The paloma cocktail is one of Mexico’s most popular drink. It’s an easy to make refreshing cocktail that needs just a few ingredients. You’re going to love my skinny paloma recipe, a low-calorie twist on a classic Mexican cocktail.
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What is a Paloma Cocktail
Hola amigos, I’m so excited to share with you this super easy recipe for my favorite tequila cocktail, it’s actually my drink of choice when when cocktails are involved.
The paloma is a refreshing tequila-based drink that’s perfect for any occasion with it’s vibrant citrus flavors and bubbles that tingle your taste buds.
Traditionally the paloma cocktail is made with just silver tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda, served over ice or on the rocks. A salt rim may be added to the serving glass as well a fresh grapefruit wedge or lime wedges as decoration.
While I consider this a skinny paloma, some other people will call this a skinny grapefruit margarita. It doesn’t really matter, this is just a delicious, refreshing classic cocktail recipe that’s easy to make, no matter the name.
What is a Skinny Paloma?
The skinny paloma is a lighter and healthier version of the classic paloma cocktail.
While the traditional paloma recipe typically includes grapefruit-flavored soda, the skinny version cuts back on the sugar and calories by using fresh grapefruit juice and club soda instead.
This simple substitution allows you to enjoy the real, vibrant, naturally sweet, and a slightly tart flavor of fresh grapefruit without any guilt – or overpowering sweetness from a soda.
With the added splash of fresh lime juice and a salted rim, the skinny paloma delivers a refreshing taste that will have you reaching for another sip, without the extra calories and guilt.
The Advantages of a Skinny Paloma vs Regular Paloma Cocktail
We must always consider that alcohol-based drinks do come with some warnings – not to mention the importance of drinking responsibly.
Having said that, you may be wondering if there’s any actual nutritional benefits or health benefits to choosing the skinny version over the classic paloma drink.
The most obvious benefit is by swapping out the soft drink, or simple syrup, and using natural fruit instead, this gets you off to a much better start.
Grapefruit and lime juice, are packed with vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and promotes healthy skin.
By using fresh juices and skipping sugary sodas this becomes the healthiest choice for a low calorie cocktail…as compared to many other cocktails.
Tequila is known to have fewer calories and carbs than other liquors.
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Paloma Cocktail Ingredients & Variations
As I previously mentioned ingredients for this grapefruit cocktail are simple ingredients you may already have at home, or with one quick trip to the grocery store you’ll find everything.
- Tequila: Use silver or tequila blanco. Whichever brand you choose, just try to make sure it’s a good tequila that fits your budget.
- Grapefruit Juice: Freshly squeezed or a brand that’s 100% grapefruit juice.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed for maximum flavor punch.
- Sparkling Water or Soda Water: To give the cocktail its bubbles.
- Ice Cubes: Lots of them to serve ice-cold!
- Salt: For the rim of your glass and also for a nice salty touch to liven up the flavors even more.
- Lime wedge (or lime wheel) and grapefruit wedge or slice for serving.
As previously mentioned we are opting for fresh fruit juices instead of sugary grapefruit flavor sodas like Squirt soda, Jarrito, Fresca or any other brands of grapefruit soda. This is going to keep the calories lower.
In an absolute pinch if you can’t get a fresh grapefruit or 100%, then you could use a low calorie sugar free grapefruit soda (like La Croix brand). Occasionally I have swapped the fresh grapefruit juice for fresh orange juice and it’s still a super refreshing drink.
Another variation, but keep in mind that it won’t be “skinny” is to add a splash of orange liqueur.
Another way we cut down the calories and sugar in this cocktail recipe is by not using sugar. But if you absolutely must add a sweetener try adding some agave syrup (also called agave nectar) or maple syrup.
Instead of doing a salt rim you could do a Tajin rim for a spicy paloma. If you don’t have Tajin mix a little salt with ground red chile for the same results.
How to Make an Easy Skinny Paloma
Making a skinny paloma is quick and effortless. Some people like to use a cocktail shaker to mix the drink, but you can do it all in the serving glass for a quicker and less mess version.
Remember that you can print all this out by clicking on the recipe card below.
- Step 1: Start by preparing a salt rim on your glass for that extra touch of flavor.
- Step 2:Pour the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and tequila into your glass.
- Step 3: Add the freshly squeezed lime juice and give it a gentle stir.
- Step 4: Top it off with club soda or sparkling water. Carefully add plenty of ice cubes.
- Step 5: Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or a lime wedge.
- Step 6: Serve immediately. Salud!
Frequently Asked Questions about Skinny Paloma
Can I use store-bought grapefruit juice instead of fresh juice?
While fresh grapefruit juice is preferred for the best flavor, you can use store-bought juice as a convenient alternative – just make sure it’s 100% natural juice!
Can I make a larger batch of skinny paloma for a party?
Absolutely! Simply adjust the ingredient quantities accordingly and mix everything in a pitcher for a crowd-pleasing batch. Click on the recipe card to make the serving amount adjustments.
Can I make a non-alcoholic version of Skinny Paloma?
Yes, you can! Just omit the tequila and add a bit more grapefruit juice and club soda for a refreshing mocktail.
Can I substitute the salt rim with something else?
Of course! You can try using a sugar rim or a chili-salt made with Tajin. Or omit the rim altogether if you prefer.
What to Serve a Paloma With
If you like the colorful napkin you can find them on my Amazon store.
The platter I bought in an open market here in Mexico, but I found one on Amazon that closely resembles it.
You can serve your palomas in a margarita glass or any type of glass you’d like. I used like a stemless glass that resembles a martini glass.
Easy Paloma Recipe
Amigos at your next happy hour or on a hot day make yourself a tangy, refreshing, and lower calorie skinny paloma cocktail instead of reaching for a beer or a glass of red wine.
This isn’t only the best tequila cocktail, it’s also a favorite drink of mine, one I drink and make for guests often. Everyone loves it – I mean what’s not to love about a low calorie tequila cocktails?!
With its tangy grapefruit flavor, sparkling effervescence, and lower calorie count, the skinny paloma is a winning choice for those seeking a healthier cocktail option.
So whether you’re hosting a summer gathering, enjoying a quiet evening at home, or celebrating Cinco de Mayo, this easy skinny paloma recipe is sure to impress your taste buds.
Easy Skinny Paloma Cocktail Recipe
- 2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 2 oz tequila blanco or silver
- 1/2 small lime juiced
- 4 oz sparkling water or seltzer water
- ice cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice, Then dip to coat into sea salt.
- Pour the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, tequila and lime juice into your cocktail glass. Mix until well combined. Pour in the sparkling water. Drop in plenty of ice cubes. Add a thin slice of grapefruit into the glass, if desired. Serve immediately.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…