Ryan Shepard
About Author
April 28, 2020
BS+B Recipes

Bring A Bit Of Mexico Into Your Life With This Paloma Cocktail

Without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite cultures in the entire world is Mexican. I don’t know if I’d feel this way if I was raised somewhere without a large Mexican population, and frankly I’m glad I don’t know. From the music and food to their experience with racism, economic disenfranchisement and just straight up ignorance—I feel a kinship. A sad one...but it’s there.

Two years ago, Shep and I traveled to Mexico City for vacation. Our plan was to spend about 4 days exploring the city and then travel to Playa del Carmen for a little down time after a busy few days checking out museums, galleries and eating/drinking our faces off.

When we told our respective families that we were going to head to Mexico City, everyone initially was super hesitant. In their minds, any part of Mexico that isn’t a beachfront all-inclusive resort is inherently dangerous.

For the life of me, I’ll never understand why brown people allow themselves to be influenced by white people telling us to fear other brown people...not.gonna.do.it. So off to Mexico City we went.

We stayed in the Oaxaca Suite in this incredibly beautiful (and eco-friendly!) boutique hotel El Patio 77 in San Rafael. Each morning we were greeted with fresh breakfast delicacies like chilaquiles made with fresh tortillas, local fruits, yogurts and juices...chillllle I’m Googling flights now.

During the afternoons and evenings, we’d hang out in dope ass neighborhoods like Roma and Condesa, dropping in and out of galleries, restaurants, storefronts and mezcal bars. During this trip I fell head over heels in love with Palomas.

Made with tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, agave nectar and sparkling water, palomas were my go-to drink when I was ordering cocktails—if I wasn’t just sipping on tequila.

The flavors here burst in your mouth as the sour and slightly bitter grapefruit gets some balance from the syrupy sweet agave. The little top of soda water adds an effervescence that you can literally feel moving through your body. I dare you to drink one of these and not instantly feel better, if only for a moment, about everything in your life.

Mexico City has a special place in my heart. It has more culture on a single street corner than most states in America have periodt. Home to art legends like Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo, top rated restaurants like Pujol (where I had a meal so good it literally, I’m embarrassed to admit, made me cry) as well as Quintonil and home to Mercado Lagunilla, one of the most mind blowing flea markets ever.

It’s the one country Shep and I have decided that we want to own property in one day. The energy of the place, the smells and sounds are seductive. The only other place I’ve ever loved this much is New Orleans and y’all know how I feel about that.

If you haven’t been yet, please book a ticket (whenever they let us off lockdown) and take in as much of the beauty the city has to offer, cocktail in hand of course.

I’ve tried my best to answer any questions you might have below but if you have anymore leave me a comment or hit me up on Instagram.

Can I use mezcal instead of tequila?
Ummm hell yes. Technically it won’t be a paloma anymore but the flavors will be delicious AF.

I don’t have tequila or mezcal, what else can I use?
Nothing sis. Find another cocktail lol.

Do I have to use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice?
Whenever possible, I’m always going to advocate for the use of fresh juice in a recipe or cocktail because it just tastes better. That being said, if you have some store bought juice at home you can totally use it here.

Ummm agave? It’s a pandemic and I don’t have any. Can I substitute?
You sure can. Try making a simple syrup using equal parts sugar and hot water. You can even make a honey simple syrup using equal parts honey and hot water if that suits you better.

Paloma Cocktail

Paloma Cocktail

Yield: 1 person
Author: Ryan Shepard
Prep time: 5 MinTotal time: 5 Min


  • 2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Topo Chico original or grapefruit flavor (or any soda water of your choice)
  • Kosher salt (optional)
  • Ice
  • Garnish: 1 grapefruit wedge


  1. Moisten the outer rim of a highball glass with a grapefruit wedge and coat lightly with salt.
  2. Add the tequila, grapefruit juice and agave nectar to glass. Stir until mixed.
  3. Fill glass with ice.
  4. Top with soda and garnish with a grapefruit wedge.
  5. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @ryannicoleshepard on instagram and hashtag it #brownsugarandbourbon
Created using The Recipes Generator

Enjoy! Xoxo.
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