There are plenty of easy cocktail recipe ideas to choose from, but this is one of the most unusual. This watermelon paloma cocktail is so refreshing and you’ll enjoy every sip. It’s a mouth-watering cocktail made with watermelon juice, tequila and citrus. Make this tangy and sweet paloma when you just want to relax and sip something tasty. No need to worry about sharing, because this paloma recipe makes a whole pitcher!
Fresh watermelon is delicious on its own but what’s even better is using it in watermelon cocktail. The sweet, distinctive flavour will have you reaching for the pitcher to top up your glass once you experience how good this watermelon cocktail really tastes.
Why You’ll Love This
- Refreshing: With its delicious blend of watermelon, orange and lime juices, along with a punch of tequila, this cocktail is sure to quench your thirst.
- Simple to make: This fresh watermelon juice based cocktail is so easy to prepare and is largely just a question of mixing the ingredients together.
- Versatile: Not only can you add other ingredients to this watermelon cocktail (grapefruit juice would be amazing!) but you can serve it however you wish, perhaps over crushed ice as a kind of summer smoothie. You could also freeze it for a slushy adults only treat.
How to Make this Watermelon Cocktail
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Make the watermelon juice: Dice your watermelon and pulse until smooth in a blender.
- Add the other ingredients: Strain the watermelon juice into a pitcher and add the orange juice, lime juice, and silver tequila.
- Salt the rims: Rub a wedge of lime over the edges of each glass then dip in salt.
- Pour the drinks: Divide the watermelon tequila paloma between serving glasses, then top up with sparkling water or club soda.
- Garnish and serve: Use lime wedges, watermelon slices or mint sprigs to garnish each drink before serving.
Watermelon Tequila Cocktail Ingredients
This is largely a fruit-based drink so grab yourself a big ripe watermelon – that’s the star ingredient! You will need fresh watermelon, orange and lime juices, tequila, sparkling water or club soda, ice, lime wedges, and salt if you want to salt the rim.
What is a Paloma Cocktail?
A watermelon paloma cocktail hails from south of the border. Although the margarita is better known in Canada and the United States than the paloma, it’s a Mexican drink. The drink is easy to make and popular during the hotter months because it’s refreshing.
The basic paloma recipe combines tequila with grapefruit soda and lime juice. Sometimes a pinch of salt is added to the drink or the rim is salted, but this is optional. There are variations of this tangy and sweet paloma so you might see watermelon palomas on a bar menu or other varieties.
History of the Watermelon Paloma Cocktail
If you want a cocktail made with watermelon, this one is so good. You might be curious about its history. As is the case with a lot of cocktail recipes, the exact history is murky. It’s believed that this cocktail dates back to the 1950. A paloma in Mexican would typically have blanco tequila, Jarritos brand soda and lime juice.
Some people believe the name of the sweet paloma recipe comes from La Paloma (which means the dove). La Paloma was a folk song dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Others say Don Javier Delgado Corona, the owner of a bar called La Capilla in Tequila, Mexico created it.
We will never know the exact origins or history of the regular paloma or even this watermelon tequila cocktail for sure!
Since it’s been around though, there have been many different variations. Made with watermelon juice, this paloma takes on a sweeter, different flavour. Watermelon is refreshing anyway and it makes such a tangy and sweet paloma. It’s basically a fruity, refreshing cocktail so all kinds of fruit would work in there.
How to Store this Sweet Summer Cocktail
- Store: If you make this ahead, keep it refrigerated and don’t add the ice until serving. You can make it a day ahead as long as you give it a good stir before pouring in case the ingredients have separated.
- Freeze: Alcohol tends not to freeze well but this could be frozen if you don’t mind a slushy result – actually it might be nice that way!
Watermelon Paloma Cocktail Tips
You will find this cocktail made with watermelon simple to throw together. When it’s hot and sunny, you probably want an easy summer cocktail recipe rather than something more complex.
