The Tastiest Type Of Snack To Pair With Paloma Cocktails

If you tend to choose tequila as the base for your cocktails, or if you're craving something a little citrusy, it may be time to switch things up and try a classic Paloma recipe, which is basically a cousin to margaritas. It calls for just a few simple ingredients, including tequila, lime juice, grapefruit soda (or a DIY version made from grapefruit juice, seltzer water, and simple syrup), and salt, so it's easy enough to make at home. Plus, it pairs perfectly with plenty of salty and spicy snacks that you probably already have on hand, making it a great party drink.

Given a Paloma's tart citrusy flavor — thanks to both the grapefruit soda and lime juice — and the bit of sweetness in the final mix, you'll want to pair it with a variety of bites that have bold flavors and textures, plus, some salty options (especially if you're skipping the salted rim). The best ideas are potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, and peanuts. If you want even more flavor, you can punch up store-bought versions of these snacks with your own spices like chili powder or red pepper flakes for some extra heat between refreshing sips.

The best Paloma-inspired snacks

When seeking inspiration for what to pair with your Paloma cocktails, it might help to consider the origins of the drink. While it's unclear exactly when and where it was first made, some sources say that it got its start at a bar in Tequila, Mexico. Whether or not this is true, thinking about tequila — in this case, the base liquor of the drink, rather than the Mexican town — is helpful. 

While the primary flavors of a Paloma are intensely citrusy, there is a hint of corn that comes from the spirit as well. For this reason, corn-centric dishes like Mexican street corn-style popcorn or even corn and goat cheese quesadillas cut into bite-sized triangles could go well with a Paloma.

But, don't worry if you don't have time to make anything elaborate. You can simply set out corn tortilla chips with a basic guacamole or a bowl of corn nuts to do the trick. With all of these salty snacks and the zesty taste of the drink paired together, you may want to add a somewhat mild cheese, like manchego, to your snack spread to cut through all the spice.

Next level preparations for the perfect Paloma

Once you have the perfect snacks lined up, you might want to experiment with different preparations of a Paloma. The fresh citrus in the drink could pair well with the addition of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and mint. Alternatively, a sage-smoked Paloma can balance all that citrusy brightness with a darker, more bitter flavor. 

You could also consider how your cocktail garnishes can be reflected in the snacks you serve with your Paloma. After all, garnishes are essentially snacks that you place directly into your drink. For example, if you place a fresh sprig of rosemary in your drink, you might want to seek out some rosemary-flavored cashews at the store — or make them from scratch at home.

Another idea is to play up the grapefruit elements of the drink with fruit garnishes. Depending on your preference, you can use sliced wedges of fresh, juicy grapefruit or whole wheels of dehydrated citrus. But, if you opt for dried grapefruit pieces, just be sure to prepare them in advance since they take some time to process.