What if I told you that a mini goal of mine is to have a signature cocktail for each room in my house? Would that be weird? Oh well, I’m doing it anyway. It started because our sitting room decor was initially inspired by this drink. We’ve been making some progress on picking a paint color for that room. So, I’m excited to sit there some day soon and sip on these sweet and spicy palomas.

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What You Need to Get Started

A paloma is a classic cocktail and perfect for brunch, although it sometimes seems to get lost in the excitement of mimosas and blood marys. Next time you’re out with your friends or significant other for brunch, think about trying this refreshing blend of grapefruit and tequila.

Until then, make up a big batch of them at home! Whether you are serving a crowd or just sipping these alone in your sun room, definitely decorate the rim. It just makes the whole experience a little more whimsical.

How to Make a Paloma

Get started by preparing all of the ingredients, so you can mix and serve this drink quickly. Begin by zesting the lime and grapefruit into a small dish. You don’t need a lot of each, so this should be fairly quick.

Add the sugar, salt, and chili powder that will be used to make the sweet and spicy salt rim. Quarter the lime you’ll be using to garnish, and cut a slit in the middle of one of the wedges. Rub this around the edge of each glass.

Pour the salt mix into the sauce and spread it around, then place each glass with the wet rim into the salt, and turn it around to coat. You may want to lift it up and place it back down in a slightly different spot to get more of the rim. Also shake the plate gently to spread the spice back out between glasses.

Add the other three lime wedges to edge of each glass and add the ice, about 1/3 of the way full. You’ll want plenty of space for this delicious cocktail!

In your cocktail shaker, add more ice. Then top with the grapefruit and lime juices, which taste the best freshly squeezed. If you can’t find good, ripe grapefruits, you can try to use bottled juice, but look for something unsweetened.

Add in the sugar and tequila, and shake until everything is well blended, the sugar is mixed in, and the shaker is cold. Then strain into three glasses and serve immediately!

How to Serve Sweet and Spicy Palomas

There’s never anything wrong with adding a little spice to your morning (or afternoons: you brunch however you choose). This is the perfect drink to pair with huevos rancheros or vegetarian nachos for taco Tuesday.

For something a little sweeter, pair this with bananas foster french toast or a slice of cinnamon praline stuffed challah.

How to Use Extra Ingredients

If you’re looking for a cocktail with a kick, you need to try this sweet and spicy paloma. Perfect for summer evenings!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Sweet and Spicy Palomas

A fresh take on the traditional grapefruit, lime, and tequila Mexican cocktail, garnish with a sweet and spicy rim of chili and citrus.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 3
Calories: 184kcal


Sweet & Spicy Rim

  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Lime Zest
  • 1/4 tsp Grapefruit Zest
  • 1 Lime quartered for garnish


  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
  • 3/4 cup Grapefruit Juice
  • 4.5 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar


  • Mix all the ingredients, except the quartered lime, for the sweet and spicy rim together until combined. Then pour on a small saucer.
  • Use one quarter of the lime to wet the rims of three double old fashioned glasses. Then dip the rim of each glass into the sweet and spicy mixture, turning until well coated.
  • Add a lime wedge the each rim, and fill 1/3 of the way with ice.
  • In a cocktail shaker, add the rest of the ingredients for the paloma with ice. Shake well, and strain evenly into the three glasses. Serve immediately.

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12 thoughts on “Sweet and Spicy Palomas

    1. Haha, mom, that’s not a Paloma anymore! But I can try with vodka, I bet that would be pretty good too.

    1. Thanks, they are great for summer! I used fresh squeezed in mine, but you can try it with bottled if you can’t find good grapefruits. I recommend an unsweetened variety, so you’re not unintentionally adding extra flavors.

    1. They are definitely a winner! The spice is just enough to give it some zing, and since it’s only on the rim you still get to enjoy the grapefruit and tequila flavors.

  1. Oh WOW! I’ve never had palomas and these sound amazing! I never would’ve thought to have them with breakfast or brunch, but now that I’ve read your recipe, I’m thinking they’d be perfect with churro waffles!

    1. Ok, first of all churro waffles sound like a dream. You definitely should make this combo and let me know how it goes! I always order a Paloma when it’s on the brunch menu, but it would be great for lunch, dinner, or dessert too.

  2. I never heard of this drink before, but the ‘spicy’-part in a drink, sounds very appealing to me.

    1. Oh you totally need to try one. Palomas are such a great drink, so refreshing. These are a great combination of spciy, sweet, bitter, and sour. A little bit of everything.

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