la paloma

So, remember when I was saying last week how I’m incredibly socially awkward at bars, never know what to order and end up with an icky rum and coke and a headache?


It all started when we were in Austin over New Years and ate at the fabulous Justine’s Brasserie. We were with our friends, Morgan and Stephen, and since they don’t take reservations, we opted to hang out at the bar until our table was ready. (sidenote: they quoted us an hour and a half wait and it ended up only being twenty minutes <—go there!). Well, the thing about Justine’s is that on top of their wonderful French food, they have probably the most amazing bar and cocktail list that I’ve ever seen. Let’s just say it was waaaaay too cool for me. When it was my turn to order a drink, I almost froze like usual. Maybe I should just order a safe glass of red wine, I thought to myself. However, I was wearing white at the time. So instead, I decided to just pick a totally random cocktail from the list and go with it. I think it was called “L’Enfants Dangerous” or something along those lines.

Long story short, they gave me the wrong drink! Instead of the dangerous child that I had ordered, I got my very first La Paloma—a fizzy, grapefruity tequila cocktail.

It was love at first sip.

Flash forward three weeks. I’m at a bar in San Francisco with Adam and one of my best friends from childhood, John. I see a La Paloma on their cocktail list and then I remember Justine’s…and the dangerous child that wasn’t to be….and…..that’s it. Everything post La Paloma that night is a little fuzzy.

If you like grapefruit, this drinks for you! It’s kinda like a margarita minus the triple sec. Personally, I find it a little more refreshing.

I promise I’ll post recipes for actual FOOD soon. Sorry, I’ve just been rather….thirsty.

La Paloma

makes one mason-jar sized cocktail

Print this recipe!


1/2 lime, juiced

tiny pinch salt

1/4 cup tequila

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (from about one large grapefruit)

1 1/2 cups sparkling water

1 tbsp simple syrup, optional (or agave nectar)


Mix all ingredients. Serve over ice.

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  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    January 23, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Oh this looks so good. Even if it’s early on a Monday morning, I figure it’s after 5pm on a Friday afternoon somewhere. Or not. And that’s okay too 🙂

    I hope you had a great weekend yoga’ing it up!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

      It IS after 5 pm on Friday … just a couple days after…. right? Besides, it definitely IS after 5 pm on a Monday somewhere, and that works.

      I lovethe mason jar. It is at once hip and hick. 🙂

  • Reply
    Erika - The Teenage Taste
    January 23, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Sounds like a fabulous drink! I am in love of that picture with the grapefruit and lime halves. So pretty and vibrant! 😀

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 4:07 am

    That looks incredible. Even at 7am.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 4:22 am

    haha I always seem to order the same drink too! This sounds lovely. I’ll need to try it soon 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 am

    This is my fave summer drink! Your recipe is the way to go BUT in case of emergency (and you’re ok with an occasional diet soda) Fresca and Tequila (white) makes a great Paloma. Just make sure it’s original grapefruit Fresca and not the other flavors. Squeeze of lime if you have it.

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    January 23, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Hehe nothing like a little boozing to kick off a Monday morning! 😉

  • Reply
    Em (Wine and Butter)
    January 23, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I love margaritas AND grapefruit!! AND cocktails full stop!

  • Reply
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    January 23, 2012 at 5:07 am

    Yum!! I’m going to try this when I go visit my boyfriend in a couple weeks.. He will love anything Austin inspired. 😉

  • Reply
    kathleen @ the daily crumb
    January 23, 2012 at 5:11 am

    nothing like some tequila on a monday morning! who needs food?!

  • Reply
    Molly @ RDexposed
    January 23, 2012 at 5:28 am

    I need that photo of the grapefruit and kiwi slices printed on a canvas and hung on my wall!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Love Justine’s! It’s one of mine and my boyfriend’s favorites. Next time you’re in town, check out Papi Tino’s on E. 6th. Converted house, rustic /vintage feel, candlelit, live music, indoor and outdoor seating–similar vibe to Justine’s but a little more intimate. Head to the bar and order the Pink Bowtie. You’ll love me forever. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life
    January 23, 2012 at 5:47 am

    delish!! def trying this next weekend!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    January 23, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Happy Monday for sure! Haha love it 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

    sounds refreshing and i love the pretty pink color! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 6:08 am

    These are my absolute favorite! Fresca works well in these, too!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I don’t know about Friday somewhere but I am ready to start my Monday with it! Grapefruit is my favorite!

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous
    January 23, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I’m not much of a tequila drinker, but it does sound refreshing! Glad you found your go-to cocktail.

  • Reply
    Cait's Plate
    January 23, 2012 at 6:33 am

    I’ve never heard of a La Paloma but I definitely think I could be on board! I LOVE the photo of the limes and the grapefruits laid out. Absolutely stunning.

