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Watermelon Paloma

This refreshing watermelon Paloma cocktail has sweet watermelon and grapefruit juice, bold tequila, bubbly sparkling water, and citrusy lime juice and is ready for your next party!

Watermelon Paloma in a glass with a lime wedge.

Summertime is the perfect time for cold and cool cocktails!

This watermelon Paloma is a fruity twist on the classic Paloma cocktail with sweet watermelon, tangy grapefruit juice, bold tequila, and citrusy lime juice with some sparkling water.

And don’t forget the salt for the rim – it’s classic!

With its vibrant pretty-in-pink color and refreshing flavor, it’s the perfect drink to help cool down on a hot day or to enjoy with friends at your next gathering.

So grab your favorite cocktail glasses and your besties, and get ready to enjoy these watermelon Palomas!

Ingredients to make a watermelon Paloma sitting on a table.

Ingredients for watermelon Paloma

  • Diced fresh watermelon – Be sure to use seedless watermelon for this cocktail!
  • Grapefruit juice – Use your favorite store-bought or homemade variety. 
  • Tequila – Tequila has a grassy and earthy flavor and is classic in a Paloma.
  • Lime juice – Fresh is best! The lime juice will add a citrusy tang.
  • Sparkling water – Sparkling water will add a bubbly effervescence. 
  • Ice – Ice will help the watermelon Paloma turn into a cold and cool slush.
  • Kosher salt – Salt will enhance all of the flavors of the cocktail.
Watermelon in a blender container.
Pouring grapefruit juice into blended watermelon.

What is the difference between a Paloma and a margarita?

Everyone knows about the margarita, but I feel like a Paloma should be just as popular because it’s equally tasty!

Both the margarita and the Paloma have tequila, lime juice, and a salted rim, but the margarita also has an orange liqueur, whereas the Paloma has a grapefruit soda.

Here I’ve given it a fun and fruity twist by adding sweet watermelon that is mixed with tangy grapefruit juice.

Watermelon Paloma in a glass garnished watermelon and lime.

Different types of tequila

To keep it simple, there are two different kinds of tequila: gold, and silver.

When silver tequila is made, it is bottled immediately and is not aged at all. 

Gold tequila has more of a unique taste, and a golden color, from it having been aged in barrels. 

The flavor nuances of gold tequila would be lost in this watermelon, so don’t worry about using the expensive stuff, and feel free to use whichever tequila you may have on hand.

How to blend watermelon

For this recipe, I blended all the ingredients together in a high-powered Vitamix blender.

Because I used this style of blender everything was blended super smooth.

Some blenders are not as strong and if this is the case I would recommend blending the watermelon and grapefruit juice together until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

Watermelon Paloma rimmed with Tajin and kosher salt.

Rimming the glass

I love using kosher salt to rim the glass as it’s the classic Paloma rim.

However, there are lots of fun ways to bring flavor to the rim of your cocktail.

Use coarse sugar for a burst of sweetness or use kosher salt mixed with Tajine or cayenne pepper for a little heat.

Another fun way is to rim the glass with a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and coarse sugar.

The best grapefruit juice for cocktails

For this cocktail recipe, I used traditional white grapefruit juice which is a less sweet variety. I think it pairs really well with the sweet watermelon.

If you want a sweeter grapefruit taste try using ruby red grapefruit juice instead.

Don’t worry if you can’t find fresh grapefruit (or don’t want to juice your own) you can easily find bottled shelf-stable juice in the grocery store.

Blended watermelon in a blender container.

Fun bites

These tasty watermelon palomas are delicious with just about anything!

Here are some of my favorite treats to eat while sipping this pretty pink drink:

Watermelon Paloma in a glass with watermelon slices.

Storage and leftovers

These watermelon palomas are best consumed immediately after making, so unfortunately there are no leftovers here!

A pitcher of watermelon Palomas.

More delicious drinks

Watermelon Paloma

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
This refreshing watermelon Paloma cocktail has sweet watermelon and grapefruit juice, bold tequila, bubbly sparkling water, and citrusy lime juice and is ready for your next party!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 drinks


  • 6 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1-1/2 cups white tequila
  • 1 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt for glass rim
  • 2 teaspoons Tajin for glass rim
  • Lime sliced for garnish
  • Watermelon slices for garnish


  • To a high-powered blender add watermelon, tequila, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.
  • Blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Wet the rim of 4 large cocktail glasses with water or lime juice.
  • Mix together kosher salt and Tajin and roll the top of each glass in the mixture.
  • Add ice to the 4 cocktail glasses.
  • Fill each glass with 3/4 of the watermelon mixture and top each drink with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with lime and watermelon slices if desired.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2266mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g
Course Drinks
Cuisine Tex Mex
Keyword grapefruit cocktail, grapefruit watermelon paloma, paloma margarita, paloma recipe, paloma with watermelon, watermelon cocktail, watermelon grapefruit paloma
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!
Watermelon Paloma pin for Pinterest.

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating


Saturday 1st of July 2023

Sorry the recipe confused me do you mean 1 cup of tequila or 1 cup and a half of tequila?


as seen on promo graphic


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