The Most Popular Cocktail in Texas Isn't What You'd Think

When you think cocktails and Texas, a frosty margarita might spring to mind. And rightly so because the frozen margarita was invented in Dallas, Texas in 1971 by Mariano Martinez who saw the value in turning a soft serve ice cream machine into a fountain of delicious frosty alcohol. That being said, you might think that the frozen margarita is the most popular cocktail in Texas. Maybe even the margarita or tequila sunrise instead. However, you would be wrong.

You might even think of the Texas cowboy culture, picturing an old fashioned or a classic craft beer. However, apparently Texans crave a cocktail with a more sophisticated and refreshing bite. As Dallas' GuideLive reported, new research from Versus Reviews, which is a ratings and product review website, used Google search data to check out the most popular cocktails in each state. The site analyzed everything from the recipe, garnish, photo, and even glassware questions to determine Texas' most favored drink.


So what is Texas' most popular cocktail? The paloma. That's right, this mix of tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, sugar or simply syrup, and club soda took home the prize in the hearts of Texans around the state. Often served with a salt rim and a lime wedge, like its margarita cousin, the drink is a refreshingly zippy and bright cocktail that tastes fresh and bright. Of course, with Texas' proximity to Mexico, agave spirits would rule the Lone Star State. It's perfect for brunch or happy hour!

We know that tequila is tasty with many different fruit juices, from orange juice to pineapple juice to cranberry juice. However, it's somehow more delicious when added to refreshing and tart grapefruit juice and lime juice.

While you could substitute grapefruit soda for juice or Topo Chico Twist of Lime for lime juice, or add ginger beer for extra fizz, the basic recipe still stands. This isn't too surprising to us, though, because one of our most popular recipes is our Big Batch Paloma Cocktail. Check it out below.

Big Batch Paloma Cocktails


This recipe makes 1 gallon of palomas. Drink responsibly, y'all. Preferably on a porch somewhere.


  • 2 2/3 cups tequila
  • 2 2/3 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 Tbs agave nectar (can also substitute honey or simple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 ounces sparkling water (Topo Chico is best)


  • In a large pitcher, stir together the grapefruit juice, lime juice, water, and agave nectar or honey. Chill for 1 hour to combine for best flavor. If needed in a hurry, you can drink now.
  • Stir in the tequila and salt.
  • To serve, fill a three-quarters of your glass with ice. Pour the paloma mixture until the liquid reaches the ice level, and top with sparkling water. Garnish with a salt rim, grapefruit wedges, or lime wedges. Now enjoy!


So this time, a Tito's vodka cocktail didn't make the list, but it certainly makes sense that a Mexican tequila cocktail would pull ahead from El Paso to Austin to Beaumont as one of the most popular spirits in the state. Some recipes add triple sec liqueur for an extra strong drink, and if you want to add a little vodka flair, you can always add in Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit, but just be careful when experimenting with cocktail recipes. Most are designed to mask the alcohol, so it can be hard to gage how much you've actually drank, especially when it comes to liquor pitchers.

If you had to name the other favorite cocktails of Texas, what would you wager? Some might say it's a frosty mug of Shiner or a cold Lone Star can as you float down the river, but to each their own.

This post was originally published on June 23, 2018.