The Paloma de Mezcal: A Spirited Journey through Mexico’s Iconic Cocktail

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Discover the allure of the Paloma de Mezcal, a Mexican classic blending smoky mezcal, grapefruit soda, and zesty lime. Uncover the cocktail's history, essential ingredients, and barware, while exploring classic variations and alternative mezcal-infused creations in this spirited journey through Mexico's iconic drink culture.
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The Paloma de Mezcal, a delightful and refreshing cocktail, has become synonymous with the vibrant and diverse drinking culture of Mexico. This iconic beverage combines the smoky notes of mezcal with the crispness of grapefruit soda, creating a perfect harmony of flavors. In this article, we’ll delve into the rich history of the Paloma de Mezcal, explore its essential ingredients, discuss the necessary barware, provide a step-by-step guide on how to make it, highlight classic variations, and suggest alternative cocktails for those looking to explore beyond tradition.

History of the Paloma de Mezcal

The Paloma, meaning “dove” in Spanish, has its roots in Mexico, where it has become one of the most beloved cocktails. While the exact origin of the Paloma is a bit elusive, it is widely believed to have emerged in the mid-20th century as an alternative to the Margarita. The addition of mezcal, a spirit distilled from the agave plant, gives the Paloma a distinctive and smoky character that sets it apart from its tequila-based cousin.

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  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 4 oz Grapefruit Soda (Jarritos or Squirt are popular choices)
  • 0.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz Agave Syrup (optional, depending on sweetness preference)
  • Salt (for rimming the glass)
  • Grapefruit wedge or slice (for garnish)
  • Ice cubes

Essential Barware

  • Highball or Collins glass
  • Jigger or measuring tool
  • Citrus juicer
  • Shaker (optional)
  • Small plate (for salt)

How to Make the Paloma de Mezcal

  1. Rim the glass: Moisten the rim of a highball or Collins glass with a grapefruit wedge and dip it into salt on a small plate to coat the rim.

  2. Build the cocktail: Fill the glass with ice cubes.

  3. Add ingredients: Pour 2 oz of mezcal, 4 oz of grapefruit soda, 0.75 oz of fresh lime juice, and optionally, 0.5 oz of agave syrup into the glass.

  4. Stir or shake: Gently stir the ingredients in the glass or, if preferred, shake them in a shaker.

  5. Garnish: Garnish the cocktail with a grapefruit wedge or slice on the rim of the glass.

  6. Serve and enjoy: The Paloma de Mezcal is now ready to be enjoyed!


  1. Paloma Rosa: Substitute regular grapefruit soda with grapefruit soda with added hibiscus flavor for a floral twist.

  2. Paloma Verde: Use green grapefruit soda instead of the traditional yellow grapefruit soda for a slightly different flavor profile.

  3. Spicy Paloma: Add a dash of hot sauce or muddle a slice of jalapeño for a spicy kick.


  1. Mezcal Mule: Combine mezcal, ginger beer, and lime juice for a mezcal-infused take on the classic Moscow Mule.

  2. Smoky Sunrise: Mix mezcal with orange juice and grenadine for a smoky and fruity sunrise-inspired cocktail.

  3. Mezcal Mojito: Swap out rum for mezcal in a traditional Mojito, combining the smoky spirit with mint, lime, and simple syrup.

Last Call

The Paloma de Mezcal stands as a testament to the diversity and innovation within the world of cocktails. Its combination of smoky mezcal and bright grapefruit soda creates a drink that is both timeless and ever-evolving. Whether enjoyed in its classic form or experimented with through variations and alternative cocktails, the Paloma de Mezcal continues to captivate and refresh the palates of those who savor its unique blend of flavors.


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