How to Make a Proper Paloma

Paloma Cocktail — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

I don’t mean this Paloma is prim. It has tequila in it after all. No, by proper, I mean she’s the real deal -- as in, the fruit is muddled in the glass with the tequila, and the soda is served on the side. The drink is Dos Caminos' Ivy Stark’s favorite Mexican cocktail, and one that lives up to her "super-picky" standards is hard to find. Luckily, you can make your own, so something stays prim and proper on May 5th.

Paloma Cocktail — Thrillist Recipes
Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Paloma Cocktail Recipe

Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 limes
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, separated into 8 segments
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 6 ounces tequila (Stark recommends Herradura silver for its clean, minty flavor)
  • 4 (12-ounce) bottles Mexican Squirt soda
  • Put salt in a small shallow dish -- enough that it can coat the rim of a glass.
  • Cut 1 lime into 4 wedges. Cut the other lime crosswise into 4 round slices. Use the wedges to moisten the rims of 4 old-fashioned cocktail glasses. Dip rims into the salt and shake off any excess.
  • Divide lime wedges, grapefruit segments, and mint among glasses. Pour 1 ½ ounces of tequila into each glass. Smash the mixture with a muddler, pestle, wooden spoon, or whatever you can get your hands on. Top with ice and 3 ounces of Squirt each. Garnish with lime wheels.
  • Serve with remaining Squirt on the side so the strength can be adjusted. And once that initial shot is gone, don't be shy, add another. "That smashed deliciousness will still be there at the bottom of the glass to receive it," says Stark.