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Top 10 Tequila Cocktails To Try

Explore tequila with these essential drinks


There are many tequila cocktails, but only a few that I strongly recommend you try. If your tequila experience has been limited to shots of gold tequila with a lemon and salt, check out this list to expand your horizons. The beauty of tequila is that the agave flavor brings an earthy, sweet element to drinks that no other liquor can and it is interesting to see how that flavor reacts with a variety of mixers.

1. Margarita

Margarita Cocktail
Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham

It goes without saying that the Margarita is the most widely known tequila cocktail. This cocktail is not only delicious as it was originally intended to be made, but has had thousands of variations derived from it that are fun to explore.

Margarita recipe...

For some of those variations, check out Margarita Madness.

2. Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

The beauty of the Tequila Sunrise is its extra dimension of flavor. You have the tequila mixed with orange juice for a tart citrus, and then you get extra fruity sweetness from the grenadine. A beautiful drink that will forever be a favorite.

Tequila Sunrise recipe...

3. Paloma

Paloma Tequila Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

Tall and refreshing, this is one of my favorite lazy afternoon tequila mixed drinks. Grapefruit juice and lemon-lime soda are ideal pairings for tequila and this drink is simple to throw together for last minute entertaining.

Paloma recipe...

4. Juan Collins

Juan Collins Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

I like to include the Juan Collins in the list of essential tequila cocktails because it shows off a fine tequila in such a wonderful way. I like to use reposado tequilas for this variation on the popular Collins drinks (John Collins, Tom Collins) in which lemon, sugar and club soda allow the spirit to shine through in all its glory.

Juan Collins recipe...

5. Tequini

Tequini - Tequila Martini Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

Of course, tequila has found its way into a Martini-like drink in which, rather simply, tequila replaces gin. For this one I strongly recommend using the best blanco tequila you can find because it is the star ingredient and will shine ever-so-bright with the help of the vermouth.

Tequini recipe...

6. Brave Bull

Brave Bull Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

A little more on the darker side, the Brave Bull skips all the fruity flavors commonly found in tequila drinks, opting for another great flavor pairing, coffee. Very simply, this is a lowball made of tequila and Kahlua on the rocks. Think of it as a Mexican Black Russian.

Brave Bull recipe...

7. Envy

Envy Cocktail
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

Want a little blue in your life? This neat tequila drink is ideal and a wonderful taste of tequila, blue curacao, and pineapple. Shaken and served in a cocktail glass, it is also an elegant addition to any affair.

Envy Cocktail recipe...

8. Bloody Maria

Bloody Maria and Bloody Tini
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

The Bloody Mary is one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time, but have you tried substituting tequila for the vodka? If you're like me and enjoy all things spicy you will not go back to the vodka version because the tequila adds a dimension to the classic, tomato-spice mix that is simply the perfect match.

Bloody Maria recipe...

9. Toronha

Toronha Cocktail
Dimitri Otis / Photodisc / Getty Images

Grapefruit is one of the best flavors to pair with tequila and the Toronha is a fine example of this. I fell in love with this blended drink the first time I tried it and include it here because I want to share the experience.

Toronha recipe...

10. Passion Cocktail

Passion Cocktail
Matthew Wakem / Photodisc / Getty Images

You may have noticed by now that many of these essential tequila cocktails are variations on a drink typically made with another base liquor. In this instance, the Passion Cocktail is based on the Cosmopolitan. Why all the similar drinks and why do I recommend you try them? For the simple fact that if you are new to tequila but are familiar with these other popular cocktails, trying these drinks will give you a good sense of how tequila reacts with flavors and mixes you know. It is all about the experience and then the experimentation.

Passion Cocktail recipe...

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