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The Paloma-rita, A Mash-up Cocktail Recipe

The Paloma-rita Cocktail: a tasty mash up of the Paloma and Margarita cocktails

I’ve recently realized that I like to drink, but I don’t like being drunk. Having a nice little buzz is cool, but to actually go beyond that and get “drunk” is just not fun for me. Granted, I’ve never been what could be classified as a heavy drinker. Living in New Orleans, though, I probably consume more alcohol than what’s considered “normal,” but it’s all in good fun and for the love of the beer or cocktail, not to get wasted. The best part of this stance is that I only drink things I like drinking. I drink to savor the taste… to experience the beverage. I enjoy the act of drinking—sipping on a high quality cocktail or beer, but the physical effects of too many of those tasty drinks is something I don’t enjoy anymore.

But that’s good. It’s good that I know that about myself. It’s always best to know your limits and preferences. In a heavy drinking town like New Orleans, with its rich and vibrant alcohol-centered culture, it’s actually essential to one’s ability to survive and thrive to know such things. As the Dirty Coast slogan goes – “So far behind we’re ahead…” Yeah, something like that. In New Orleans, alcohol permeates everything. We drink at baby showers, lunches, funerals, baptisms, and well, just because. When people are stocking up with hurricane supplies, you can bet beer is among the loaves of bread and cans of tuna. Hell, we even have drive-through daiquiri shops… Seriously. Like food and water, booze is ever-present in this town.

To take it a step (or a stumble) further, here in New Orleans we’re even allowed to have alcoholic beverages (in the proper containers) on the street so the party never has to stop… Except when it does. See, New Orleans won’t put the brakes on fun for you. Nope, that’s for you to decide. New Orleans treats adults like adults. It’s up to you to set your own limits and draw your own lines. You must keep your wits about you and take responsibility. Many bars stay open till the wee hours of the morning – they have little reason not to: we don’t even have an alcohol sales cut off time in this parish. Essentially, the sky’s the limit.

The Paloma-rita Cocktail: a tasty mash up of the Paloma and Margarita cocktails

All of this can be a shock to visitors. I think, as people who live here, most of us eventually find our way with it and make peace with it. Or not… Not everyone is capable of effective self-policing, but I know that for me and basically for all of my friends here, we like to drink… And some of us even like to drink alot and get drunk. But of all my friends and of all the drinking that’s done, rarely does it interfere with daily life. People party hard here, but they work hard and take their lives outside of drinking seriously as well. Perhaps drinking and living hard outside of business hours is a way to deal with all the stress and pressure of work life. Drinking is the yin to work’s yang. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but maybe not…

As I’ve said, I don’t find myself wanting to be drunk these days. However, I do still find myself often wanting to drink to enjoy cocktails or beer. It’s imbibing but without the intoxicating effects. Perhaps this is the stance of the evolved drinker? Maybe… just maybe. This theory is supported, at least in part, by what I read recently in the summer issue of the magazine Edible New Orleans. It was an interview with cousins Ti and Lally Brennan, of Commander’s Palace fame, and they were talking about how they love to drink but don’t like getting drunk. They love to simply enjoy the drinks they’re having, and I like that. I like that approach to drinking. It’s a bit sophisticated and works for me.

The Paloma-rita Cocktail: a tasty mash up of the Paloma and Margarita cocktails

In the end, it matters less what your philosophy is on drinking than it matters that you know why you drink and how it makes you feel. I believe each person has the right and the responsibility to find out those things for themselves and then live by those conclusions and values. Until you know what it is that you want and what’s comfortable for you, you’ll likely flounder around still needing to figure it out. The choice, as they say, is up to you!

So today I’ve spent most of my time here NOT talking about the recipe. There’s one good reason for that: this is a really simple recipe! Juice some citrus, measure ingredients, shake, pour and enjoy. Really, it’s that easy. This drink is based on two classic tequila cocktails – the Paloma and the Margarita. I decided on a hybrid of the two because I like the taste of all of the ingredients found in both drinks. In order to combine all of those ingredients, I had to create this mash-up cocktail because as it stands it’s not exactly true to either original cocktail.

But that’s just how I roll — if I can’t make something work, I’ll just do my own thing! Simple, right? Anyway, enjoy this cocktail. While you’re at it, enjoy life… and please, enjoy those around you. In the end, that’s really all you have and all that matters. Cheers!

The Paloma-rita Cocktail: a tasty mash up of the Paloma and Margarita cocktails

Yield: 1 cocktail

The Paloma-rita Cocktail

The Paloma-rita is a unique cocktail recipe. It's a mash-up of two classics: the Paloma and the Margarita. The best of both worlds, combined into one drink.


  • Ice
  • 2 ounces reposado tequila
  • 2 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup 
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec (Cointreau, Gran Gala or Grand Marnier)
  • Seltzer water to finish


  1. Fill a tall glass halfway with ice.
  2. Add to a cocktail shaker (also filled halfway with ice): tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup and triple sec.
  3. Shake well and strain into the tall glass. Top off the glass with seltzer water and serve.
  4. Enjoy!

NOTE: add 20 minutes to prep time if you need to make the simple syrup.


Prep:5 min

Total:5 min

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