This mezcal paloma is just as bright and refreshing as the classic. The added smokiness from the mezcal pairs well with the bold grapefruit flavor. It’s unlike any cocktail you’ve tried before!
I can’t stop with the cocktails and mocktails this year you guys. They are just so fun to create! The mezcal paloma is an idea that I’ve had for awhile and I’m so happy with how it turned out.
A paloma is one of my absolute favorite summer cocktails and this is such a unique twist. The mezcal is smoky and adds a great depth of flavor that’s hard to describe. I just love it!
Here’s what you need to make this:
Ingredients for a Perfect Mezcal Paloma
- grapefruit juice (I like the Simply brand)
- mezcal, I used Gem & Bolt which is often described as “botanical”
- lime juice
- grapefruit simple syrup
- club soda for topping
- extra grapefruit and limes for garnish
What is a Paloma?
Palomas are traditionally made with tequila and grapefruit soda (such as Squirt). These days, it seems there is a higher demand for fresh cocktails that are lower in sugar so I tend to see them made with 100% grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice and club soda for the bubbles. I like to stick to that when I make them at home too, especially since those are all ingredients I use and love.
As you can see when glancing at these ingredients, the major difference between this version and a classic paloma is the mezcal in place of tequila. Wondering what that is?
Mezcal vs. Tequila
The flavor profile of mezcal and tequila is very different. According to Food & Wine, Mezcal and tequila are both technically considered “mezcal”, which is a broad term for an agave-based liquor. However only blue agave can be used for tequila and the plant is cooked and distilled quite differently than it is with mezcal.
When making tequila, the agave is steamed before distillation. With mezcal, it’s cooked with wood and charcoal in earthen pits. This is what gives it a bold smoke flavor.
If you’ve never tried mezcal, it’s unlike any spirit you’ve had. It adds such a funky element to cocktails that are traditionally made with tequila. It pairs SO well with grapefruit. Many people like to drink it straight up too.
How to Make a Mezcal Paloma
As with all of my drinks, the steps are fairly straightforward here. Just add the mezcal, juices and simple syrup to a tall glass filled with ice and stir. Then top with club soda for some carbonation and swirl that around before garnishing.
An optional (but highly recommend) step is rimming the glass with some sort of chile seasoning. I use the chile lime blend from Trader Joe’s, but you can also find tajin in most grocery stores and that would work equally well.
Pro tip: run a lime wedge around the edge of your glass to keep the seasoning in place and add a little extra lime flavor!
Mezcal Paloma FAQs
You certainly can! If you don’t enjoy the smokiness of the mezcal, go for classic tequila blanco. If you choose vodka, your cocktail will be similar to a greyhound.
Yes, any simple syrup will work along with agave nectar if you would rather not make the syrup yourself. I’m partial to my homemade grapefruit simple to double down on that citrus punch!
Yep. This one is easy to batch. I included both ounces and cups in the measurements, so use whichever you prefer to scale the amounts for what you need. Mix everything except the club soda (which will go flat if you prep ahead) in a large pitcher or serving container. Then add club soda to each individual glass just before serving. I would also recommend pre-cutting garnishes too so everyone can add them right at the end.
What a delicious and unique twist on a favorite! The mezcal paloma might just be my new go-to summer cocktail of choice. How about you?
More Summer Drinks:Print
This mezcal paloma is just as bright as refreshing as the classic. The added smokiness from the mezcal pairs so well with the bold grapefruit flavor. It’s unlike any cocktail you’ve tried before!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Drinks, Cocktails
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) mezcal
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit simple syrup
- 1 lime, juiced
- Club soda for topping (1-2 ounces)
- garnish: grapefruit and/or lime wheel
- Rim a glass with tajin or chile lime seasoning (run a lime wedge around, then dip in a plate of the seasoning). Fill halfway with ice.
- Add mezcal, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and lime juice to the glass and stir.
- Top with club soda. Stir once more. Garnish with a grapefruit wheel and/or limes.
- The equipment section above provides affiliate links to things I use often in my kitchen and love.
- I like Simply Grapefruit for these because it tastes very fresh and has some pulp!
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
- Calories: 198 calories
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 17 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
Keywords: summer cocktails, mezcal cocktails, grapefruit juice
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