This Rosemary Paloma is a fun drink to make for the holidays, the citrus season, or any time you want to make your Paloma a little fancier. It's made with homemade rosemary syrup and fresh grapefruit juice for even more flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
- The perfect flavor combination - Rosemary and grapefruit go perfectly together and often get paired up in different recipes. The sweetness and flavor of the rosemary syrup used in this drink balance the bitterness of the grapefruit perfectly and goes really well with tequila. If you like the flavor combo, check out this Grapefruit Mimosa with Rosemary and this Broiled Grapefruit with Rosemary and Coconut Sugar, they're both amazing for brunch!
- A flavorful twist on the classic Paloma - Paloma is usually only made with tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda but this recipe also calls for fresh grapefruit juice to add even more grapefruit flavor. The homemade syrup also makes it fancier and more special.
- Great for a crowd - If you're serving it for a large group of people, you can mix the cocktails directly in the glasses. Juice your grapefruits and limes ahead of time and then just measure out the ingredients when ready to serve.
- Tequila - I recommend using either silver or reposado tequila. Silver tequila is most often used in margaritas and Palomas. Reposado tequila has a slightly more oaky, caramel flavor but not as much as Anejo. Choose whichever one you prefer.
- Grapefruit juice - Most Palomas only call for grapefruit soda but I wanted to enhance the grapefruit flavor even more and make the drink easier to drink so I'm adding freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (just like I did in this Grapefruit Paloma)
- Lime juice - Freshly squeezed is always the best! Always try to go for more yellow limes, instead of dark green ones. The more yellow a lime is, the riper it is, and the more juice you'll be able to squeeze out of it! Especially if you're not using a citrus juicer.
- Fresh rosemary - Fresh rosemary is ideal and will yield a stronger flavor but dried rosemary can be used if necessary.
- Cane sugar - This is for the rosemary syrup. You can use any kind of sugar but I like cane sugar because it has the most neutral flavor.
- Grapefruit soda - Any grapefruit soda you have works. I like unsweetened ones that only give the drink flavor without any added sugar like LaCroix.
First, you'll make the rosemary syrup. Add water, cane sugar, and fresh rosemary to a saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly to help the sugar to dissolve and to prevent it from burning.
Lower the heat and simmer the syrup for 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing the rosemary. The longer the rosemary sits in the syrup, the stronger the flavor will be. I usually leave it for 15-20 minutes.
Making the Cocktail and Serving
- Glass prep: This step is optional but you can prepare your glass as you would with a margarita. Run a wedge of lime around the rim of the glass and dip the glass in salt. Fill the glass with ice and set it aside.
- Make the cocktail: Add tequila, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary syrup to a cocktail shaker along with a handful of ice. Shake the cocktail vigorously for a few seconds until frothy and very cool.
- Serve: Pour the cocktail into your prepared glass over ice. Top up with grapefruit soda and garnish with a slice of grapefruit and a spring of rosemary and enjoy!
You can easily turn this drink into a mocktail by using a non-alcoholic spirit or just simply leaving the tequila out. Or, if you know a brand that makes a non-alcoholic tequila that you like, that would be a great option.
Mix together grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary syrup and pour it into a glass with ice and top up with grapefruit soda. You can add a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice for extra sweetness and flavor.
A margarita is made with tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and often orange bitters. Paloma doesn't have any Cointreau or bitters but adds grapefruit soda and sometimes also grapefruit juice.
Yes! The grapefruit soda makes it hard to serve it in a pitcher but you can juice the grapefruits and limes ahead of time and measure everything out when you're ready to serve. Mix your drinks right in the glasses to save time!
The classic cocktail is of course made with tequila only but if you're not a fan, you can use vodka or gin. The cocktail will be just as delicious!
More Grapefruit and Tequila Cocktails
If you're a fan of tequila cocktails or cocktails with grapefruit that are more on the bitter side, check out the four recipes below, including a classic Paloma! If you want to see all the latest cocktail recipes, head over to the Cocktails category. It gets updated often so you'll always find something new!
This Rosemary Paloma is the perfect winter drink for citrus season. It uses homemade rosemary syrup and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice for extra flavor.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 3 strings of fresh rosemary
Glass prep: 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or Himalayan pink salt + a lime wedge (optional)
- 1 ½ oz reposado or silver tequila
- 2-3 oz grapefruit juice
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz rosemary syrup
- Grapefruit soda (optional)
Garnish: fresh rosemary, lime, or grapefruit slices (dried citrus is also a great garnish)
- Add water, cane sugar, and fresh rosemary to a small saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely before removing the rosemary or at least for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Glass prep: If you’d like to add salt to your glass rim, add salt to a plate, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and dip the glass in the salt. Set aside.
- Add reposado tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary syrup to a cocktail shaker.
- Add a handful of ice and shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds until frothy and very cool.
- Pour the Paloma into your prepared glass over ice, and top up with grapefruit soda if desired. Garnish with rosemary, a slice of lime, or grapefruit. Enjoy!
Non-alcoholic version: Substitute the tequila with a non-alcoholic spirit of choice or skip it completely. Add the rest of the ingredients to a shaker and serve over ice topped up with grapefruit sparkling water. Add a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice for more flavor.
Keywords: paloma cocktail, rosemary paloma, rosemary syrup