7 Inventive Tequila Cocktails
Are you stuck in a margarita rut? Put down the sour mix and pick up a shaker. These seven Tequila-based cocktails will have you rethinking potent pours beyond that syrupy, blended slush.
Recipe courtesy Nate Caudle, bartender at Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria, British Columbia
What could be easier than this Tequila riff on the classic Last Word cocktail? Both drinks are made with equal measures of their ingredients.
- 1 ounce Reposado Tequila
- 1 ounce Esprit de June liqueur
- 1 ounce Yellow Chartreuse
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- Lemon slice, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake well, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Recipe courtesy Courtenay Greenleaf, Tequila librarian at La Biblioteca in New York City
This deep-hued drink is “like our Tequila Manhattan,” Greenleaf says.
- 1½ ounces Riazul Añejo Tequila
- 1½ ounces hibiscus syrup (such as Toriani)
- 1½ ounces sweet vermouth
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- Lemon twist, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients with ice. Shake well, and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Recipe courtesy Charlotte Voisey
Voisey reinterprets the classic flip cocktail with Milagro Tequila and Sherry for a tasty libation.
- 1 ounce Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Añejo
- 1 ounce Lustau Pedro Ximénez San Emilio Sherry
- 1 whole egg
- Nutmeg, for garnish
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with freshly ground nutmeg.
Recipe courtesy One and Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos, Mexico’s One and Only Palmilla offers its guests unrivalled luxury in a traditional Mexican setting. Dining choices include Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten (in his first foray south of the border,) and open-air Agua, whose Executive Chef Larbi Dahrouch created this Tequila Mojito. Both offer a wine list with 1500 international labels, including 200 from Mexico—the largest selection of Mexican wines anywhere in the world. If you prefer your tequila straight up, Beverage Director Manuel Artega can lead you through tastings from his list of over 50 tequilas. The 27-hole Palmilla Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
- 2 oz Cazadores Reposado Tequila
- ½ oz Ginger Ale
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 6 mint leaves
- 3 lime slices
In the bottom of a rocks glass, muddle ginger ale with brown sugar, 3 lime slices and mint leaves. Add Tequila, stir and fill with ice.
Recipe courtesy Colin Shearn, bartender, The Franklin Mortgage Investment Co., Philadelphia
While mint juleps are typically made with Kentucky Bourbon, in this version, Shearn swaps it out for two spirits with Mexican heritage: crisp blanco Tequila and smoky mezcal.
- 1 ounce Espolón Blanco Tequila
- 1 ounce Del Maguey VIDA mezcal
- ½ ounce demerara syrup
- 1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Shrub
- Mint sprig, for garnish
Pour all ingredients into a julep cup and scoop in crushed ice. Stir briefly, then add more crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and 2 short straws.
Recipe courtesy DeLeón Tequila
DeLeón’s take on the Margarita gets its refreshing flavor from muddled kumquats. “Citrus fruits are well known complements to Tequila drinks,” says Brent Hocking, founder and CEO of DeLeón Tequila. “The kumquat is rare, like DeLéon. We choose to be different.” When you get to the bottom of the drink, you can eat the tiny orange fruit—skin, seeds and all.
- 2 ounces DeLeón Reposado Tequila
- 4 sliced kumquats
- ¼ ounce agave nectar
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce Fee Brothers Falernum
- 1 slice of jalapeño, for garnish
Muddle sliced kumquats, agave nectar, lemon juice and falernum in a rocks glass. Add Tequila and stir ingredients to combine. Add crushed ice and stir again. Garnish with a slice of jalapeño.
Recipe courtesy of El Centro D.F., Washington, DC
Spanish for “dove,” the Paloma is the most popular cocktail in Mexico. It usually includes grapefruit soda like Squirt or Jarritos, but El Centro’s version replaces it with blood orange juice, oregano-infused lime juice and club soda.
- 1½ ounce Tequila Reposado
- 2 ounces fresh blood orange juice
- 1 ounce Mexican Oregano-infused Lime Juice*
- 3-4 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- Club soda
- Blood orange twist, for garnish
Add all ingredients except club soda and garnish in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass filled with cracked ice, and garnish with a blood orange twist.
*Note: For the infused lime juice, muddle a handful of Mexican oregano with lime juice, and then double strain to remove the leaves.
- 1The First Word
- 2Midnight Luna
- 3Tequila Sherry Flip
- 4Tequila Mojito
- 5Hell Hath No Fury
- 6DeLeón Kumquat
- 7Paloma Naranja