The paloma is an ever-popular Mexican cocktail. The tart, grapefruity older sister of your classic margarita is a tasty and refreshing alcoholic tipple for sun laden lazy afternoons.
Tequila is the main component of these cocktails, giving them a distinctive alcoholic zing.
Getting the flavour profile just right is essential, so finding the perfect tequila to complement the citrus of a grapefruit is a must for any cocktail connoisseur.
With so many tequilas on the market, choosing the best one can often feel like a real minefield, and sometimes you can feel let down with a subpar purchase when you can’t mix a Michelin-star worthy cocktail from home.
But amateur mixologists do not fear!
This comprehensive and curated list will guide you through the best tequilas available on the market, helping you to purchase the perfect tequila for your cocktail cabinet, and answering any questions you might have about tequila along the way.
Our 6 Best Tequilas For Palomas
Patron Silver – The Classic Tequila
Much like the paloma, tequila hails from Mexico. This tequila of Mexican origin is perfect to keep your cocktails authentic to their heritage.
Patron Silver Tequila (see also: Milagro Silver Tequila Review)produces wonderfully light tasting palomas, as it is clear silver tequila, with a clean herbal and peppery taste. It is handcrafted and distilled in small batches, by artisans in Jalisco, Mexico.
Mixing your cocktails with this will produce an absolutely stellar paloma, perfect for anyone who loves a slightly savoury tasting drink, rather than a sticky sweet cocktail.
- Fresh savoury and herbal notes cut through the sweetness of the simple syrup and grapefruit juice, balancing flavours for a refershingly sippable cocktail.
- Well presented in hand-numbered glass bottles, meaning you can display it with pride.
- The savoury flavour may not be to some people’s tastes. If you prefer a sugary sweet cocktail – this tequila is not the one for you!
Clase Azul Reposado – The Top Shelf Tequila
This Clase Azul Reposado Tequila is definitely the most expensive tequila per unit on this list – however, its expensive price point can be justified by the truly delicious cocktails it produces.
Like the Patron Silver tequila, this one also comes from Jalisco, Mexico. Unlike other spirits on this list however, it has a sweet tropical fruit and vanilla taste, with an earthy finish that compliments grapefruit soda, meaning it will give you something truly unique.
The fruity notes in this tequila mean that it would be great for you if you enjoy a sweet and buttery tasting cocktail.
In addition to the delicious flavour, it comes in a beautiful ceramic bottle that has been handpainted in Mexico, making it a truly spectacular gift for the paloma-lover in your life.
- A sweet, vanilla flavour that plays well with the zing of grapefruit.
- Comes in a gorgeous, handmade and painted ceramic bottle, so you’ll want to put it on display at the front of your drinks cabinet, or give it to someone as a show-stopping gift.
- This tequila is made with 100% organic blue agave, so it is one of the purest drinks on this list.
- Unfortunately, none of this luxury comes cheap – Clase Azul tequila is renowned for its high price point, making it one of the least affordable options on this list.
Teremana – The Value Tequila
- Small batch tequila made from 100% mature, highlands agave
- Notes of bright citrus with a smooth, fresh finish
- Great in mixers, also a reasonable sipper
Many celebrity tequilas are met with a degree of skepticism – they can be overpriced and lack the sort of substance you want to see in your sipper or mixer.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila (see also: The Rock Tequila Review)is one of the exceptions to the rule. It’s offered at a low to mid-range price point yet is extremely drinkable as either a sipper or in cocktails. Palomas are no exception.
You can check out our full review on Teremana here next.
Jose Cuervo – The Price Friendly Tequila
Jose Cuervo Especial Gold Tequila is a staple for alcohol loving amateurs and bartenders alike, making it an absolute classic ingredient of the paloma.
This is for good reason – as Amazon reviewers will attest to, the blend of aged and young tequilas, manufactured from blue agave, makes a smooth, flavourful drink, whether drunk neat or used in cocktails.
It comes with excellent value for money as well, coming in a larger bottle than all other tequilas on this list.
- Great value for money, as there is a litre of alcohol for a very reasonable price, making it the bargain of this list.
- The oak barrel ageing process gives this tequila oaky and earthy notes akin to whiskey, making it a versatile must-have for your drinks cabinet. Your palomas will have a smoky edge to them!
- It is a mix-to tequila – meaning that it is not pure agave. Made with 51% agave and 49% sugarcane spirits, the authenticity and flavour profile of the drink may be affected, with some reviewers stating it is too sweet.
