The Paloma Cocktail - Tequila, Lime and Grapefruit Juice

The Paloma Cocktail and an Event to Kickoff #DineOutDenver

April 4, 2014

Despite our American bent for thinking the Margarita is the treasured drink of Mexico, the truth is that the paloma (Spanish for “dove”) more closely fits that bill. It is a tequila-based cocktail that is served on the rocks and is most commonly prepared by mixing tequila and lime with a Mexican grapefruit-flavored soda called Jarritos. Here in the US it’s pretty standard to substitute the Jarritos with either Fresca or Squirt which are soft drinks with grapefruit juice. I’ve also seen options for replacing the grapefruit soda with grapefruit juice and club soda that is mixed with the lime. The cocktail I had the other night at Pinche Tacos in The Highlands seemed to serve the best of both worlds. Fresh pink grapefruit juice and Squirt were a part of the mix and I honestly think I have found a new best friend.

 Project Angel Heart - Dining Out For Life

I was invited to attend a media event this week (two favorites – Kristin Browning-Blas from the Denver Post and Kirk Montgomery from 9 News) at Pinche Tacos for Denver’s Dining Out for Life; an annual event to support Project Angel Heart, a local charity that seeks to provide essential food and nutrition to individuals with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. For two decades, people in the Denver-metro area have been dining out to support this worthy cause and this year it is expected that an estimated 80,000 Coloradans will help to raise an estimated $340,000 in one day. These funds are raised thanks to the generosity of participating restaurants that donate 25% of their food sales to Project Angel Heart. Dining Out for Life is an internationally licensed event that is hosted in 60 cities across the United States and Canada with Denver boasting the most participating restaurants and funds raised than any other city and that is something we can be proud of.

The event included a drink of our choice and sampling of some of Pinche’s best tacos. I’m glad I went hungry and thirsty. Their tacos are amazing and if you haven’t been yet, then April 24th would be a great day to plan your first trip. Or even your 7th. I really loved them but there is no doubt that the offering that made the biggest impression on me was this cocktail; the Paloma. As mentioned, most recipes for a Paloma simply call for grapefruit soda to be added to tequila and lime but with only 1% of the ingredients actually being juice it was nice but I guess for me, less than memorable.

Project Angel Heart

The bartender was gracious enough to share their recipe with me and it seems so simple (and it is) but Pinche didn’t choose to go the either/or route. Instead of using either grapefruit soda or grapefruit juice they combine both and that was the key to sealing my love. Seriously right now this is my new favorite cocktail. You know I actually write about cocktails more than I imbibe them but true confession? I drank the one I made for the shoot. And then made one more and drank it too. Whoo hoo!!

Paloma Cocktail - Tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave nectar | Creative Culinary

If you’re not in Denver, check out your local news for the same event in your city on April 24th and support it in the most fun way possible; dining out! If you’re in Denver, the list of restaurants is long and includes many in the burbs. No excuses…GO!! For me…I think a return trip to Pinches is in the cards. I’ll take a pitcher of these please with a taco on the side. :)

The Paloma Cocktail
Prep time
Total time
Serves: One cocktail
  • 2 oz Blanco tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz agave nectar
  • Chilled Squirt
  1. Rub lime over side of highball glass; dip in salt. Mix all other ingredients except soda in shaker filled with ice and shake until cold.
  2. Pour into ice filled glass; top off with soda and garnish with pink grapefruit slice.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Abbe@This is How I Cook April 6, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Great drink, Barb and gorgeous photo! Love Pinche, have been there several times. Besides tacos, they also have great margs. Must have been fun! I’m dying to go to Voodoo donut just up the street!
Abbe@This is How I Cook Most Recent Post: Flourless, Gluten Free, Passover Fudge Cake and My Passover Menu


2 Creative Culinary April 7, 2014 at 10:44 am

Thanks Abbe…I think we should plan a blogger time out on the 24th; great tacos PLUS a good cause? Dessert at Voodoo? :)


3 ATasteOfMadness April 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm

This is GORGEOUS!! You are making me so thirsty for this drink right now!
ATasteOfMadness Most Recent Post: Baked Lemon Doughnuts Filled with Lemon Jelly


