Spicy Paloma Cocktail

This Spicy Paloma Cocktail will surprise your palate with a combination of heat and grapefruit flavors all at once. Tequila teams up with fresh lime and grapefruit, a pink grapefruit spritzer, and a homemade agave simple syrup resulting in a refreshing cocktail that will most certainly become your drink of choice — especially when you are craving something light!

Love tequila-based cocktails? You’ll also enjoy my Tequila Sunrise Cocktail, The Tiki Rita Margarita, and Frozen Pear Margarita Cocktail.

two spicy Paloma cocktails

I love a good, balanced cocktail. Long gone are the days when I thought a good cocktail meant it contained more liquor than anything else. While that may be the case for some cocktails, this Paloma is as balanced as one could get. And if all the fresh ingredients are any indication of its taste, you know it’s a good one.

Palomas are typically made with one part tequila and three parts grapefruit soda with a hint of fresh lime juice, but because I always put my spin on things, there are a few differences in my version.

And since we’re speaking on ingredients, let’s jump into what’s inside…

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Tequila, tequila, tequila! You can’t make a Paloma without tequila so this is a must. Use your favorite tequila or add a hint of smokiness to your cocktail by swapping out your tequila for a mezcal. For this recipe, I supported a black-owned brand called, Tequila With Friends (TWF). Their Blanco was a perfect choice.
  • The tequila is topped with a small amount of fresh grapefruit juice and fresh lime juice.
  • And the homemade jalapeno agave simple syrup balances out the tart by adding a hint of sweetness. The simple syrup is the secret ingredient that makes this cocktail special and it’s also where it gets its heat from. Plus, agave nectar is the healthier option for sweeteners. Hey, we can drink better too! Note: You can make your simple syrup in advance to ensure it is cooled down enough to use in your cocktail.
honey agave simple syrup
grapefruit sparkling water

What type of tequila should I use?

There are five types of tequila: Blanco (Silver/White), Joven (Gold), Reposado (Aged), Añejo (Extra-aged), and Extra Añejo (Ultra-aged). For the Paloma, I would recommend going with a Blanco or Reposado. Since Joven is very rare, and Añejo and Extra Añejo are best enjoyed as-is (sipping tequilas), these two types are your best route; and the less expensive than the others.

Is a Paloma similar to a margarita?

Kinda. A Margarita is also made with tequila and fresh lime juice, but it gets its sweetness from an orange liqueur like triple sec or Cointreau. Paloma’s are less sweet than a margarita and it gets its sweetness from the grapefruit. For this twist, simple syrup is also used to provide additional sweetness to the cocktail.

To Make your Paloma:

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add your tequila, lime juice, jalapeno-honey-agave simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Stir with a long-handled spoon. Top with pink grapefruit spitzer and garnish with lime and a slice of jalapeno (optional).

This cocktail is so tasty and refreshing you can even make a non-alcoholic version by simply removing the tequila!

topping off the Paloma with soda

Thanks to that tasty simple syrup, this cocktail has some kick to it. Perfect for brunch or anytime you want a lighter cocktail. Cheers!

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two spicy Paloma cocktails

Spicy Paloma Cocktail

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  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x


For this Spicy Paloma Cocktail, tequila teams up with fresh lime and grapefruit, a pink grapefruit spritzer, and a homemade agave simple syrup resulting in a refreshing cocktail that will most certainly become your drink of choice.


Units Scale
  • 4 oz tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz jalapeno agave simple syrup
  • .25 oz grapefruit juice
  • sparkling pink grapefruit spritzer

For the Jalapeno Agave Simple Syrup: 

  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (paid link)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 whole fresh jalapeno, sliced


  1. Add the water, turbinado sugar (paid link), agave nectar, and jalapeno slices to a small cooking pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store and refrigerate any unused simple syrup.
  2. Add ice cubes to a tall glass.
  3. Add the tequila, lime juice, jalapeno agave simple syrup, and grapefruit juice. Stir. 
  4. Top with the sparkling pink grapefruit spitzer.
  5. Garnish with lime and a slice of jalapeno (optional). 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Pour
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 343
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 2mg
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.1g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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