  • Reply
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    January 23, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I’m loving these drinks your posting!

  • Reply
    Leslie Means @ Her View From Home
    January 23, 2012 at 6:51 am

    YUM! Now I wish it was summer. 🙂

  • Reply
    Urban Wife
    January 23, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Those grapefruits look amazing! And yea, I’m another awkward girl at the bar. The girl that always orders a mojito, that’s me.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth @ Chronic Venture
    January 23, 2012 at 6:53 am

    looks so yummy! especially with that guacamole!

  • Reply
    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run]
    January 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

    holy yummerz! i love the PINK 😉

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:16 am

    HATE tequila but this looks amazing. I wonder what it would taste like with vodka… kind of like a grapefruit vodkarita. Hm. Or maybe a grapefruit mojito?

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

    That second photo is just incredible!

    And the las palomas sound delicious.

  • Reply
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    January 23, 2012 at 7:23 am

    While this drink sounds absolutely delicious, I have a thing with the word “paloma”. My mom is obsessed with the name and was going to name my younger brother that if he was a girl. I know it means dove and that’s pretty and all, but I just think the name/word itself is so ugly and I count my lucky stars she didn’t think of it until 2 years after I was born otherwise that would’ve likely been my name. I just think of some old, gray haired lady every time I hear it. haha

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:27 am

    I love grapefruit drinks and living in Arizona we have lots of grapefruit.
    I like how this only makes one drink, so simple. Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I love palomas! I usually just mix tequila and fresca for a lazy version. Yours looks worth the extra effort, maybe I’ll make some for the super bowl!

  • Reply
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño
    January 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

    This sounds so refreshing and delicious… plus I love the fresh squeezed juice and the sparkling water. Nicely done!!!

  • Reply
    Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy
    January 23, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Yum! This looks delicious! I am the same way I never know what to order at a bar!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:51 am

    My ruby red grapefruit tree made fruit for the first time this year! I can’t wait to make these with the fruit!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I’ve been looking for a good grapefruit cocktail. The ones I’ve made have all been pretty bad/uninspired. Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Giraffelegs
    January 23, 2012 at 7:55 am

    mhmm grapefruit..good choice!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

    What a great drink recipe!!! I often do the same thing- order a rum and coke or rum and sprite, and wish I had something else-something a little sweeter! Have a great Monday Jenna!

  • Reply
    Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove
    January 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Count me in for anything that is reminiscent of a margarita! I can’t wait to try making this drink!

  • Reply
    Sonia the Mexigarian
    January 23, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I knew we shouldn’t have finished off our Tequila last Friday! Ah well, time to buy more 🙂 These actually look refreshing and very well suited for spring and summer weather.

  • Reply
    Cat @Breakfast to Bed
    January 23, 2012 at 8:32 am

    ooohhhhweee! a 2oz pour! I’ll love this one!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Are you like Julia Roberts in My Best Friends Wedding…they find out you are a food writer and seat you right away?! I think so! 🙂 drink looks awesome!

    • Reply
      January 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Ummm I wish!

  • Reply
    jenna k
    January 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    yum! i’ve been wanting a grapefruit lately, and i’ve def been curious about grapefruit juice in cocktails. might just have to drop by the grocery store today!

  • Reply
    Laura @ She Eats Well
    January 23, 2012 at 9:39 am

    This looks so yummy and refreshing. If I drink it will it make the rain go away and Summer come back….?

  • Reply
    erin @WELL in L.A.
    January 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Photos!! I love the vibrant slices of citrus – simply stunning! There’s a great drink at a speak-easy in Los Angeles (if you find yourself in the southern half of the state) that incorporates gin, grapefruit and ginger. One of my favorites! Going to try La Paloma – thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    January 23, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I’ve never heard of a La Paloma but this sounds like something I would also fall in love with at first sip! I am obsessed with grapefruit… and tequila 🙂

  • Reply
    Deanna B.
    January 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Huzzah! You found a drink! And now I want want before 11 am on a Monday. I shall resist, but only till 5.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

    When I lived in Mexico back in the late 1990’s, the “in” drink was always tequila mixed with grapefruit soda. This sounds like it was inspired by that combination, but it sounds a lot more refreshing! It might even convince me to try tequila again!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

    this is great. I will remember this for the weekend coming up! (or maybe tonight..wink-wink)

  • Reply
    Kiran @
    January 23, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Aaahhh… that looks so refreshing! It’s hot here in Florida.. Need to chug down some la paloma or sangria for that matter 😉

  • Reply
    Kristin @ FoodFash
    January 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I’m moving to Austin on the 10th, so I’ll have to check out Justine’s Brasserie upon my arrival!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

    This looks so beautiful and refreshing! Definitely makes me wish I was relaxing on a beach instead of cuddled under blankets trying to stay warm 🙂

  • Reply
    Candy (Healthy in Candy Land)
    January 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I think this is the exact drink I have been searching for! I never know what to order either, but I recently discovered I have a thing for tequila. And grapefruit! I just posted a recipe today using grapefruit and cannot get enough of it. I could just hug you for posting this. But then, that would be a little too weird, and a little too much excitement over an alcoholic beverage. (Sorry, I don’t get out much.) But thank you!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Sounds delicious!! and easy!

