I’ve got the citrus itch.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

Only way to scratch it is with grapefruit and tequila. Maybe some lime and salt.

Kind of sounds like a margarita? It’s not! It almost is. But there are bubbles. Seltzery, soda-y bubbles. And homemade syrup of the citrusy variety. I’ve been trying not to drink it (… the syrup) all week. 

Grapefruit, lime, bubbles and tequila are a thing and come together in a beautiful shade of pink to make these short days happier. Well, and probably shorter. But that’s okay.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

It all starts with salty sugar. Is that a real life concoction? It is now because I’m making it one. I mixed… salt and sugar. To get salty sugar.

Life altering, I know.

But! I also added some chipotle chili powder. A touch of heat. It will blow your mind. And maybe chap your lips, so grab some Burt’s Bees and let’s do this.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

I could take a spoon to an entire grapefruit (or three) and be thrilled as pie. Is that a taste buds thing? An acquired taste thing? A similar thing to my love for all things briney, vinegary and pickled? I’ve always loved it so maybe I was born with it.

And noooo I don’t want to count how many times I’ve used the word “thing” in this post. Just let me cover my eyes and run away.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com


This is ridiculously light and refreshing. It’s just FRESH, a la Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids when she enters Helen’s compound for the bridal shower. If you even knew how many times a week I use the line “ah that’s fresh” you would disown me as an invisible internet friend. Even worse is the amount of times I want to use it but don’t.

The good news is that BECAUSE it’s so fresh and light, it should fit into your January resolution plan (does it look like this?) without much fright.

The bad news is that it’s still January. Good TV hasn’t even started yet! Are you dying? I’m dying.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

Tell me: were you a diehard thirsty Thursday partier in college (and maybe beyond)? While I ALWAYS believed that the weekend started on Thursday (and still do, oops), I was more of a let’s-eat-some-oreos-while-cuddled-in-bed-and-watch-Grey’s thirsty Thursday-er.

Snoozefest. This is why I’m elderly.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com
Oh oh! Grapefruit is pretty good for us, right? Right. Let’s just consider this our morning juice… but around 5PM. I’ll justify it for you so don’t even worry.

palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

Palomas with Salty Chili Sugar

5 from 2 votes
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  • ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce grapefruit lime syrup
  • 2 to 3 ounces club soda, or even a lime flavored seltzer
  • grapefruit slices or lime wedges for ganish
  • crushed ice

grapefruit lime syrup

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

salty chili sugar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder


  • Rim your glass with a lime or grapefruit wedge and dip in the salty sugar mixture to coat. Fill the glass halfway with crushed ice. Add the grapefruit juice, tequila, lime juice and syrup, stirring well with a mixer or long spoon. Pour the soda over top and garnish with a lime or grapefruit wedge. Serve!

grapefruit lime syrup

  • Heat the grapefruit juice, lime juice, water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. It will become slightly syrupy. This stays great in the fridge for a few days.

salty chili sugar

  • Combine sugar, salt and chili powder on a plate and stir well to combine before dipping each glass.

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palomas with salty chili sugar I howsweeteats.com

(so fresh. I can’t help it!)