Sauza Silver – The Silver Tequila
This bottle of Sauza Silver tequila has a wealth of excellent reviews and a classic flavour profile of fresh agave, green apple, citrus and spice, so it would be a great addition to your drinks cabinet.
Some expert mixologists claim that clear silver tequila is better for cocktail (see also: How To Make Clear Ice Cubes For Cocktails)manufacture than its gold counterparts, as its short ageing process gives it a clear appearance and crisp taste that can cut through any other flavours in your paloma.
Therefore, if you’re after a crisp, clean tasting cocktail – this tequila is the one for you.
- A double filtration process during manufacture removes any impurities from the alcohol, allowing notes of fresh agave and citrus to come through clearly.
- La Perseverancia Distillery has a long history of tequila manufacture, being founded in 1873, and has stayed true to its roots, meaning your cocktails will be extra authentic.
- Notes of citrus and spice complement the grapefruit flavoured mixer used in paloma cocktails.
- Silver and white tequila have a strong, clear flavour due to their ageing and filtration processes, which might taste overpowering to some.
We’d be remiss to not mention one of our favorite celebrity backed tequilas, Casamigos. George Clooney’s (see also: George Clooney Tequila Reviews)Casamigo Blanco is a light, versatile tequila that is wonderful in a paloma.
It’s crisp, clean, and has a long smooth finish. The flavor profile has hints of citrus, vanilla and sweet agave – which are lovely undertones in any cocktail made with Casamigos.
Ritual Zero Proof – The Virgin Tequila
Maybe you’ve got work tomorrow, maybe you’re the designated driver, or maybe you just want to avoid the headache of a hangover – the award-winning Ritual Zero Proof (see also: Ritual Zero Proof Review)Tequila Alternative has your back.
Now, you can still enjoy the citrus tang of a Paloma without experiencing any tequila brain fug.
Not only will it help you dodge any post hangover sickness, but as it is a zero-calorie drink, it is keto, paleo, and low carb diet-friendly, so you still enjoy palomas regardless of your lifestyle.
Crafted with notes specifically for cocktails, (see also: What Is a Craft Cocktail?)this is the perfect alcohol-free tipple to put in your virgin palomas.
- The healthier and safer choice, meaning you can enjoy a drink without having to worry about your health goals, or about the drive home.
- Free gift box, to protect from accidental damage and spillages, or to make wrapping up as a present even easier.
- Award-winning flavour, with notes of earthy blue agave, fresh lime, and tropical guava, with a smoky nose.
- This spirit has been designed specifically with cocktails in mind, meaning it is crafted to create the perfect paloma.
- This tequila can taste like it has a spicy kick when drunk neat, with strong notes of capsicum fruit, but these flavours mellow significantly when mixed in a cocktail or when drunk over ice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Paloma And Margarita Cocktails?
Although paloma and margarita cocktails are in the same family of alcoholic beverages, there are a few differences that make each unique.
Whilst margaritas are a blend of tequila, lime juice and French liquors triple sec or Cointreau, palomas are made with tequila and grapefruit juice or Italian grapefruit flavored soda.
This results in a deliciously tart drink, compared to its sweeter sibling the margarita.
Who Invented The Paloma?
Although claims vary regarding who invented the paloma, popular theories include Don Javier Delgado Corona mixing the first paloma in his famous bar ‘La Capilla’ in the namesake town Tequila, Mexico, or that tavern manager Manuel Gonzales created it in honour of his lover.
The name paloma is rumoured to come from a popular folk song called ‘La Paloma’ (translated as ‘The Dove’) composed in the early 1860s. The first written recipe of the paloma is attributed to Evan Hansen, in his 1953 pamphlet; ‘Popular Cocktails of the Rio Grande’.
What Is Tequila Made From?
Tequila is made from the harvested core (referred to as the ‘pina’) of the blue agave plant. After the pina is harvested, they are baked or steamed in large ovens to break down the complex fruit sugar molecules into sweeter tasting fructose.
Once this process is completed, the juice is extracted from the agave cores, which goes on to become tequila through a process of fermentation and distillation.
Is Tequila Healthy?
Whilst no doctor is raving about the health benefits of any kind of alcohol, tequila is comparatively healthier than other similar spirits on the market.
This is because it has low sugar, calorie and carbohydrate content.
Agave plants contain several health beneficial compounds, called agavins, however, these are typically broken down during processing when manufacturing tequila, meaning they are rarely found in your alcoholic beverages.