  • Reply
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    January 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I absolutely love grapefruit! Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my, this looks amazing!! I just happen to have all the ingredients too… so I’m tempted!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    January 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Wow. I’ll take two, please and thank you. 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out
    January 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness!

    One of my favorite things is vodka and grapefruit juice, but I also quite enjoy a good margarita…this is like the perfect marriage of the two. I could use one right now (and it is only 3 pm…)

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    January 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    This sounds delicious! If only it was the weekend so I could make a big batch and drink it all 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Looks delish! I love the pink & green pic! Grapefruit and limes are so flavorful and juicy! I have no issues with finding drink recipes here- it’s like surprise, that’s what I can make this weekend!
    Side note: I made your chicken tortilla soup this past weekend for friends (left out hominy because some of them are scared-ies), and it was wonderful! YUM YUM!

  • Reply
    Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon
    January 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Grapefruit juice cocktails are my favorite! I love the addition of sparkling water…so fancy! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I love Justine’s. I’m only sorry that you didn’t have a longer wait to take advantage of the cute park benches that are best enjoyed with a bottle of wine and some not-so-strangers waiting on their table too. I saw your post about Dry Creek Kitchen and I like it too! I was in Healdsberg for the first time in December and we wound up there after asking the locals, wandeing around the square and not being able to get reservations at our first choice. We waite in the hotel lounge listening to some Jazz and enjoying some wine, and were pleasantly surprised by their food, as well as the champagne cocktials some locals we met earlier sent over to our table. (We had just gotten engaged!) All in all, it was a charming experience.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Just a tip if you don’t have fresh in-season grapefruit and/or don’t want the hassle of squeezing it yourself…

    Simply Grapefruit juice is the best store-bought grapefruit juice I have found. I’d probably use that, and the fresh lime juicethe recipe calls for.

    Of course you can also have a Salty Dog, which is like a screwdriver, but with grapefruit juice, and salt around the rim. Unfortunately, ordered at most bars you’d probably get that shelf-stable boxes graprefruit juice.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I’m not a big cocktail drinker… I never know what to order, so I just go for a good dark beer.
    This looks good: very few ingredients = easy to make!!!
    Can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    January 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    This sounds like a very refreshing cocktail. I love being able to actually know what to order out, I never have a clue!

  • Reply
    Kate S.
    January 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is my FAVORITE drink, yet nobody else seems to know what it is! It’s so delicious! Spread the word, sister.

  • Reply
    Rachael @ FreshlyMinted
    January 24, 2012 at 5:12 am

    This sounds perfect!

    I’m also totally un-bar-savvy. I go safe, or go with something I hate (who even really LIKES cranberry and vodka?!).

    I’ll be one of the cool kids now. As soon as I can say ” la paloma” without getting tongue-tied. That “l” is tricky.

  • Reply
    Pushpa@Taste as you Cook
    January 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What a beautiful color to the delicious drink.

  • Reply
    Cathy @ Savory Notes
    January 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    My BF is the SAME way. He panics and his “go-to” answer is a Rum&Coke. When we were in Mexico, a bartender made this for him, and he fell in looooove with it. Such a great drink!

  • Reply
    Joanne (Inspired Taste)
    January 25, 2012 at 6:42 am

    This sounds so good! I love the combo of lime and grapefruit. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    January 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I went to Justine’s Brasserie with a friend last night and ordered a La Paloma (after reading your post, I knew what I had to do.) It was awesome. That place is one of the few in Austin where I would gladly wait 1.5 hours for a table and some Ratatouille.

  • Reply
    Carissa @ ChoiceSustenance
    February 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Oh my goodness that sounds amazing!!!!! What’s not to love with lime, tequila & grapefruit?

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Sando @ the daily deelight
    April 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    OMgosh this look gooood! Margaritas + grapefruit…I think I’ve died and gone to custom-cocktail-heaven!! I’m the same way when I go to a bar. And I’m an ex bartender!! This sounds perfect though! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura S
    April 10, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    OMG this looks so yummy! I can’t stand margaritas – they’re too sour and salty and tart – but this looks DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    – Laura

  • Reply
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    February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Okay – I’m making these tomorrow night for my girlfriends – a Mexican themed get-together to welcome spring (even though it’s snowing!). I’m sure this drink will please everyone!

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