For the best results, choose fresh ingredients where possible. Use fresh watermelon, orange juice and lime juice. If you only have bottled juices or ones made from concentrate, they’ll work at a pinch. But fresh is always better if possible. You need lime wedges as well as the juice, so fresh limes are a must to make the recipe perfectly.
In Mexico, the drink is typically made with canned grapefruit soda. Popular brands include Jarritos, Squirt, Fresca, or Ting. But modern takes on classic cocktails are favouring fresh fruit again. So instead of a flavoured soda here, I like to use fresh juice and sparkling water.
You might have seen seedless watermelon in the grocery store. It’s easier to eat because you don’t have to pick out the pips but I find the seeded kind tastier. It just tastes more watermelony! If you prefer not to juice watermelon though, most stores carry watermelon juice.
As for the tequila for this cocktail made with watermelon, use any kind. Blanco is smoother and younger and a good fit in this tangy and sweet paloma. If you prefer reposado or anejo those are also nice types of tequila. But since you’re mixing fruit and other ingredients in, a moderately priced tequila is fine here.
Should a Watermelon Paloma Cocktail Have a Salted Rim?
You don’t have to salt the rim if you don’t want to, but you can. Either use rimming salt or regular salt, or mix the salt with paprika for a little spice. You could mix it with cayenne for more of a kick! Tajin seasoning is also great to roll the rim in. This is a bottled spice blend and very popular in Mexico. It’s basically salt, chilli and lime. It’s amazing sprinkled over sweet fruit like peach, mango or strawberries. So I think it would also go beautifully with watermelon.
How to Serve this Tasty Cocktail Made with Watermelon
This easy summer cocktail recipe is ideal for warm, balmy evenings when you want to sit outside and sip something delicious. Something light would make a wonderful snack to enjoy with this watermelon paloma cocktail.
A platter of tapas would go nicely or perhaps some Mexican ceviche to keep the south of the border theme going. This is the most refreshing, tastiest cocktail made with watermelon juice – you are going to love it!
Yes you certainly can. Simply omit the tequila! If some people are drinking and others not, just serve the tequila separately, adding a shot to the glass for those who want it.
You can use any kind you prefer, and silver tequila is always good. Since it’s only one ingredient, don’t use the most expensive top shelf stuff. A mid-range tequila will work perfectly.
Watermelon Paloma Cocktail Recipe
Tangy and Sweet Watermelon Paloma Cocktail
- 6 Cups watermelon diced
- 1 Cup orange juice
- 1 1/4 Cups tequila
- 1/4 Cup lime juice freshly squeezed
- 3/4 Cup sparkling water
- 1 Cup ice
- 5 lime wedges for garnish
- coarse salt to rim glasses
- Add the watermelon to a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain into a pitcher
- Add the orange juice, tequila and lime juice, and stir to incorporate. Add the ice.
- Rub a lime wedge over the edge of the glass and dip in salt to rim the edge. Fill until ¾ full and top with the sparkling water.
- Garnish with lime wedges, watermelon or mint sprigs, and serve
- You can also combine salt and paprika to make a spicy rim.
- Feel free to use store bought watermelon juice too.
- Lime wedges, watermelon slices or mint sprigs make a good garnish, or use any combination of these.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
A watermelon cocktail recipe is the ultimate way to quench your thirst on a hot summer day! This watermelon paloma cocktail is sweet, tangy and SO GOOD! If you are looking for an easy summer cocktail recipe, a sweet paloma recipe should be on your list of drinks to try, and this one makes a whole pitcher, so you can share this watermelon tequila recipe with your very best friends.
If you are looking for other watermelon cocktails, you might also like this Watermelon Gin Tonic with Cucumber Ribbons.
Add this tangy and sweet paloma made with watermelon juice to your list of the best summer drinks. You simply can’t go wrong with a watermelon paloma recipe.
If you are a fan of watermelon cocktails, you might also like to try out this Summertime Watermelon White Wine Slushie.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.