This Zero-Proof Jalapeño Paloma is the perfect grapefruit mocktail if you’re cutting back on alcohol or doing a dry challenge but want to have an adult beverage.
Zero-Proof Jalapeño Paloma
These Zero-proof Palomas skip the tequila and add in muddled jalapeño for a spicy take on the classic. This virgin paloma is then topped off with fresh grapefruit and lime juices and sparkling water for a refreshing drink without the alcohol. It’s great for when you want something more exciting than water without a ton of extra sugar. For more mocktail recipes, try my Nojito (a mojito without the rum) and Virgin Bloody Mary.
What are palomas made of?
A traditional paloma consists of grapefruit soda, lime juice, and tequila for a tart and sweet drink. I used fresh grapefruit juice and sparkling water in this mocktail because it’s lighter and less sweet than grapefruit soda. It’s also delicious with grapefruit sparkling water, like LaCroix. If you do want to add in tequila, use two ounces of blanco or reposado tequila.
What is a spicy paloma?
A spicy paloma has jalapenos, which I muddle with agave syrup and water, to give it more of a kick.
There are three ways to make this drink even spicier:
- Leave more of the seeds and pith in the jalapeño before muddling.
- Let the muddled jalapeño and agave mixture sit for 15 minutes.
- Swap the jalapeño for a serrano pepper.
And if you’d prefer your paloma without the spice, skip the jalapeno altogether.
How to Make a Big Batch of Palomas
This paloma recipe makes one 8-ounce drink, but it can also easily be multiplied and pre-batched. It could even be made in a pitcher for very large format.
- Just muddle the jalapeños, agave, and water in a larger glass or cocktail shaker.
- Add the lime and grapefruit juices.
- Divide evenly among the glasses and top with soda just before serving.
More Cocktail Recipes You’ll Love:
- Basil-Cucumber Gin Cooler
- Iced Green Tea Mojito
- Citrus Margarita Spritzer
- Celery Cilantro Cocktail
Zero-Proof Jalapeno Paloma
- 1/4 jalapeno
- 1/2 Tbsp agave syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp water
- juice from 1/2 red or pink grapefruit, about 1/3 cup
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Sparkling water or grapefruit Lacroix to top
- 1 grapefruit wedge for serving
- Optional: Sea salt, kosher salt, or Tajin seasoning for the rim
- If you like salt on your rim, add a few tablespoons to a wide, shallow bowl. Zest half the grapefruit into the bowl and stir to combine. This will make enough to salt several cocktails and you can save the leftovers in a Ziploc for a day or two.
- Chop the jalapeno (leave the seeds and pith to make it a little spicier; remove them for milder) and add them to a cocktail shaker or sturdy glass along with the agave syrup. Use a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon to muddle the jalapenos (basically, gently mash to release the flavor and start infusing the syrup), then add the grapefruit and lime juices. For a spicier drink, let it infuse for at least 15 minutes.
- If you're salting your glass, use a paring knife to cut a small slit into the grapefruit wedge and rub it along the rim to moisten it, then roll it in the salt until coated. Gently tap away any excess.
- Fill the glass with ice and pour in the cocktail, jalapenos and all. Top with sparkling water, 1/3 to 1/2 cup or to taste. Serve with the grapefruit wedge.