Coconut Paloma


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(Note: this post was originally published on June 10, 2021. It has since been updated with additional photos.)

Time for a Paloma Party

I'm back with yet another paloma variation! In case you're new to this blog, the paloma is one of my favorite cocktails. On the bar menu this time is a tropical-inspired Coconut Paloma that uses coconut rum in addition to tequila. This coconut cocktail recipe is fun, unique, and will take you on a mini tropical vacation. If you're a paloma lover, make sure to check out my Blueberry Ginger Paloma and my Cinnamon Cherry Paloma too.

What Is a Paloma?

The paloma is a well-known cocktail involving tequila and grapefruit; it's a cousin of the margarita. I love palomas because they're refreshing, well-balanced, easy, and can be made with no added sugar (because grapefruit is sweeter than lime). They're also a blast to vary seasonally since grapefruit can pair beautifully with such a wide variety of flavors.

How to Make a Paloma

Good news: the paloma is a very simple drink to make. Just mix up the few ingredients (tequila, grapefruit, any other flavors you want to add) and enjoy. The grapefruit element of a paloma is interpreted differently by different people; while some mixologists prefer grapefruit soda, I much prefer fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Using juice (instead of soda) is more flavorful, fresher, and allows you to avoid the sugar that soda generally has. This coconut cocktail recipe in particular has just three simple ingredients: grapefruit juice, tequila, and coconut rum.

Coconut Paloma cocktail served inside a grapefruit

A Tropical Vacation in a Glass

This summery paloma riff has major tropical flair thanks to coconut rum. It's a delightfully unexpected pairing that originates from my love of cocktails uniting tequila and rum.

In case you're skeptical, let me assure you that these two distilled products are a match made in heaven. This rum tequila cocktail is delightfully balanced and is the best of both worlds, combining the bite of tequila with the sweetness of rum. The two together create a symphony of Mexican and tropical flavors. I hope you'll experiment with more rum tequila cocktails after trying this one, I think they're such fun.

Of course I used Koloa Rum for this coconut rum cocktail because it's my absolute favorite! I like to use a blanco tequila with citrusy or floral notes to ensure the flavors go perfectly with one another.

A coconut rum cocktail with grapefruit

Serving Suggestions

You've undoubtedly noticed from the photos that I sometimes serve this unique rum tequila cocktail in a grapefruit to make it even more special. Serving it in a hollowed-out grapefruit takes this coconut cocktail recipe over the top and makes it celebration-worthy.

Want to do a fun rim for your Coconut Paloma? I like to use unsweetened coconut flakes to stay on-theme. You could also do a sugared rim, or even a salted rim like a margarita. This tequila + coconut rum cocktail is just such a fun combination that it needs an equally festive presentation.

Shhh... My Party Secret

While we're on the subject of how to serve this coconut cocktail recipe, I need to tell you a secret. The paloma is a PERFECT 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 awful. But store-bought grapefruit juice is great and will make your life so easy. Just make sure to buy refrigerated, 100% juice and you can whip up loads of these Coconut Palomas with ease.

Coconut cocktail recipe shown with a bottle of coconut rum

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here's what you'll need for this rum tequila cocktail, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • 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 makes things easier for a crowd. I find that bitter grapefruit is the perfect element to balance a coconut rum cocktail, so make sure you work with juice that's unsweetened.
  • Tequila. I prefer to use a blanco tequila (i.e., very minimally aged) so that it doesn't interfere with the color of the drink. If possible, opt for something really citrusy.
  • Coconut rum. Koloa is, of course, my favorite! I've created so many delightful coconut rum cocktails with this magical elixir.
  • Garnishes of choice. This Coconut Paloma is meant to be special, so garnish it abundantly!

Pink rum tequila cocktail for summer parties

Closing Thoughts

This special coconut cocktail recipe is one I come back to again and again. It's such a perfect sip for a summer evening. This Coconut Paloma is easy to make for a crowd yet impressive enough to feel party-worthy, so it's a wonderful option for entertaining.

I think this cocktail is excellent proof that tequila and rum should be friends more often. They make total sense together (although you all know how much I love Mexican-Pacific flavor fusion!). If you've never tried the two together before, this coconutty rum tequila cocktail will surely convince you.

Cheers! Let's clink glasses (or hollowed-out grapefruits?) and celebrate. This sunshine-filled coconut rum cocktail is one of our favorites and I hope it will become one of yours too.

Coconut Paloma cocktail inside a grapefruit shown with tropical flowers

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.

As with all my cocktail recipes, please enjoy responsibly!

Suggested Pairings

Tropical Guacamole

Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

Grilled Corn, Strawberry, and Avocado Salad

Blistered Shishito Pepper Salad

Rainbow Mexican 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 celebrates sweet coconut and bitter grapefruit. It's an out-of-the-box cocktail that unites tequila and rum and is 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 mint leaves for garnish
  • Optional honey and shredded coconut rim


  1. Optional: brush the rim of a glass with honey (or agave) and dip it into shredded coconut.
  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 the serving glass.
  4. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass and garnish with grapefruit slices and/or fresh mint.

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.