I officially proclaim these Frozen Paloma Cocktails the drink of summer! It has been very hot the last month and as we near the end of summer, I want nothing but mega-refreshing drinks! These are one of the most refreshing drinks out there!
These cocktails are expanding on a longstanding tradition here on Macheesmo where I try to recreate things from restaurants that I’ve never actually been to. In this case, it’s the Frozen Palomas from Taco Diner in Dallas! A good friend of mine travels to Dallas frequently and always swings by Taco Diner.
Recently, we’ve been blending up batches of these at home and he claims we are pretty close to the original so I thought I would share!
Good luck finding a more refreshing pitcher of drink than these Frozen Paloma Cocktails!
- Need a delicious non-alcoholic drink? Try this Watermelon Ginger Tonic!
What is a Traditional Paloma?
A paloma is one of my favorite cocktails to throw together on a whim. I usually have most of what I need to make it happen so it can be start of a quick happy hour.
For a traditional paloma you really just need:
- Tequila or mezcal
- Grapefruit juice – fresh is best!
- Grapefruit soda – for some bubbly sweetness
- A nice salted rim or fresh grapefruit garnish
Shake those ingredients together with ice and enjoy!
Tequila vs. Mezcal for Palomas
Look. There are people that will only use one or the other for cocktails. Generally Tequila, which is made from specific kind of blue agave plant has a slightly smokier flavor profile to it.
For palomas, I’m not sure that I would get too precious about saying you have to use one or the other. Both will work well in this cocktail so I would use what you have or find a bottle of mid-range tequila or mezcal that you like and use that!
Save the expensive stuff for sipping!
Paloma vs. Margarita
It can be confusing when you start to dive into cocktails. Margaritas and palomas have a lot of similarities but the big difference is that palomas are a grapefruit-flavored cocktail while margaritas are lemon and lime flavored.
Also, palomas tend to have soda and bubbles while margaritas are flat.
My favorite grapefruit soda for Palomas
A good grapefruit soda can really make or break a paloma cocktail. There are some super-fancy grapefruit sodas on the market these days, but honestly I prefer good old Squirt Soda!
Squirt, if you’ve never had it, is grapefruit-flavored soda and it is amazing in these drinks! It’s very bubbly and has enough sweetness to balance the fresh grapefruit juice and alcohol.
A close second for me in the grapefruit soda world is Fresca which is also very refreshing and a bit lighter on the grapefruit flavor.
As an aside, a Squirt with a splash of real grapefruit juice in it is a great virgin cocktail as well.
How to Make Frozen Palomas
There are two touches to these cocktails that are optional, but a nice touch. The most optional, in my opinion, is the grapefruit garnish. I grilled the grapefruit wedge until it was charred, but I’m not sure it adds much flavor to the drink. It just looks cool!
But the salt rim is actually important and while you can skip it, it’s pretty fast to make! Stir together some salt, sugar, and chili powder. BOOM.
For a frozen paloma, you really only need three things: Tequila, grapefruit, and grapefruit sodas.
Add the ingredients to a blender with ice. I would start with about 1 cup of ice but you might want a bit more if you want it more like a slushy. You can add more ice to get to the consistency that you like. Blend until the drink has a slushy consistency without any big ice chunks.
When the drink is mixed, pour it into your glass that has been rimmed with the chili mixture!
The finished cocktail is so perfect. You could definitely do worse than a big pitcher of these Frozen Paloma Cocktails to share with friends this summer.
Frozen Paloma Cocktails
- 1 blender
- ⅓ cup tequila
- ½ cup grapefruit juice
- ½ cup Squirt soda
- 1 – 1 ½ cups ice
- Fresh grapefruit, grilled (optional)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- Combine tequila, grapefruit, Squirt soda, and ice in a blender. Blend well until the drink is a single slushy consistency.
- For the salt rim, stir together salt, sugar, and chili powder.
- Run a lime slice or grapefruit slice around the rim of the glass to wet it and dip in the rim mixture.
- Pour in frozen paloma cocktail and enjoy!
- To make grilled Grapefruit Wedge garnish (optional), preheat grill to high heat and make sure it’s clean. Slice grapefruit into 1/4-inch slice and dry it well with paper towels. Brush the grapefruit with a little oil and grill on one side for 3-4 minutes until nicely charred. Serve with frozen paloma cocktails!