Recipes | Beverages & Smoothies

Not a Paloma


A Paloma is a Spanish cocktail made with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice. It’s one of my very favorite summer drinks; it is light and citrusy, and has a smoky kick. This adapted recipe replaces the feeling, and some of the smell. I have replaced the tequila with vodka, which is low FODMAP. The truth of the matter is that we do not know the FODMAP content of grapefruit zest (which is why we do not give it the Elimination icon e-for elimination symbol), so try a few sips the first time and see how you do.

Not a Paloma in wine glass with stainless steel straw on brick wall in gardenYou will notice that I call for either plain vodka or pink peppercorn vodka. To make the peppery version, combine 1 cup (240 ml) of vodka and 1 tablespoon of pink peppercorns in a Mason jar. Seal and leave it on a counter for a week. Strain and use. The result is a smoky vodka with a little kick of peppery heat.

jalapeno being cut on wooden board with red knife; Not a Paloma cocktail

Muddling, by the way, is really just a way of crushing something. Herbs are often muddled for drinks, too. In this case the jalapeno will be crushed to break down its texture and to release all its spicy flavor.

jalapeno ready for muddling in a clear glass on granite counter; Not a Paloma cocktail

Check out my article on my favorite cocktail tools – including an image of my favorite muddler! And if you are looking for a non-alcoholic mocktail, try our Cucumber Mint Lime Agua Fresca. I will be making both for Cinco de Mayo!

muddled jalapeno for a Not a Paloma

Not a Paloma in wine glass with stainless steel straw on brick wall in garden
5 from 2 votes

Not a Paloma

This drink is our attempt at creating a potentially low FODMAP version of the classic Paloma cocktail. And we think we hit it out of the ballpark!

Makes: 2 Servngs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Susan Chatzky


  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Grated zest of one grapefruit
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) plain vodka or pink peppercorn vodka
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) lime juice
  • 2 cups (480 ml) plain seltzer


  1. In the bottom of your cocktail shaker, combine jalapeno and sugar, muddle to almost a paste; it will still have small bits of jalapeno.
  2. Add vodka, lime juice and ice, add the top of the shaker and shake like crazy, until the ice cubes break into little pieces.
  3. Pour the vodka mixture, without straining, into two glasses, top with seltzer, and sprinkle grapefruit zest over the top. Serve immediately.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American