4 Creative Culinary April 7, 2014 at 10:43 am

It’s easy and SO good; you must make it. It’s got juice so I see no problem with trying one for breakfast. :)


5 Ansh April 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I do think your’s looks prettier than theirs ;) just sayin.
Ansh Most Recent Post: Cosmopolitan – Ina Fridays


6 Creative Culinary April 7, 2014 at 10:41 am

You’re just buttering me up so I make them for you; I know. And I’m good with that! :)


7 Ansh April 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Oh Goodness!! Was this good or what! I Loved it. And I am dreaming about those tacos. We should go again!
Ansh Most Recent Post: Cosmopolitan – Ina Fridays


8 Yvette (Muy Bueno) April 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

Paloma’s ROCK! One of my favorite cocktails. Yum! And I always crack up at the name of that restaurant. Clever! Lol! Sounds like a generous cause.


9 Creative Culinary April 5, 2014 at 10:09 am

We should get a group of bloggers together to eat out and help with the cause. Sounds like a win win to me!


10 Paula April 5, 2014 at 7:19 am

Your city, having been such a generous contributor to Project Angel Heart for the past 20 years has very much to be proud of. Restaurants donating 25% of their food sales to this cause is very generous and its wonderful to see that there is so much support and participation. Lovely endeavor and cocktail.


11 Creative Culinary April 5, 2014 at 10:07 am

It’s such an easy way to help those who need food isn’t it. Happens in Canada too; maybe we can dine out together in different cities! :)


12 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 5, 2014 at 1:18 am

I’ve never had a Paloma but I’d like to. Sounds like good events to attend!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef Most Recent Post: The IGA Creative Kitchen Challenge – Week 1


13 Creative Culinary April 5, 2014 at 10:06 am

Add it to your cocktail rotation Maureen; you won’t regret it. So easy too. Do you have Squirt or Fresca in Australia?


14 Adri April 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

What a wonderful drink. It sounds so refreshing, and absolutely perfect for summer!


15 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm

You hit the nail on the head Adri…it’s all that and more! :)


16 Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet April 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Sounds like a wonderful event, but I’m cracking up at the name of the restaurant as pinche can be a cussword in Spanish. Or it can mean kitchen boy. Ha! However, any kind of cocktail with lime juice AND pink grapefruit juice is A-OK with me!
Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet Most Recent Post: Beet Pickled Quail Eggs for Easter


17 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Maybe someone cussed the kitchen boy? :) Try this one. Absolutely my new favorite. As in again tonight!


18 Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos April 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm

That looks so refreshing Barbara!
Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos Most Recent Post: Making Prosecco Shimmer With A Sparkling Amaretto Sour #LaMarcaSparkle


19 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

It’s wonderful Aly; really a must try if you like a margarita; a bit lighter and fizzier but similar components.


20 sippitysup April 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Add a splash of that Aperol you love and you have a great drink called a Siesta. GREG


21 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Oh yum…I will do just that! Thanks Greg.


22 John@Kitchen Riffs April 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I’ve never had this cocktail! It does sound like a winner — I’ll bet the flavor is wonderful. Looks great, too. Definitely need to give this beauty a try — thanks.
John@Kitchen Riffs Most Recent Post: The Twentieth Century Cocktail


23 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm

It’s absolutely wonderful; I would suggest you test the amount of agave you use though…I’m going to go change recipe now because I forgot. I might have added a bit less. It’s like anything else; sugar to taste!


24 Holly April 4, 2014 at 11:29 am

Beautiful cocktail, Barb! Pinned. What a worthy cause to support. I’ll click through to see the list of participating restaurants. Thanks!
Holly Most Recent Post: Orange Marmalade Scones #TwelveLoaves


25 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

If nothing else Holly it looks like Anthony’s Pizza is participating but I noticed a lot in your area.


26 Karen Harris April 4, 2014 at 11:27 am

Love me a paloma any way you want to mix it. So refreshing!


27 Creative Culinary April 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I just loved it; I mean like a LOT! :)


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