Need to unwind? Kick back with my refreshing, easy to make Spicy Paloma Cocktail recipe!
This post contains affiliate links.
Before we moved to Dallas, our favorite neighbors gave us a bottle of tequila as a goodbye present … good friends, right? It was an excellent quality bottle (Los Azulejos Silver, if you’re wondering), and he warned us not to waste it on margaritas. Ha!
We’re not ones to sip tequila straight, although we did try it that way. I just can’t hack it! So rather than waste a good bottle, I started brainstorming and did a little research to see what drinks can be made with tequila.
After spotting a display of gorgeous pink grapefruits at my local store, I decided to make a Spicy Paloma Cocktail. It’s an easy twist on the classic Paloma, and it pairs perfectly with my favorite Mexican recipes (bonus!).
There’s nothing I enjoy more after a busy day (or even a lazy one) than relaxing with a delicious drink, like my Spicy Paloma Cocktail. This pretty, blush pink drink is the perfect way to unwind and let go of the day’s worries. And don’t worry, the recipe is easy to adapt if you don’t like anything spicy.
My simple recipe uses fresh, high quality ingredients, making it a natural pair for a top shelf spirit. And it’s just so delish … the citrus is tart and refreshing, and a jalapeno simple syrup adds just the right amount of kick and sweetness.
Of course, I had to give it a little twist! For my Spicy Paloma Cocktail, I replaced the soda with fresh grapefruit juice for more flavor, rimmed the glasses with coarse salt, and topped off the drink with every Texan’s favorite sparkling water, Topo Chico. Make sure to measure everything with a jigger so your proportions are right.
Then, there’s the spicy part! If you’ve stuck around here long enough, you probably know that I love all things hot and spicy. So for my Paloma recipe, I made a jalapeno simple syrup to crank up the heat. It’s extremely easy to make, although you need to plan ahead so it has a chance to cool before mixing your drinks. The jalapeno simple syrup recipe makes around 1 1/2 cups, so you should have enough for about 12 cocktails (depending on how accurately you measure).
The jalapeno simple syrup is super easy to customize. Leave out the jalapeno if you don’t like heat, or add more to bump up the spice factor. I actually thought it was fairly mild, so I’ll probably add an extra jalapeno or two to my next batch. For me, it’s the spicier the better!
However hot you like it, this Spicy Paloma Cocktail recipe is sure to become a favorite! Drink one to cool off after a hot day, or enjoy it with your favorite Mexican food for the perfect pairing!
- 1 cup sugar*
- 1 cup water
- 1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise**
- coarse salt
- 2 lime wedges
- 3 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (strained)
- 1 oz. jalapeno simple syrup
- 1 oz. tequila
- sparkling water, such as Topo Chico
- Combine, sugar, water, and jalapeno in a small pot over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves and syrup begins to bubble, stirring frequently.
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Strain syrup and transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Cover the bottom of a saucer or other small dish with salt.
- Wet glass edge with lime wedge.
- Dip rim in salt.
- Fill glass with ice, then add grapefruit juice, syrup, and tequila to glass.
- Squeeze juice from second lime wedge into glass, then top with sparkling water.
- Give cocktail a stir and serve. Enjoy!
*I used organic cane sugar, which is vegan.
**For a milder syrup, remove seeds and membranes from the jalapeno or leave out the jalapeno altogether. For a spicier syrup, add additional jalapenos.
Are you planning a party? Make a pitcher of Palomas instead of individual cocktails. Simply multiply the recipe ingredients by the number of drinks you’d like to make. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then pour over ice, top off with sparkling water, and garnish with jalapenos to serve.
P.S. Pair this Spicy Paloma Cocktail with one of my favorite Mexican recipes for a festive meal!