Coconut Paloma


(Note: this post was originally published on June 10, 2021. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

Time for a Paloma Party

Well... perhaps not surprisingly, I'm back with another paloma! In case you're new to this blog, the paloma is one of my favorite cocktails. Up this time is a tropical-inspired version that uses coconut rum in addition to tequila. It's fun, unique, and will take you on a mini tropical vacation, even if you're just in your own kitchen.

Have you made a paloma before? If not, I really hope you'll try this one! It's a classic cocktail involving tequila and grapefruit. I love them because they're refreshing, well-balanced, and usually less sweet than a margarita. Plus they're a blast to vary seasonally! I'm seriously contemplating a "paloma of the month" calendar... what do you think??

A Tropical Vacation in a Glass

This super-summery paloma riff brings all sorts of tropical flair to the table with the addition of coconut rum. It's a delightfully unexpected pairing, and speaks to the fact that I've really been getting excited about tequila-rum combinations lately.

Of course I used Koloa's Coconut Rum because it's my absolute favorite! The sweet, coconutty rum is the perfect match for tequila, and they really do both bring out the best in one another. I like to use a blanco tequila with citrusy or floral notes to ensure the flavors go perfectly with one another.

The grapefruit element of a paloma is interpreted differently by different people. While some mixologists prefer grapefruit soda, I'm all about the pure, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. There's really nothing like it, and the bitterness is delightful alongside the sweet notes of the rum. Buy yourself a few whole grapefruits and juice them, it's 100% worth it.

Serving Suggestions

You've undoubtedly noticed by now that I served my cocktail in a grapefruit. It just seemed like the right thing to do! Serving it in a hollowed-out grapefruit takes this totally over the top and makes it celebration-worthy, although it would work equally as well in your favorite margarita glass.

Want to do a fun rim? I used unsweetened coconut flakes to stay on-theme. Otherwise, I'd choose a sugared rim over a salted rim because you already have some bite from the grapefruit (which isn't the case in a margarita). But do what you love! Some pink sugar would be really fun too.

As a side note, although this is a cocktail I've made many times before, I photographed it this past winter while we were on Kaua'i. The big grapefruit that serves as my glass was home-grown by our friends who we visit there, and the mini grapefruit (yes indeed, that's what those little slices are- baby grapefuits!) came from the self-serve fruit stand up the road. The grapefruits on Kaua'i are incredible, and I love to use them in sweet dishes, savory dishes, and of course cocktails.

Shhh... My Party Secret

While we're on the subject of how to serve this wonderful drink, I need to tell you a secret. The paloma is a PERFECT tequila cocktail for a party! While I of course adore a good margarita, squeezing limes for a crowd is a pain, and store-bought lime juice is just awful. I've tried to host a number of margarita parties and they're a LOT of work.

But store-bought grapefruit juice is great and will make your life so easy! Just make sure to buy a refrigerated, 100% juice option and then you can whip up loads of palomas with ease. Because let's be honest, I'd rather be out on the deck enjoying the get-together than in the kitchen juicing limes.

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this summery cocktail, as well as some thoughts and tips.

  • Grapefruit juice. Fresh-squeezed is of course the best, and I highly suggest it if you're making these for a small group. But store-bought is fine too, and definitely the right move for a crowd.
  • Tequila. I prefer to use a blanco so that the tequila doesn't interfere with the color of the drink. If possible, opt for something really citrusy.
  • Coconut rum. Koloa is, of course, my favorite!
  • Garnishes of choice

Closing Thoughts

I love that this cocktail can transcend seasons. Everyone needs some tropical flair during the winter, right?? It would be great all winter long because the citrus is so good then, or great all spring and summer when most people (haha not me, I love them year-round) tend to think about margaritas and their relatives.

I think this cocktail is excellent proof that tequila and rum should be friends more often. They make total sense together in my mind, although I think that's because I do a lot of Mexican-Pacific fusion food and cocktails. If you're skeptical of that combination, this paloma riff will surely convince you.

Cheers! Let's clink glasses (or hollowed-out grapefruits?) and celebrate!

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Tropical Guacamole

Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

Grilled Corn, Strawberry, and Avocado Salad

Blistered Shishito Pepper Salad

No-Cook Rainbow Black Bean Salad

Disclosure: Koloa Rum is a long-term partner and I receive free product. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Coconut Paloma

A sip of summer, this Coconut Paloma combines sweet coconut and bitter grapefruit for an out-of-the-box cocktail that unites tequila and rum. Perfect for sipping on the deck on a warm summer evening!



  • 3 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1.5 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz coconut rum
  • Grapefruit slices for garnish
  • Optional coconut or sugar rim


  1. Rim your serving glass (or hollowed-out grapefruit!) with coconut or sugar if desired.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the grapefruit juice, tequila, and coconut rum with ice. Shake well.
  3. Add a few large ice cubes to a serving glass.
  4. Strain into your serving glass.
  5. Garnish with grapefruit slices.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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September 8, 2021
This has become SUCH a summer go-to for us. Thank you!
March 25, 2022
Ok definitely need to try this, I never would have thought to do rum and tequila together.
Chris K
May 3, 2022
Can I use grapefruit soda
May 4, 2022
Chris- Sure thing, grapefruit soda would be fine. If you go that route, I'd choose something really grapefruit-y rather than sweet. I've been loving the new Fever Tree grapefruit soda. I also sometimes do a combination of grapefruit juice AND soda, for the best of both worlds.