This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila – plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila – plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

I meant to post this earlier.  Alas, life.

This was a crazy busy week for me.  In fact, I am currently writing this post on a layover at the St. Louis airport.  But I can’t complain – good to have a job, even if sometimes people tell me I “look tired.”

But you know what this week needs?  I know.  Because I just spent the last 15 minutes walking around the St. Louis airport looking for it.

Tequila.

This shouldn’t be hard, ya know?  Airports always have plenty of spots to purchase overpriced booze.  (In fact, this same trip educated me that in Kansas City, for the low low price of $7.79, you can purchase a bottle of beer and WALK AROUND THE ENTIRE AIRPORT WHILE DRINKING IT.  Does that happen at any other city in the United States?)  (No I’m honestly asking…)

And yet, somehow, my mission was quite difficult in St. Louis.  There were two brewpubs in my terminal, and while I am normally all about the beer, I was in such a tequila mood that I questioned their acceptability for a layover.  (Have I mentioned it’s been a long week? Don’t judge me.)

This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila - plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

I tried to get a seat at a bar that looked like it would serve margaritas, and it was full.  And there was a Chile’s, but let’s be honest, after living in Texas a few years, I knew their margaritas would not do it for me.

So I ended up at a beer bar with a grapefruit IPA, which was good, and again I can’t really complain.  And yet…my tequila craving has not gone away.

I know what I’m going to be drinking as soon as I get a chance to breathe.  And juice some limes.

No, it’s not your traditional margarita.  But since I’ve waiting this long to bust it out, I’m going all the way.

I’m going to make a spicy paloma.

Have I pointed out that international-tequila-drinking-day-I-mean-Cinco-de-Mayo is coming up this week?  No?  Well it is. Are you ready?! Not that you have to do a whole lot to prepare for the event. Step one: drink tequila. Step two: ummm….is there a step two? (Just kidding. Everyone knows step two is eat chips and guac.)

The obvious way to drink your tequila (or the second-most-obvious if you’re in college) is in a margarita. But here’s the thing: there are actually Mexican drinks BESIDES the margarita. Say whaaaaa? And they’re good!

Take the oft-overlooked paloma. This is a super classic Mexican cocktail that just hasn’t quite caught on in the states like the margarita. Unfair, really. Let’s end this inequality!

This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila - plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

A paloma is a grapefruit cocktail that combines sweet and sour to give you a smooth, refreshing drink.

It goes just as good as margarita with chips and salsa, and the grapefruit juice makes it healthy delicious!

So for today’s blog post, we have two equally tasty palomas for you to enjoy.  Not only that, but we’ve made them SPICY to kick your Cinco de Mayo celebrations up a notch!  Enjoy either one with some nachos with sour cream and guac, and that spicy flavor will go down just right.

The basic version of the paloma uses ingredients that are readily available, with the addition of an easy jalapeno simple syrup that adds a delicious zip. I also highly recommend using a mezcal to bring some smoky flavor to the party.

For the second version of this drink, we’ve used a spicy anejo tequila called Soltado.  It’s infused with serrano peppers and cinnamon, which sounds really weird, BUT it’s surprisingly tasty.  Combined with a little agave syrup, it essentially replaces the jalapeno simple syrup in the paloma.  It’s not available everywhere, so we’ve given it to you as option #2 in this recipe.  If you can get it, Soltado will give you a spicy paloma for less work, which is always thumbs up from me.

Both are great options for Cinco de Mayo … not to mention the delicious noms we have coming up on the blog this week.  In the meantime, St. Louis, and specifically Terminal E, get your act together!

…Just kidding, as long as you don’t delay my flight, you’re golden.  I’ll drink this at home and be happy.

This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila - plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

This spicy paloma is easy to make with a little jalapeno simple syrup, or a pepper-infused tequila - plus it goes down super smooth with any Mexican food!

Spicy Paloma (Two Ways)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2 drinks
Ingredients
For a spicy paloma with jalapeno simple syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 jalapeno, with seeds removed, chopped
  • 4 oz. mezcal or tequila
  • 4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Splash of club soda
For a spicy paloma with Soltado tequila
  • 4 oz. Soltado
  • 4 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • Splash of club soda
Instructions
To make a spicy paloma with jalapeno simple syrup:
  1. Heat the sugar, water, and jalapeno in a saucepan until boiling. Simmer for ten minutes, covered, then remove from heat. Strain the liquid to remove the jalapeno. Store the simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a couple weeks.
  2. Combine mezcal or tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and 2 ounces of jalapeno simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly mixed, then pour into two glasses. Top each with a splash of club soda.
To make a spicy paloma with Soltado tequila:
  1. Combine Soltado, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave syrup in a shaker. Shake with ice until well combined.
  2. Pour into two glasses and top each with splash of club soda.
Notes
However you make the drink, garnish with jalapeno slices and lime wedges. It's also fun to add some salt and chili powder to the rim of each glass.

BTW, before writing this post, we tried a sample bottle of Soltado – but this is not a sponsored post, and we received no benefit in exchange for mentioning the drink.  We just liked it for this recipe!

If you’re into tequila, but prefer it in margarita form, head on over to our grapefruit margarita recipe!

Grapefruit Margaritas

16 Comments on Spicy Paloma (Two Ways)

    • Haha I’m sure your drinks look and taste just perfect! All about the garnish, right? I ended up getting home at about 1 AM so I went to bed without any tequila that night…but the next day I fixed that!

    • Sheryl it’s so good! I was skeptical when I first tried a spicy drink – and I love spicy – but now I can’t get enough! This one isn’t too spicy so it could be the perfect gateway drink for you 😄

  1. Oh man! This sounds amazing! I have a jalapeño plant growing and will need about a bazillion ways to use it. A spicy Paloma with some chips and guac sounds like perfection! (And I like it when I can get free wine on the airplane before I even hit the layover haha).

    • Ooo I’m jealous of your jalapeno plant! That sounds awesome! We started growing a lime tree in the hopes of using it for summer cocktails, but so far we just have itty bitty baby limes…hopefully they grow up soon, because we’re going to need a lot….😁

  2. As you were describing both versions, I honestly couldn’t decide on which one I like best, so I just may have to try both and decide, lol 😉 These look amazing. LOVE the salt and chili on the rim. Perfect! Have a great week! Cheers and pinning to make soon.

  3. I adore this post. (“The second-most-obvious if you’re in college) made me crack up!!
    In college while studying abroad I lost my passport and ended the day with a couple of shots of cheap tequila at my hostel! It definitely brings back some memories!

    I’ve never heard of a Paloma before, but my husband loves spicy. I’ll add it to the list. 🙂

    • Hahaha awww college tequila stories are the best! 😄 I can’t think of a better remedy for a lost passport than tequila shots, and I mean that in all sincerity. (But a paloma would be pretty close…)

  4. I am as surprised as you are that tequila wasn’t easier to find in the airport! Although I too have been a victim of being stashed away in a far away terminal with hardly any options, so maybe that was the problem. They must keep the tequila in the fancy terminal. You know how airports always have one? I need to get my hands on one of these beauties ASAP! I love that spicy twist you’ve added. Pinning!

    • Ah yes, the fancy terminal! Must find that next time! I think I was in the Southwest-only terminal, so they must peg us as the budget/beer crowd. Very discriminatory.
      Glad you’re a fan of the spice – enjoy!

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