Classic Cocktails Made With Tequila


In Mexico, the cold hard truth is that tequila is a big deal. However, Cinco de May as we celebrate it here in the U.S., is not. This May holiday is to commemorate the 1862 military victory over the French. While it’s a national holiday, no one parties like they do during Mexico’s Independence Day which is in September.

In the U.S., we spend much more time planning and celebrating Cinco de Mayo for all things south of the border. Additionally, tacos and mariachi bands will also mean a lot of tequila.

Even though the Margarita may often be the drink of choice, tequila with its agave based cousin called mezcal is well liked for the versatility. The taste difference is astonishing and a simple switch can make an entirely different cocktail.

With such promising results, you may wish to make everyday a holiday.

Bloody Mary

Also called a Bloody Maria (Spanish for Mary), this drink uses nearly every kind of spirit. However, for the purpose of this article, it must be spicy and no spirit will pair better with hot sauce, chiles and horseradish like tequila.  Get the recipe here

Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita

The Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo always walk hand in hand. Sometimes they even fall upon the same day. Thus it can often catch us by surprise that the Blackberry Mint Julep Margarita isn’t a more common drink. It could be a real trend setter. It also calls for tequila and thus, it’s an ideal pairing.

Distrito Federal

Just as the classic Manhattan is named after America’s largest city, the version with tequila is named after Mexico’s largest city. With its subtle oak flavor and a lightly aged reposado, you’ll have the ideal combination of bitters and sweet vermouth.

Spicy Old Fashioned

Today’s Old Fashioned is simply the original cocktail as was first published in 1806. With a combination of any sort of spirit, water, sugar and bitters. Back then the booze wasn’t just whiskey so we think that tequila is an ideal choice. A clever spin up involves maple syrup and a slightly spicy Fresno of chiles.

Trato Hecho

During prohibition this concoction was nearly lost forever, that is until it was rediscovered just a mere decade ago by a Seattle bartender named Murray Stenson. This clever mixologist used its formula in an experiment and voila, it replaced the gin with a pineapple infused mezcal. With its subtle smokiness and a new complexity the pineapple is ideal with Chartreuse.


Negroni is loved by bartenders around the world for its bitterness. Ideal as an antidote for overly sweet drinks. While gin gives it an herbal note and is an ideal pairing with Campari, tequila gives it a grassy note. Purity of flavor it works best with a blanco bottling that hasn’t been aged. Get the recipe here

Mojito Tequila

The original Mojito isn’t from Mexico at all, it’s from Cuba. However both countries share searing heat int he brutal summers and a large population of drinkers who wish to escape the heat. Using tequila in lieu of the rum with agave nectar substituted for sugar results in a bubbly fresh cocktail that’s just the other side of the Caribbean.  Check out the recipe here

Dirty Oaxacan Martini

For those who love the salty brine of the Dirty Martini, you’ll also enjoy the earthiness of mezcal. This drink gives you a little bit of both. It shows off a steller pedigree as creator Raul Yrastorza, one of America’s top renowned authorities on mezcal, it offers a bit of Los Angels Las Perlas with an amazing selection of tequila with your creative cocktail. Just what the doctor ordered.  Get the recipe here