Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas

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Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas are a refreshing and vibrant cocktail, combining the tangy zest of grapefruit with the smooth kick of tequila, perfect for sipping on a sunny day.

drink with orange in it and ice, grapefruit slice in the background
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Easy Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas

I have a complicated relationship with a few different beverages. I love margaritas, but I can’t drink too much tequila- and many tequila drinks are sickeningly sweet and end up being too heavy on a hot day. These pink and orange citrus palomas are delicious, easy, and perfect for a hot spring or summer – plus they aren’t overly alcoholic, so you can enjoy sipping one or two without being completely faced- if that’s your sort of thing.

This drink has a hint of smoky sweetness from the tequila, and a tart kick from fresh grapefruit and orange slices. There’s bit of Lillet to sweeten up the drink- and club soda to give it a bubbly kick. If you wanted to make a non-alcoholic version, omit the tequila and lillet, and replace with a use a dry ginger soda with a splash of white grape juice.

How to Make Citrus Palomas

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Tequila (1 1/2 oz) – The backbone of any Paloma, tequila adds a smooth, agave-based spirit that brings warmth and depth to the cocktail’s profile.
  • Lillet (2 oz) – Adding an elegant twist, Lillet, a French aromatized wine, introduces a subtle floral and citrusy note, enhancing the complexity of the drink.
  • Lime juice (1 oz) – Fresh lime juice contributes a bright, tart edge, balancing the sweetness of the fruits and sharpening the overall flavor.
  • Club soda (3 oz) – Club soda infuses the Paloma with a refreshing fizz, lightening the drink and making it more palatable and refreshing.
  • Grapefruit and Orange slices – A slice of grapefruit not only serves as a vibrant garnish but also hints at the cocktail’s predominant citrus flavor, offering a bitter-sweet aroma. An orange slice adds a sweet, fragrant layer to the drink, complementing the grapefruit’s tartness and enriching the cocktail’s citrus bouquet.

Use this Method

Combine. Add tequila, lillet, lime juice and muddled citrus slices in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.

Finish. Add to a tall glass and top with club soda. Serve and enjoy!

drink with orange in it and ice, grapefruit slice in the background

Tips and Tricks for Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas

Use Fresh Citrus Juice: The key to a vibrant and refreshing Paloma is using fresh grapefruit, orange, and lime juices. This not only enhances the flavor but also contributes to the beautiful color of the drink.

Quality Tequila Matters: Opt for a high-quality blanco or reposado tequila for a smoother taste. The quality of the tequila can make or break your Paloma.

Pink Grapefruit for Color: Use pink grapefruit rather than white for a more vivid color and a slightly sweeter taste, complementing the orange notes.

Add a Splash of Soda: A splash of club soda or sparkling water adds a refreshing effervescence to the Paloma, making it more enjoyable.

Balance Your Sweetener: If you’re adding a sweetener like simple syrup or agave, adjust it according to the sweetness of your citrus fruits and personal taste preference. This ensures a balanced cocktail.

Salt the Rim: A salted rim not only adds a visual contrast but also enhances the flavors within the Paloma. Consider mixing a little grapefruit zest into your salt for an extra flavor boost.

Garnish Wisely: Garnish with a slice of pink grapefruit or a twist of orange peel to add an elegant touch and hint at the flavors within the drink.

Chill Your Glasses: Serving your Palomas in chilled glasses keeps them cooler for longer, enhancing the refreshing quality of the cocktail.

Experiment with Bitters: A drop or two of grapefruit or orange bitters can add depth to your Paloma, elevating its taste profile.

Play with Proportions: Don’t be afraid to tweak the proportions of juice, tequila, and soda to find your perfect balance. Some prefer a boozier drink, while others might enjoy more citrus or fizz.

FAQ’s

What type of tequila is best for Palomas?

For Palomas, blanco (white) or reposado (rested) tequila is preferred. Blanco tequila offers a clean, crisp flavor that complements the freshness of the citrus, while reposado tequila adds a slight richness and depth due to its aging process.

Can I use store-bought juice?

While fresh juice is highly recommended for the best flavor and vibrancy, you can use high-quality, store-bought juice in a pinch. Ensure it’s 100% juice with no added sugars or flavors for the closest match to fresh.

How do I achieve the pink and orange color?

The pink color comes from using pink grapefruit juice, while the orange hue can be enhanced by adding freshly squeezed orange juice. The proportions can be adjusted based on your preference for color and taste.

Can I make Palomas without a cocktail shaker?

Yes, you can. Simply build the cocktail directly in the glass over ice, stirring well to mix the ingredients. A cocktail shaker is not necessary but can be used if preferred, especially for chilling the mixture before serving.

How can I sweeten my Paloma if it’s too tart?

If your Paloma tastes too tart, you can add a small amount of simple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten it. Start with a teaspoon, taste, and adjust according to your preference.

Can Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas be made in advance?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can mix the tequila, grapefruit juice, orange juice, and lime juice in advance and refrigerate. Add the soda and ice just before serving to maintain the fizz and chill.

Are Palomas gluten-free?

Yes, Palomas are naturally gluten-free, as they’re made with tequila (distilled from agave, a gluten-free plant) and fruit juices. Just be sure to check that your tequila is pure and not mixed with any gluten-containing additives.

What to Serve with Palomas

Seafood Tacos: The acidity and freshness of the Palomas cut through the richness of seafood, such as shrimp or fish tacos, making for a refreshing and satisfying pairing. Also try best fried chicken tacos!

Guacamole and Chips: The creamy texture and rich flavors of guacamole complement the citrusy and bubbly nature of the Palomas, while the saltiness of the chips echoes the salted rim of the glass.

Ceviche: This citrus-marinated seafood dish shares similar flavor profiles with the Paloma, creating a cohesive and light pairing that’s perfect for warm weather.

Grilled Chicken Skewers: The smoky and slightly charred flavors of grilled chicken are beautifully balanced by the bright and tangy notes of the cocktail, offering a delightful contrast.

Cheese Board: A selection of cheeses, especially those with a hint of saltiness or creaminess, pairs well with the crisp and fruity characteristics of the Palomas. Think cotija, queso fresco, or even mild blue cheese.

Fresh Salsas: Fresh salsas, particularly those with a fruit base like mango or pineapple, complement the citrus notes in the Palomas while adding a spicy kick that contrasts nicely with the drink’s sweetness.

Jicama and Carrot Sticks: Offering a refreshing and crunchy option, these vegetables dipped in a chili-lime seasoning can enhance the crispness of the Paloma and add a textural contrast.

Churros: For a sweet finish, the cinnamon sugar of churros pairs wonderfully with the sweet and sour profile of the Palomas, making for a delightful dessert option.

Corn Salad: A light and refreshing corn salad, with hints of lime and cilantro, can mirror the zesty flavors of the cocktail, creating a harmonious side dish.

Mini Flautas: The crunchiness of mini flautas, filled with chicken or cheese, offers a satisfying texture that complements the smooth and refreshing sip of a Paloma.

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A Pink Grapefruit and Ice Cocktail in a Glass.
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Pink and Orange Citrus Palomas

This paloma is a light, refreshing and citrus based drink full of flavor that won’t weigh you down with extra sugar on a hot day!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword alcoholic drinks, citrus drinks, cocktails, lime cocktails, summer cocktails, tequila cocktail
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 drink
Calories 224kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz tequila reposado
  • 2 oz lillet
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 3 oz club soda
  • grapefruit and orange slices, muddled

Instructions

  • Add tequila, lillet, lime juice and muddled citrus slices in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  • Add to a tall glass and top with club soda.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Sodium: 3mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 21g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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