This fresh grapefruit paloma makes for the perfect summer mocktail or cocktail. It’s made with fresh-squeezed Sunkist® California Star Ruby Grapefruit juice, lime juice, sparkling water, and optional honey simple syrup and tequila. 

Lightened up fresh grapefruit paloma mocktail (cocktail)

This pretty pink paloma is fresh and zingy! It’s the perfect summer cocktail or mocktail that transports you to a Mexico vacation. 

Contrary to popular belief, the paloma and not the margarita is said to be Mexico’s most popular cocktail. Traditionally, a paloma is made with a combination of silver tequila and grapefruit soda or fresh grapefruit juice, club soda, and simple syrup. But honestly, there’s no need for soda or extra sweet sugary syrup.

In an attempt to make a healthier cocktail, I created this fresh grapefruit paloma. This revamped version, made with fresh-squeezed Sunkist California Star Ruby grapefruit, lime juice, sparkling water, and optional honey simple syrup and tequila. The result is a lower-sugar cocktail or mocktail with a beautiful rosy hue and a refreshing zing! 

How to Make A Fresh Grapefruit Paloma

Grapefruit + Lime Juice

This sweet (but not too sweet!) cocktail/mocktail packs a punch of flavor from the fresh red ruby grapefruit and lime juice. This combination is sweet, sour, and refreshing. I recommend using fresh-squeezed juice versus store-bought grapefruit and lime juice. Using fresh fruit results in a  bright, sweet flavor, whereas store-bought grapefruit and lime juice typically have a bitter edge. 

In addition to the fresh flavor, using fresh juice adds some nutrition to your drink. With one drink you’re getting at least 50% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, along with vitamin A and antioxidants like lycopene. How’s that for a cocktail!? 

Sparkling Water

This recipe ditches the grapefruit soda and uses sparing water for the refreshing fizz. I prefer Topo Chico or Pellegrino sparkling water but feel free to use any sparkling water or club soda. Spindrift grapefruit would be a great option! You can also use kombucha for the added probiotics and sweetness. I recommend an original or grapefruit-flavored kombucha in this drink.

Honey Simple Syrup (optional)

Typically a paloma is made with a heavy dose of simple syrup or sugary soda. Not this one! If you’re using fresh ruby grapefruit there’s really no need for added sweetener. The grapefruit juice from the ruby grapefruit offers plenty of sweetness. That being said, this recipe also gives you the option to lightly sweeten your drink with an easy honey simple syrup. Either way, this is a great lower sugar-option when you need a refreshing bevvy.  

I recommend making an easy honey simple syrup since honey can be a tricky sweetener to use in cocktails. Plain honey often hardens in cold drinks. Using a honey simple syrup, made from equal parts honey and boiling water, solves this problem. It takes 5 minutes to make the honey simple syrup. If you make a large batch, store it in the fridge and use it to sweeten iced coffee, green tea, oatmeal, yogurt, salad dressings, etc.

Mocktail or Cocktail

Add tequila or don’t! To make this a cockatiel, silver tequila works best. That being said, the combination of fresh grapefruit, lime juice, and sparkling water makes for a refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail.

Lightened up fresh grapefruit paloma mocktail (cocktail)
two glasses Lightened up fresh grapefruit paloma mocktail (cocktail)
hand holding lightened up fresh grapefruit paloma mocktail (cocktail)

Nourished by Nutrition

Grapefruit

This bright and refreshing citrus is often overshadowed by more popular citrus varieties like oranges and lemons. But it’s about time that changed! Grapefruit are incredibly versatile and nutritious.

One medium Sunkist® Red and Pink grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It contains 100% of the daily vitamin C recommendations. It’s also a good source of vitamin A (20% DV) and fiber (22% DV). Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants. Grapefruit get their beautiful pink and red hue from lycopene. This naturally-occurring antioxidant associated with promoting prostate and heart health. They also get their refreshing taste from the antioxidant Naringin. This plant-compound may offer benefits for the heart, brain, and reducing inflammation. Overall, adding grapefruit to your diet is a great way to support your overall health, including maintaining healthy body weight.

Sunkist® Red and Pink grapefruit varieties have distinct flavor profiles, but each one is sweet-tart and extremely juicy. This makes them incredibly versatile in sweet and savory dishes. They’re a great way to enhance the flavor and nutrition in beverages, baked goods, and even savory recipes like this spicy avocado guacamole and grapefruit avocado power bowl.

There are many grapefruit varieties available such as California Star Ruby (available April- July) and Marsh Ruby (available mid-June to mid-October. That being said, grapefruit are grown in different regions throughout the United States, making them available year-round.

Lightened up fresh grapefruit paloma mocktail (cocktail)

IF YOU LIKE THIS PAloma RECIPE, YOU’LL ALSO ENJOY…

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Fresh Grapefruit Paloma

A refreshing grapefruit paloma makes for the perfect summer mocktail or cocktail. This is a lightened-up paloma made with fresh-squeezed Sunkist® California Star Ruby grapefruit juice, lime juice, sparkling water, and optional honey simple syrup and tequila. 

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
Scale

Ingredients

½ cup (4 ounces) fresh-squeezed Sunkist® California Star Ruby grapefruit juice

¼½ cup (2-4 ounces) sparkling water

¼ cup (2 ounces) silver tequila (optional)

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus slices for garnish

12 teaspoons (¼ ounce) honey simple syrup (optional, recipe below)*

Coarse sea salt, for the rim of the glasses

Ice

Instructions

Salt the rim of the glass by rubbing a grapefruit wedge around the edge and dipping it onto a small plate of salt. You can jazz this up by adding one to two teaspoons of grapefruit zest to the salt. 

For a paloma mocktail, I recommend adding ½ cup of sparkling water instead of ¼ cup. This takes the place of ¼ cup tequila.

Fill a glass halfway up with ice. Add the grapefruit juice, sparkling water, lime juice, tequila (if using), and honey simple syrup (if using) into the glass. Stir vigorously. Garnish with sliced lime.

Alternatively, you can add the grapefruit juice, tequila (optional), lime juice, agave nectar, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously, then pour into a glass filled halfway with ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with sliced lime.

Notes

Honey Simple Syrup: For a sweeter cocktail, add a honey simple syrup. To make, combine ¼ cup filtered water and ¼ cup honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until honey dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool. The honey simple syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to a month. 

I prefer Topo Chico or Pellegrino sparkling water but feel free to use any sparkling water or club soda. Spindrift grapefruit or lemon would be a great option! You can also use kombucha. I like original or grapefruit kombucha in this drink.

 

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #nourishedbynutriton and #SunkistSummersYou can also find this recipe on Sunkist.com/recipes/fresh-grapefruit-paloma/


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