5 Tantalizing Tequila Cocktails
It’s a hot summer night and you’re leaving work to meet friends at the local watering hole for a happy hour decompression. You’ve been waiting for this moment all day. Fantasizing about the moment you lift the icy cold glass to your mouth. That blast of flavor. Salty. Sweet. Tart. Bitter. A moment worth celebrating, for sure. ¡Salúd!
By far the most popular tequila cocktail is the Margarita. It’s become a staple of the American bar scene. But there are many other compelling ways to mix tequila. If you’re new to tequila or to mixology, you can stick your toe in the water by substituting tequila in your favorite vodka cocktails.
A few facts about Tequila:
- Tequila originates from the Jalisco state in the central western region of Mexico
- Tequila is distilled from the blue agave plant
- Tequila is a variety of Mezcal, a broader category of agave-derived spirits
- There are over 1,000 registered brands of tequila
- There are three major types of tequila: Plata, Reposado, and Añejo
- Plata—often referred to as Silver
- Reposado is aged in oak barrels for at least two months but less than one year
- Añejo is aged in oak barrels for at least one year and no more than three years
- The longer tequila is aged, the smoother the finish
Tequila devotees’ passion for their drink takes on a spiritual quality. Part of this reverence comes in the form of artistry when it comes to packaging. Take a walk through the tequila section of your favorite liquor store or beverage center and marvel at the intricate labeling and creative glass design. It’s easy to find as much appreciation for the bottles themselves as for what they contain.
In recent years, fermented agave juice has gotten so popular that a special day has been designated to honor it. July 24th was National Tequila Day this year. If you missed the opportunity to celebrate, there’s no need for FOMO. Every day is a good day to drink tequila!
Here are 5 tantalizing tequila cocktails to try:
- Ginger Paloma
2 oz. Silver Tequila
1 ½ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. sugar cane syrup
½ oz. ginger syrup
Combine all ingredients into a tin shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a high ball glass. Add fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit wheel.
- Tranquillo, Mi Amor
1 ½ oz. Silver Tequila
1 oz. Coco Lopez cream of coconut
½ fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients and shake over ice. Serve with a salted rim.
1 ½ oz. Reposado Tequila
5 oz. Sangrita*
½ oz. fresh lime juice
grapefruit soda to taste
Pour tequila into serving glass over ice. Add sangrita mix and top off with grapefruit soda to taste. Stir and garnish with fresh grapefruit wheel.
*Sangrita: Blend together a pinch of salt, hot sauce of your choice, juice from one orange, four limes, two grapefruits, and a pinch of black pepper.
- Smoky Honeybee
2 oz. Añejo Tequila
Splash of Mezcal
1 oz. honey syrup (one part honey, one part water)
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Rinse a highball glass with the mezcal, coating the inside of the glass with a thin layer and dumping out whatever doesn’t stick. Add the tequila, syrup and lemon juice to a shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Pour into the prepared glass, and add 2 dashes of the bitters. Garnish with a lemon peel.
- Spicy Bruja
1 ¼ oz. Reposado Tequila
1 oz. fresh red pepper juice
1 oz. fresh lime juice
¾ oz. honey syrup (one part honey, one part water)
1 handful of fresh cilantro
Combine all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.