The Classic Paloma Cocktail Gets a Smoky Spin

May 3, 2014Recipes

While the margarita may be Mexico’s best-known cocktail, its cousin, the Paloma, has been getting lots of attention lately.

It’s easy to see why: The Paloma’s 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 on a Paloma and carries the smoky theme through with a smoked-salt rim.

Shake up this all-American cocktail>>

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 keep for weeks in the fridge. Or substitute agave nectar.


Smoky Paloma Cocktail

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.

 Serves 1




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