruit juice and add more lime and soda!
4 reasons why I love this recipe
- The combination of pink grapefruit juice with limes and tequila tastes refreshing and looks spectacular while the soda water makes any cocktail feel more festive.
- This recipe is easy to make ahead – just add soda water before serving.
- There are so many ways this cocktail can be served just by having more of one ingredient than the other.
- It’s refined sugar-free and is super easy to make as a mocktail.
Simply omit the tequila and add extra soda water.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Not applicable
Yields: 2 cocktails
Tip: one large grapefruit should yield approximately 6oz. juice if using a manual juicer.
- Fine Himalayan rock salt or sea salt
- 1 large lime, cut into slices or wedges
- 6 oz. fresh pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 oz. Blanco tequila
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- Club soda
- Fresh ice
Optional: Monk Fruit simple syrup for a sweeter cocktail.
Garnish: thin lime or orange wheels, a twist of grapefruit or lemon peel, or a slice of jalapeno for a surprising pop.
If herbs are in abundance, a single basil leaf adds a hint in different flavours too.
Gather everything you need.
- 2 cocktail glasses of your choice
- Chopping board
- Chef’s 8″ knife
- Vegetable peeler for a slice of peel
- Small plate
- Container for any leftover citrus
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- Peel the grapefruit skin, making sure there is very little pith, and set aside for garnish.
Thinly slice one lime and cut once through the rind on one side, and set aside.
Do the same for a small orange if you prefer.
- Pour the fine Himalayan or sea salt onto a shallow dish.
Wipe the rims of each glass with a wedge of lime before placing the wet edge into the salt.
This will give you a fine line of salt on each rim.
For best results, rotate and firmly press the rim into the salt several times.
- Fill each glass with ice.
Combine the grapefruit juice, Blanco tequila, and lime juice and stir well. Divide evenly between two glasses and give the mixture a quick stir to mix.
- To serve, top each glass with club soda before garnishing with a lime wheel and/or a piece of grapefruit rind.
How to make simple syrup from Monk Fruit
Optional: Lightly sweeten each drink with 1-2 teaspoons of Monk Fruit simple syrup or agave syrup, if desired.
You may prefer to buy your Monk Fruit syrup.
If you want to make your own syrup, all you need is the Monk Fruit powder.
There are two types of Monk Fruit powder available, either with or without Erythritol granules.
Simple syrup is often prepared using equal amounts of refined white sugar to boiling water. For example, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water.
As Monk fruit is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, you will need to change that ratio.
- Add1 part Monk fruit to 2 parts water to a pot. Stir until mixed and bring to boil.
- Allow the syrup to cool before using.
- Store remainder in a labelled bottle in the refrigerator.
- 2 cocktail glasses of your choice
- Chopping board
- Chef's 8" knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Small plate
- Small container to hold citrus slices and peel
- 6 oz pink grapefruit juice fresh
- 3 oz Blanco tequila
- 1 tbsp lime juice fresh
- 1 large lime quartered
- Club soda to taste
- Himalayan rock salt
- Peel grapefruit skin and reserve for garnish. Thinly slice the lime, cut into the rind to make a slot and reserve for garnish.
- Pour fine Himilayan or sea salt onto a shallow plate.Wipe glass rims with a wedge of lime before dipping wet edge into the salt.
- Fill both glasses with ice.Squeeze the grapefruit and lime juice, measure the tequila and combine all liquids. Stir well to combine. Divide liquid into half and pour evenly over the ice.
- Top each glass with club soda before garnishing with your favourite herb, spices, or citrus peel or slices.
Sweeten to taste.