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How to Make a Spicy Paloma

clear drinking glass with yellow liquid on brown wooden table

A spicy Paloma is a refreshing and flavorful cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion. This cocktail is a combination of tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and a spicy kick from jalapeño. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a spicy Paloma from scratch.


  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. agave nectar
  • 1-2 slices of jalapeño
  • Salt, for rimming the glass
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Ice


Step 1: Gather your ingredients

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients on hand. This recipe calls for tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, agave nectar, jalapeño slices, salt, lime wedges, and ice.

Step 2: Rim the glass

To rim the glass with salt, pour a small amount of salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim of a highball glass with a lime wedge and then dip the rim into the salt, coating it evenly. This step is optional, but it adds an extra pop of flavor to the cocktail.

Step 3: Muddle the jalapeño slices

Using a cocktail muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, muddle 1-2 slices of jalapeño in the bottom of the salt-rimmed glass. Muddling helps release the flavors of the jalapeño and adds a spicy kick to the cocktail.

Step 4: Add ice

Fill the glass with ice. This will help keep the cocktail cold and refreshing.

Step 5: Add the tequila

Next, add 2 oz. of tequila to the glass. You can use any brand of tequila you like, but we recommend using a high-quality brand for the best results.

Step 6: Squeeze in the lime juice

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the glass. You’ll need about 1/2 oz. of lime juice for this recipe. If you prefer a more tart cocktail, you can add more lime juice to taste.

Step 7: Add the grapefruit juice

Now it’s time to add the grapefruit juice. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice for this recipe. Pour it into the glass and stir gently to combine.

Step 8: Sweeten with agave nectar

Add 1/2 oz. of agave nectar to the glass. This will sweeten the cocktail and balance out the tartness of the grapefruit juice and lime juice.

Step 9: Stir gently

Stir the cocktail gently to combine all the ingredients.

Step 10: Garnish and serve

Garnish the cocktail with a lime wedge and a slice of jalapeño, if desired. Serve the spicy Paloma immediately and enjoy!

Tips for making the perfect spicy Paloma:

  • Use fresh ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh grapefruit juice and lime juice. Bottled juices can be used in a pinch, but fresh is always best.
  • Adjust the spice level: If you like your cocktails extra spicy, you can add more jalapeño slices or even muddle them in the glass before adding the other ingredients. If you prefer a milder flavor, use less jalapeño.
  • Use agave nectar: Agave nectar is a great sweetener for cocktails because it dissolves easily and has a mild flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients.
  • Choose your tequila wisely: The quality of the tequila you use can make or break the cocktail. Look for a tequila that’s smooth and has a clean taste. Blanco or silver tequila is the traditional choice for a Paloma, but reposado or añejo tequila can also be used for a more complex flavor.
  • Don’t forget the ice: Adding ice to your glass helps keep the cocktail cold and refreshing. If you’re serving your spicy Palomas outside on a hot day, consider using extra ice to keep them cool.
  • Experiment with the garnishes: While lime wedges and jalapeño slices are traditional garnishes for a spicy Paloma, you can also get creative and add things like grapefruit wedges, cilantro leaves, or even a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
  • Make it a mocktail: If you don’t drink alcohol or want to serve this cocktail to a non-alcoholic crowd, you can easily make a spicy Paloma mocktail by omitting the tequila and using grapefruit soda instead of grapefruit juice.
  • Overall, making a spicy Paloma is a simple and rewarding process. With a few basic ingredients and some creative touches, you can create a delicious and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion. So why not give it a try and see for yourself? Cheers!
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