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Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour

Smoky, tart, and juicy, this frothy grapefruit-mezcal cocktail takes everything we love about the paloma and everything we love about sour cocktails and smashes them all together.


Charred Grapefruit Mezcal Paloma Sour 1

Light, Tart, Smoky Liquid Sunshine

Whether you’ve got a warm afternoon to bask in while you sip, or are just longing for one, this mezcal paloma cocktail recipe is sure to set you right. Even though it might sound a bit elaborate, once you’ve gathered the cocktail ingredients, it’s as breezy to whip up as it is to drink. It’s a drink worth gathering friends for—the recipe scales up pretty easily— but if you’re making one just for yourself, that’s great too! It needs no accompaniment beyond maybe some really good potato or tortilla chips (and, if you’re up for it, some homemade guacamole, too) and good company (even if the company you crave most is just your own!).

charred grapefruit slices
hand squeezing a charred grapefruit juice into a measuring cup

All Of Your Cocktail Questions, Answered.

Like we mentioned, this drink combines a few classic cocktails; a paloma and a sour. But, we’re actually also riffing on the paloma, and using it as an inspiration rather than a strict guide. Still, if you’re curious about cocktails, you might like to know a bit more about what influences were at work on us as we created this grapefruit sour cocktail recipe:

  • What’s a sour cocktail? A sour is a category of cocktails that is pretty broad. A whiskey sour is a classic example of a sour cocktail, as it’s comprised of three things: a spirit, some citrus juice and a sweetener. Sometimes, sour cocktails contain egg whites—like this grapefruit mezcal cocktail recipe! The addition of egg white makes sour cocktails frothy.

  • What’s a paloma cocktail? A paloma is a type of sour, and it’s one of our favorite classic cocktails. A paloma is super simple—just fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, blanco tequila, simple syrup and a little seltzer for fizz.

  • What is mezcal? Mezcal is a spirit made in Mexico from the agave plant, and in fact, tequila is technically a type of mezcal! But mezcal encompasses a much more broad array of spirits made from agave than tequila (which is only made from blue agave). Mezcal can be made from many different varieties of agave, and to be allowed to label their spirits as “mezcal”, distillers must get approval from the Consejo Regulador del Mezcal, which is a government-run organization that regulates mezcal production.

hand pouring grapefruit juice onto a strainer into a glass

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make This Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Recipe

You can buy simple syrup at most liquor stores these days—look for it near the mixers and garnishes—but it’s super easy to make yourself. Just combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan, and warm it until the sugar has dissolved. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a month. Other than simple syrup, everything else can be found at a regular old liquor or grocery store:

  • Grapefruit

  • Mezcal

  • Simple syrup

  • Club soda

  • Egg white

  • Angostura bitters

hands pouring grapefruit juice over a strainer into a glass
Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour with an egg white

How To Make The Best Grapefruit Cocktail You’ve Ever Tasted

With fresh grapefruit juice and good mezcal, it’s nearly impossible to end up with a bad drink. Truly! Tart-sweet grapefruit juice and that smoky, fiery hit of mezcal are a combo that just cannot help but be interesting and complex—the kind of flavors that keep you coming back for just one more sip. And then another. And another. Here’s how to make this paloma-inspired sour cocktail:

  1. Use an open flame from your gas stove (or kitchen torch, or broiler) and a pair of tongs to char a whole half-grapefruit and a few slices, too. The slices are for the garnish, so just make them pretty.

  2. Juice the charred half-grapefruit.

  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

  4. Pour in the mezcal, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, soda, egg white and bitters.

  5. Shake! Cover the shaker and give the cocktail a vigorous shake for at least 15 seconds.

  6. Strain! We like to serve this in a rocks glass, but a cocktail glass would work, too.

  7. Garnish!

  8. Drink up!

Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour
Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour

Tools You’ll Need

More Cocktail Recipes to Try

three glasses of Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour

Bottoms Up!

We hope you mix up this cocktail and that it really hits the spot! When you do, let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour

  • Serves: 1
  • Yields: makes 1 cocktail
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  5 min


  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1½ ounces Mezcal Creyente Joven
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • 1 small or medium egg white (optional)
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Cut the grapefruit in half horizontally. Cut one half into (½ -inch) slices and keep the other intact.

  2. Using an open flame from a kitchen torch, carefully char the intact grapefruit half and the grapefruit slices. Juice the charred grapefruit into a small bowl.

  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ⅓ cup ice. Add the Mezcal, 2 ounces of the charred grapefruit juice, simple syrup, club soda, egg white, and bitters. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, shake vigorously for 15 seconds, or until cold and the egg white is foamy. Strain into a cocktail glass.

  4. Garnish with charred grapefruit wedges.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories260
  • Protein4 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium68 mg
  • Total Sugars17 g

Charred Grapefruit & Mezcal Paloma Sour

Questions & Reviews

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    Any questions?

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  • Jenn

    So so delicious, one isn't enough, you'll find yourself making another!

    Thank you, we are glad you loved it!