Young and punchy or aged and smooth, adding a dash of fiery Mexican tequila instantly takes a tipple from dull to ‘delicioso’. This agave-based booze can be served neat, but works wonderfully in a fruity cocktail, too, and a smart garnish lends a sense of fun for when you’re entertaining. While you may have tried a classic margarita on a night out, tequila is also a great base for more sophisticated drinks. Forget eye-watering shots followed swiftly by salt and lime, these cocktails are to be sipped and savoured.
Firstly, though, stock your drinks cabinet with one of the best bottles of tequila on the market from our taste-tested selection.
Our top tequila cocktail recipes
1. Tequila paloma
Pink grapefruit and lime juice gives this tequila paloma a zesty kick. Garnish the rim with salt and a wedge of lime for a simple crowd-pleaser. This drink is best made with tequila blanco for its clean, bold flavours that mesh well with fruity overtones. It makes a delicious highball for a refreshing tipple when the sun comes out.
2. Tequila sunrise
Capture the taste of relaxed summer holidays spent lounging on the beach with a classic tequila sunrise and bring some sunshine to a Saturday evening. There’s a fun, retro feel to it as well with the garnish of a maraschino cherry and cocktail umbrella being compulsory. Trust us when we say, it just tastes better like this.
3. Classic tequila margarita
Everyone is familiar with a classic margarita – this citrussy beauty is a staple on every cocktail menu for a reason, it’s perfectly balanced, boozy and elegant.
Once you’ve learned how to make the best margarita, get to grips with another fun twist that’s perfect for the festive season. Sip a cranberry margarita in vivid red with a garnish of salt, sugar and orange zest to bring some added sparkle to your next Christmas party.
4. Tequila pina del oro
Pour yourself a taste of the tropical. Our tequila pina del oro is laced with pineapple juice and a sage syrup for a refreshing combination of sweet and fruity with light and herby. Reposado tequila is aged for up to 12 months in oak barrels, so it also imparts some earthy, woody flavours.
5. Tequila diablo rojo
Sip something pretty in pink like our tequila diablo rojo. This luscious cocktail has a fiery kick from a glug of ginger beer, a citrus hit from a squeeze of lime and a subtle berry sweetness from a measure of crème de cassis. Finish with a scattering of pomegranate seeds for a decadent drink that’s sure to impress. Ombré shades are very in, especially at the bar.
If you’re a sucker for an old-school drink, mix up this negroni designed by London bar El Pastor. Use either tequila, or its close relative mescal, which is made specifically from blue agave cooked on a wood fire. The resulting smokiness of mescal balances the bitterness of the Campari, allowing the grapefruit and orange notes to shine through without being overpowering. It’s a drink to be relished at leisure.
Learn how to make the perfect negroni.
7. Frozen margarita
Cool off this summer with a super simple frozen margarita. This refreshing, zingy cocktail can be made in five minutes by blitzing the ingredients in a blender. Switch up the flavours and add blood orange, lemon sorbet or watermelon. Mix it up with different juices or fruit for fun flavour variations. If you’re looking for an impressive tipple you can whip up at a moment’s notice, look no further.
8. Long island iced tea
The infamous long island iced tea is our go-to party punch. With equal parts vodka, gin, tequila, rum and triple sec, this daring drink isn’t for the faint hearted. Make batches in jugfuls at a time so guests can help themselves, and you can top up when needed. Despite the potent mix of booze, the overall flavour is smooth and not overly strong.
9. Cranberry margarita
Add some colour to your cocktail menu with a vibrant cranberry margarita, complete with orange sugar rim. A grating of orange zest adds some extra fragrance and flavour. Pick this zesty drink to perk up a festive party. Chill the glasses ahead of time for a professional touch.
This bright red tequila tipple isn’t just for Halloween. Our vampiro takes inspiration from the classic bloody mary cocktail, with a tomato base, a dash of fiery Tabasco and a savoury touch from a measure of Worcestershire sauce. Try serving with your favourite indulgent breakfast spread for a brunch cocktail with a difference.
Like these cocktails? Check out more drinks…
A guide to classic cocktails
Our ultimate cocktail collection
How to make frozen cocktails
What’s your favourite way to drink tequila? Leave a comment below…