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Tequila Cocktail Recipes: Margarita and Beyond

Looking for great Tequila cocktail recipes for your next party? We've got a few ideas for you - from the universally loved classic that is Margarita to a Tequila twist on the popular Old Fashioned.

The Margarita 
One of if not the most popular cocktails on the planet, the unofficial sponsor of Spring Break in the United States, and one of the easiest drinks to make. There are many origin stories but it seems to have emerged from Northern Mexico sometime between the first and second world wars and really become popular in the 40’s and 50’s.

Photo: Flickr / star5112

The formula is simple:
→ 2 parts Silver Tequila
→ 1 part lime juice (fresh lime juice, don’t even bother with that stuff out of a can or plastic lime)
→ 1 part Cointreau or, if you’re cheap and can’t find Cointreau, Triple Sec

The execution offers three paths: blended, up or over. If you want a Margarita Frappe, excuse me, a blended Margarita, then throw all the above ingredients and ice into a blender and hit the button. Cover a plate in salt, run a sliced lime around the rim of your glass (ideally a margarita glass), then upend the glass into the salt so that all parts of the rim touch it simultaneously. Pour blender contents into the glass and Voila! You have an alcoholic smoothie!

If you want a Margarita on the rocks pour the cocktail ingredients into a shaker already full of ice, stir with a cocktail spoon or whatever tool you have handy for 15 seconds.

If you want it up then rim a martini glass with salt as above and strain the Margarita into the glass.

If you want it over, rim a tumbler glass with salt as above, fill with ice and strain the Margarita over the ice.

The Brooklyn 
A more urbane idea is adapting one of the drinks from the New York boroughs or train lines aka the Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Manhasset. That is, treat Tequila like Whiskey. Believe it or not Tequila is extremely versatile, you just have to use one that has seen some wood so a Reposado Tequila is ideal. It’s still vibrant and edgy but has some mellowness from the wood so it combines well with sweet vermouth and bitters.

Here’s a standard recipe that you can rename according to your favorite movie, location, saying, or association
→ 45 ml (1.5 oz) Reposado Tequila
→ 15 ml (.5 oz) Sweet vermouth
→ 15 ml (.5 oz) Cynar, Amer Picon or another bitter liquor. You can substitute a few splashes of angostura bitters if you’re in a pinch.
→ 15 ml (.5 oz) Maraschino cherry liqueur
→ Orange peel for garnish

Pour all ingredients except orange peel in a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir with a cocktail spoon for 15 seconds, strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with orange peel.

The Tequila Old Fashioned 
Then there are the ultra smooth cocktails. Best to keep it smooth and classic, embrace your old fashioned self, pun intended.

→ 1 tablespoon agave syrup or simple syrup
→ 4 dashes angostura bitters
→ 2 dashes orange bitters
→ 60 ml (2 oz) Anejo Tequila
→ Lime peel for garnish

Pour all ingredients except the lime peel into a cocktail shaker over ice. Stir with a cocktail spoon for 15 seconds. Strain into a tumbler glass that already has a few ice cubes. Garnish with lime peel.

Tequila Sunrise 
Source: DreamstimeOh and then there's the Tequila Sunrise which reached its apogee with the Robert Towne film from 1988 and seems to have declined in cultural importance just like Michelle Pfeiffer’s career.

It’s worth rediscovering just so that you can regale your guests with cinematic trivia because, yes, they really did make these big, serious, actor driven movies for about five minutes in the 80’s.

For the record it’s basically a Margarita with orange juice and grenadine:
→ 45 ml (1.5 oz) Blanco Tequila
→ 90 ml (3 oz) orange juice
→ 15 ml (.5 oz) grenadine

Pour Tequila and orange juice into a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Pour grenadine into the glass and let it settle into a layer on the bottom so that it looks kind of like a sunrise over the ocean.
 
When you offer this selection of Tequila cocktails at your party, you can be positive everyone will find one they like. Everyone, that is, except people who refuse your Tequila cocktails because “They had a bad experience with Tequila." Don't worry, we've got you covered: read on for hints on how to make anyone fall in love with Tequila

By Max Garrone

Max Garrone

About the author: Max is cofounder of Mezcalistas, a website and event company that covers the world of Mezcal. When he’s not writing about agave spirits he can be found drinking espresso, sampling the San Francisco dining scene, or helping his clients set their content strategies.

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