Mezcal Paloma Recipe

This simple and smoky take on the tasty cocktail will make mezcal your new best friend.

Mezcal Paloma Recipe featured image above

Sebastian Iradier was a Spanish-Basque composer who lived in the 19th century. Around 1860 he visited Cuba, and was inspired to write a song entitled “La Paloma”, or “The Dove”. Over the last 140 years, the song has become a folk staple amongst a diverse number of cultures, especially in Mexico. There are more than one thousand versions of “La Paloma”, making it one of the most recorded songs in history, along with “Yesterday” by The Beatles. However, Iradier would die in relative obscurity and poverty in 1865, never knowing that his song would still be one of the most popular ever created to this day.

Many believe this song inspired the popular cocktail of the same name, the Paloma. Simple and refreshing, classic versions of the drink are usually made with tequila, lime juice and grapefruit-flavored soda. But much like Iradier’s enduring composition, this cocktail has been open to just as many interpretations.

One recent variation of the drink is the Mezcal Paloma. I had always assumed that mezcal was just a darker tequila, but that’s not correct. In fact, the more I discovered about the smoky flavored spirit, the more I realized I knew absolutely nothing about it. Some folks have referred to it as the “scotch” of tequila, and while that’s a close comparison, they’re not the same.

I soon discovered that while making a Mezcal Paloma was itself pretty easy (and delicious!), the spirit itself was very complex.

Is Mezcal a Tequila?

Maybe the question should be “is tequila a mezcal?” In a nutshell, anything labeled “tequila” is made from a specific type of agave plant, the Blue Agave plant. Mezcal is produced from a variety of these. It is technically a category or type of agave liquor, and tequila just happens to fall under it. But, mezcal is also officially considered a spirit itself. As a result, according to bartender Anders Erickson, “all tequilas are a mezcal, but not all mezcals are tequila.” I’m not confused at all, are you?

What is the best mezcal to use to make a Mezcal Paloma?

Here’s another loaded question regarding your Mezcal Paloma… what’s the best one to use? I’ve discovered that, just like any spirit, the varieties of mezcal that are available are all unique and add different complexities and flavors to your drink. Some of them, like a fine scotch or rum, is robust and dense enough to drink straight and sip, or “kiss” as its sometimes called. These mezcals can overpower the other ingredients in your cocktail, so I opted for what bartenders refer to as a “cocktail mezcal”. One brand that is popular amongst bartenders is Banhez Joven, which is complex enough to add the right smokiness to your drink, but not so heavy that it overpowers it.

Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 2 oz Mezcal
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice Freshly squeezed
  • Grapefruit Soda To top – roughly about 2 oz
  • Salt For rim – optional
  • Grapefruit Slice For garnish – optional


  • If you choose to salt the rim of your glass, first wet the rim with a lime wedge and then dip it in salt. Fill the glass with ice.
  • Pour 2 oz of Mezcal into the glass.
  • Add the 1/2 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Top with grapefruit soda and gently stir to mix. If you’d like, garnish with a slice of grapefruit.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.03mg
Mezcal Paloma Recipe featured image below

FAQs & Tips

Mezcal Paloma Recipe featured image below

Similar Cocktails to the Mezcal Paloma

As both mezcal and Palomas grow in popularity, so does Twist and Toast’s roster of drink recipes that will quench your moods. Here a just a few of the cocktails you can try at home if you loved the Mezcal Paloma:

Smoky Paloma – Combine tequila and mezcal together for a rich, robust mixture that is sure to please.

Serrano Paloma – A cocktail with a spicy kick with tastes that are hot, fun and refreshing.

Mezcal Margarita – Make it a mezcal night by adding these to your evening’s menu.

Oaxaca Old Fashioned – A new mezcal infused twist on the Old Fashioned cocktail.

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