10 Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol Cocktails to Win at Summer

Composite shot of Spicy Paloma cocktail and Mezcal Old-Fashioned
Photos: Getty / Tom Arena

Few drinks rival the classic margarita as a summertime standout to sip during hotter months. But as cocktail lovers explore the wider world of Tequila cocktails, bartenders across the U.S. experiment with Mexico’s other signature spirits, like mezcal and sotol, to create new drinks and add fresh flavors to old classics.

We’ve put together 10 of our favorites to try to make yourself, whether to beat the heat outdoors or sip from the air conditioned comfort of your own home.



Photo by Tom Arena
Mezcal Margarita
Mezcal in place of Tequila is a cocktail no-brainer. Try this recipe for a smoky, earthy take on a classic margarita, complete with spicy-salty rim.
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Photo by Meg Baggott / Styling by Kristen Richard
A Tequila Cocktail with a Kick of Ginger
This recipe blends the margarita and the Caiprinha into one with the addition of honey and ginger syrup for a refreshing twist.
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Photo by Michael Persico / Styling by Kelsi Windmiller
Ruby Mae’s Second Surfin’ Bird
Once considered an obscure tropical drink, the Jungle Bird has become one of the most popular on the tiki bar circuit. This version uses mezcal and Tequila.
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Spicy Paloma Cocktail Recipe
This spicy take on the national drink of Mexico plays off tequila and a punch of citrus provided by grapefruit with a warming hit of habanero.
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Photo by Jessica Sterner
A Cucumber Cocktail with a Sotol Kick
This bright green sotol cocktail mixes agave nectar, cucumber juice and a few other ingredients into a crisp drink that channels warm weather.
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Photo by Tom Arena
Mezcal Old Fashioned
Mezcal in an Old Fashioned? Sacrilege, to many whiskey lovers. But this recipe will show you how the spirit can add an earthy element to this classic.
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Reposado Martinez
The addition of Barolo Chinato makes for a unique twist on a classic drink made with Old Tom gin, sweet vermouth, and maraschino liqueur.
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Photo By Meg Baggott
The Salted Margarita
There's no need for a salted rim in this take on the Tequila classic, where dry Curaçao and pickle brine make a margarita for those without a sweet tooth.
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Photo by Tim Bieber / Getty
Tequila Sherry Flip
Charlotte Voisey reinterprets the classic flip cocktail with Milagro Tequila and Sherry for a tasty libation.
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Photo by Debra Cowie / Getty
Paloma Mule
A cross between two classic cocktails—the Tequila-spiked paloma and the Moscow Mule—the end result is remarkably refreshing.
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Published on July 23, 2020