Matthew Kelly / Supercall

Entertaining
5 New Ways to Make a Paloma, the Margarita’s More Refreshing Cousin

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If you love Margaritas (and who doesn’t?) but you haven’t tried a Paloma, then you and your mouth are missing out and it’s about time you became acquainted with this tart and spritzy Highball. The yin to the Margarita’s yang, the Paloma has the same bright citrus twang as its celebrated cousin, but packs a refreshing, effervescent punch that the Margarita lacks.

With summer almost here (it couldn’t come sooner), there’s no better cocktail to usher in the warmer weather than the Paloma. It’s day drinking fodder at its finest and it’s easily altered to suit everyone’s particular tastes. Here, five new ways to make the classic cocktail, from spicy to bittersweet to even tequila-free. You’ll make the jump from Margarita drinker to Paloma lover in no time.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall
The perfect Highball for spicy cocktail-loving heat-seekers, this variation on the classic Paloma mixes the cooling flavors of a Mojito with raw capsicum heat. Made with fresh muddled jalapeño, mint, vegetal blanco tequila and sweet, spritzy, citrusy Squirt, it’s both fiery and refreshing at once. Serve it with homemade chips and tequila-spiked guacamole and you’ll have the perfect start to a proper fiesta.

The Essentials

blanco tequila
Jalapeño
Squirt Soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
While melon and grapefruit seem like a strange mix, the two flavors come together to create cocktail magic. Big, bright, and fruity, with a touch of briny seaside air, this take on a Paloma created by bartender Enrique Diaz at the Meliá Nassau Beach hotel in the Bahamas tastes like a Caribbean vacation in a glass. If possible, sip it poolside, preferably with a wide-brimmed hat, a good book and nowhere to be.

The Essentials

Tequila
Midori
Squirt Soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Inspired by Katie Stipe’s modern classic, the Siesta, this take on a Paloma mixes the usual tequila and grapefruit soda with bittersweet Campari for a refreshingly quaffable summer sipper. Once it inevitably becomes your go-to aperitif, try swapping out the Campari for bolder, fruitier amari alternatives like Cappelletti.

The Essentials

Tequila
Campari
Squirt Soda
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
This cocktail is so juicy and fresh that it makes raw grapefruit look like an imposter. A low-ABV variation on a Paloma, this afternoon sipper opts out of using tequila all together. Instead, the drink goes all-in on the grapefruit, layering fresh grapefruit juice with a grapefruit oleo saccharum syrup, grapefruit soda and grapefruit beer (we like Sixpoint Rad or Stiegl Radler). Like an Everlasting Gobstopper dissolving on your tongue, you can taste each different expression of the citrus fruit as the cocktail unfolds on your palate. It’s a bright and tangy explosion, perfect for cooling down on a balmy summer day.

The Essentials

Fresh Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit Syrup
Grapefruit Beer
Matthew Kelly / Supercall
Like sippable yacht rock, this fresh and floral take on a Paloma is ripe for beach vacations or laid back boat trips. It’s refreshingly tart and features a heady, perfumed mix of elderflower liqueur and grapefruit liqueur. With a bubbly topping of soda water, it’s the only cure for a sweltering July day. It’s a lot like a Doobie Brothers song: Once you try it, good luck getting it out of your head.

The Essentials

Blanco Tequila
elderflower liqueur
Pamplemousse Liqueur

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