A Smoky Paloma Cocktail (Thanks to Mezcal)

May 3, 2014Recipe Development

While the margarita may be Mexico’s best-known cocktail, its cousin, the Paloma, has been getting lots of attention lately. This recipe uses mezcal for a smoky Paloma.

It’s easy to see why: The Paloma is getting so much attention. It’s a bracing combo of grapefruit juice, lime juice and tequila with just a touch of simple syrup is citrusy, refreshing and not too sweet.

This version subs earthy mezcal for tequila for a smoky spin Paloma and carries the theme through with a smoked-salt rim.

Shake up this all-American cocktail>>

Smoky Paloma Recipe Notes

  • Palomas are traditionally served in a highball glass, but I also like them in a rocks or old fashioned glass.
  • Not a fan of smoky flavors? Substitute regular coarse salt for the smoked salt and tequila for mezcal.
  • You can make simple syrup by cooking equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. It’ll stay in the fridge for weeks. Or substitute agave nectar.
A Smoky Paloma Cocktail made with Mezcal

Smoky Paloma Cocktail

Mezcal, tequila's earthy sister, lends this citrusy cocktail smoky notes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1


  • 1 cocktail shaker
  • 1 small plate


  • Smoked salt (such as Maldon)
  • Lime wedge
  • 4 ounces grapefruit juice, ideally fresh
  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Grapefruit wedges (for garnish)
  • Rosemary sprig (for garnish, optional)


  • Pour a thin layer of smoked salt in a saucer. Moisten the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Gently roll the rim of the glass in the salt, turning to coat.
  • Fill the glass with ice. Add grapefruit juice, mezcal, lime juice and simple syrup, stirring gently to combine. Top with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedges and, if desired, a rosemary sprig.
Keyword cocktail



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