Honey Paloma is a tequila based cocktail similar to a Margarita. This version uses honey syrup to sweeten this colorful and vibrant mixed drink.
I’m the resident mixologist/cocktail maker/wine picker. As a Valentine’s Day present to myself (and Alex), I signed us up for the modern cocktail workshop taught by Talmadge Lowe of Pharmacie.
The class was held at Poketo in the Arts District of Downtown LA. It was so much fun and I learned a lot.
Talmadge started the class with a brief history of how cocktails and mixed drinks came to be. He gave us a rundown on essential bar tools, an introduction to the main liquors, and a little info on which glass to use to which drink.
Of course my favorite part of the workshop was the mixing and tasting of drinks!
We were provided with all sorts of alcohol, fresh squeezed juices, and a variety of flavored simple syrups and bitters. Talmadge taught us the basic ratios to make “sour cocktails.”
Then he would walk around the class and taste everyone’s creations. He tasted Alex’s drink and said it was a “Paloma with honey.”
What is the Paloma cocktail?
Paloma is a tequila based cocktail, quite similar to a Margarita, but in my opinion- better!
Paloma, which means “dove” in Spanish, is traditionally made by mixing tequila and grapefruit flavored soda. I opted for grapefruit juice and club soda because I think drinks taste more refreshing with real juice.
What makes this version of Paloma better?
Rather than use a regular simple syrup, I used honey syrup. I like the combination of tart grapefruit and sweet honey.
Honey can be a tricky sweetener because it is pretty thick and it often hardens in cold drinks.
To solve this problem use honey syrup (honey + simple syrup mixture). Make a large batch of honey syrup and use it to sweeten everything… oatmeal, green tea, iced tea, yogurt, coffee, etc.
How to make Honey Paloma:
I’ve never had a Paloma at a bar or restaurant, so I’m not sure if it comes with a salted rim or not. For this Honey Paloma, I prefer it with the salt.
Combine a tablespoon to coarse salt with a teaspoon of grated grapefruit zest. Moisten the rim of your serving glass with a lime wedge or a little bit of water.
Turn glass upside down into the salt mixture. Twist glass around to thoroughly salt the rim.
- Fill serving glass a little more than half full of ice. Pour in 2 oz of fresh grapefruit juice.
- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice.
- Follow with 2 teaspoons of honey syrup. (Honey syrup recipe below)
- Pour in 2 oz club soda.
- Top with 2 oz tequila.
- Stir to combine. Add more ice if necessary. Garnish finished cocktail with a grapefruit wedge.
- 2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 teaspoon honey syrup (recipe follows)
- 2 oz club soda
- 2 oz tequila
- ice, as needed
- grapefruit wedges, to garnish
- grapefruit salt rim
Grapefruit Salt Rim:
- 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- Moisten the rim of serving glass with a lime wedge or a little bit of water. Turn glass upside down into grapefruit salt mixture. Twist glass around to thoroughly salt the rim.
- Fill serving glass a little more than half full of ice. Pour in 2 oz fresh grapefruit juice.
- Add 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice. Follow with 2 tsp honey syrup. Add 2 oz club soda and 2 oz tequila. Stir to combine.
- Add more ice, if necessary. Garnish finished cocktail with a grapefruit wedge.
Grapefruit Salt Rim:
- Combine salt and grapefruit zest. Keep on a flat plate.
- In a small sauce pot combine water and honey. Set over medium heat. Stir until honey dissolves into water. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Reader Questions and Reviews
Whatever colour that drink is, that’s my new favourite colour! These look ultra refreshing! I really enjoy grapefruit cocktails, the sweetener always takes the bitter edge off of the grapefruit. Yum!!! What beautiful photos. Very inspiring!
It’s such a pretty spring/summer color! Adding salt also helps lessen that bitter grapefruit taste. Thanks!!
Oh my goodness those glasses! Where did you find them? I absolutely must have them! I adore grapefruit, and tequila, and grapefruit + tequila = heaven. What a fabulous recipe thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Ace! Yes, aren’t the glasses pretty?! I bought them about a year ago from the sale section of Anthropologie. They’re stemless wine glasses. You can find similar ones without the gold band at pretty much any store that sells wine glasses. Cheers! :)
Oh but the gold band it what makes them so darling. Anthropologie for the win, as always.
Beautiful! I love those glasses. I aspire to your standard of food photography! :)
Thanks Nova! That makes my day :)
I know this sounds like a crazy question given the subject but while I myself don’t mind a good drink every now and then, but I come from a family of non-drinkers on my side and recovering alcoholics on my husband’s. So any suggestions on how to make this virgin? It sounds delicious either way.
Have you tried it with smoked tequila? 1oz smoked tequila and 1oz regular tequila. Game changer!
I’ve tried it with mezcal and it’s amazing!
Being from Texas I use ruby reds.😉 Great flavour?
How long does the Honey Water last in the frig? Thank you!
Thanks for trying the recipe! The honey water will last at room temperature for a week or so. It will last in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
This recipe looks amazing! Is it possible to make this by the picture instead of by the glass?