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August 27, 2021updated May 05, 2023

Spicy Paloma Cocktail by Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila

Cocktail of the Week: The Spicy Paloma cocktail is sweet yet sour with a fiery kick.

By Samantha Coles

Despite being one of the world’s most famous (and loved) tequila cocktails, the Paloma’s origins are somewhat mysterious. It is thought to be named for La Paloma (or “The Dove”), a famed Spanish folk song from the 1860s that has had many reinterpretations over the last century. Legendary bar owner Don Javier Delgado Corona, owner of La Capilla in Tequila, Mexico is often credited with creating the libation. Corona created the much-loved Batanga (a cocktail made of tequila blanco, lime and ice, with a salted rim) so it’s certainly feasible.

History aside, the Paloma is a delicious cocktail. Taking the classic recipe and adding another Mexican staple, the jalapeño, the Spicy Paloma cocktail is sweet, sour, a little bit salty and with an unexpected fiery kick.

The Spicy Paloma cocktail calls for Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila. It is the brand’s most highly awarded tequila and begins as an aged Añejo before spending four months in deep-charred oak barrels to give a smoky flavor and golden, dark amber color. It then spends two months in specially toasted barrels to provide more depth. The result is a delectable blend of agave with woody notes, a smooth finish with notes of caramel. 

Hornitos, meaning ‘little oven’ in Spanish, was born in 1950 in honor of Mexican Independence day. Don Francisco founded the brand in Jalisco, Mexico and made a decision to make tequila in a different way — by cooking agaves in little ovens to better control the roasting process.

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  • 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila
  • ¾ part fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
  • ¾ part fresh lime juice
  • ½ part agave syrup
  • Jalapeño
  • Grapefruit


Lightly muddle ¼ grapefruit and 4 slices jalapeño in a shaker. Combine the remainder of the ingredients into the shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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