Cara Cara Orange Paloma

2 servings
15 minutes cook time
Cara Cara Orange Paloma

We’re pretty hardcore fruit geeks over here at FruitStand, so we don’t always follow the rules. Case in point, this cara cara paloma recipe. A classic paloma is a tequila cocktail made with grapefruit soda, lime and a touch of salt. Here, we’re using freshly squeezed, pink cara cara orange juice and sparkling soda water for a less sweet yet more nectarous version of the original tequila drink. 

If you haven’t had a cara cara orange, you’re in for a real treat. The cara cara orange is beloved for its rosy pink citrus flesh, and flavor that’s sweeter and more berry-like than standard oranges. To get a sense of the flavor of cara cara orange, imagine tasting a ripe, juicy orange that has subtle flavors of soft, ripe strawberry. Cara cara oranges tend to be less pulpy than other navel varieties, so the juice is certainly worth the squeeze.

Cara cara orange palomas are perfect poolside, at brunch, or for adult get-togethers that call for fruity refreshment. This recipe can be scaled up for a crowd by multiplying the recipe and making in a pitcher. Blanco, reposado or mezcal will work beautifully in this recipe, so use your favorite good quality tequila. For a mocktail version, skip the tequila and replace with a little more juice and fizzy water. If you like your palomas on the sweeter side, nod to the classic paloma by replacing sparkling water with grapefruit or lemon lime soda.


  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 1
  • Good for: cocktails, mocktails, drinks 
  • Difficulty: easy

Palomas were made for day drinking (responsibly, of course). Our take on this Mexican cocktail swaps in sweet, pink cara cara orange juice for grapefruit to wake up your morning. In this no-fuss cocktail, you will simply combine all of the ingredients, give ‘em a quick stir, add ice and top with a delightfully fizzy soda. We like serving these in a tall collins glass, but these can be served in a more squat highball glass, or in your favorite shatterproof poolside stemware.


  • 2 ounces fresh cara cara orange juice (about ½ cara cara orange)
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Sparkling water
  • Salt


  • Citrus press or juicer
  • Mixing glass
  • Large spoon
  • Collins glass
  • Small dish


  • Prepare the rim of the glass by wetting the edge with a cara cara orange slice, then gently shimmy the rim into a dish of kosher salt. 
  • Strain the fresh cara cara orange and lime juices into the glass. Add the simple syrup and stir to combine. Then, drop in the tequila, add ice and fill the glass with sparkling soda water. 
  • Complete the drink by garnishing with a wedge of grapefruit on the salted rim, insert a reusable or compostable straw and serve immediately.

Prepare this drink ahead of time by combining the ingredients into a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two days. 

How did you like this cara cara orange recipe? Try even more fruit recipes on the FarmStand blog!

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