Food & Drink

35 Tequila Drinks More Exciting Than A Margarita

There's nothing wrong with simple, but if lime and triple sec are your only tequila sidekicks, you're missing out.
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Don't get us wrong—we still love a margarita, but there's no reason for your tequila journey to end at the salt rim. These flavorful recipes are guaranteed to expand your agave horizons.

1. Oaxacan Old Fashioned


Recipe

1.5 oz Corralejo Reposado Tequila
.5 VIDA Mezcal
1 bar spoon agave nectar
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Bittermens Xocaloctl Bitters

Directions:

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain over a large format ice cube in a rocks glass. Garnish with a long peel of an orange and its oils.

–Courtesy of The Bar Room in New York City

BUY NOW from $19.98Corralejo Reposado.

2. It's Greek To Me


Recipe

4 slices ginger
1 oz Maestro Dobel Tequila
.5 oz Mavrakis Tsipouro
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz Chambord
.5 oz agave
1 dash Angostura bitters

Directions:

Muddle ginger into the bottom of a shaker. Combine all other ingredients in shaker over ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with sage.

–Courtesy Avra Madison in New York City

3. Rosemary Margarita


Recipe

2 oz Herradura Blanco
1 oz Rosemary-infused simple syrup*
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz store-bought pear puree
Splash club soda

Directions:

Add all ingredients (except club soda) to a cocktail shaker and shake to combine. Pour into Collins glass, served on the rocks. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

*Rosemary Syrup: Bring to boil over medium heat 1 cup
granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and 6 fresh rosemary sprigs. Simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.

–Courtesy of Drew Sweeney of Bodega Negra in New York City

4. 21st Century


Recipe

2 oz Maestro Dobel Blanco Tequila
.75 oz Brizard White Creme de Cacao
.75 oz lemon juice
1 bar spoon agave

Directions:

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled, absinthe-rinsed coupe glass. Garnish with a floating lemon wheel.

–Courtesy of Fowler & Wells in New York City

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5. Manhattan Goes Hollywood


Recipe

3 oz Casamigos Anejo Tequila
.75 tsp maple syrup
4 dashes Orange Bitters

Directions:

Add all ingredients to mixing glass, add large ice, and stir thoroughly. Taste for balance and single strain into a rocks glass. Garnish and serve.

– Courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian's Point Royal at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida

BUY NOW from $39.99, Casamigos Anejo.

6. El Gavilan


Recipe

2 oz Tres Agaves Reposado
.5 oz grapefruit juice
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Top with Mexican grapefruit soda (such as Squirt or Jarritos)

Directions:

Add all ingredients except soda in the shaker; add ice, shake and strain over ice. Top off with Mexican soda and garnish with lime wheel.

–Courtesy Alex Valencia of La Contenta in New York City

7. The Magui Cactus


Recipe

5 mint leaves 
1 oz lime juice 
1 oz Xtanbentum (an anise liqueur made in Mexico's Yucatan region)
1 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz white tequila
2 oz cactus puree

Directions:

Shake all ingredients and serve in a rocks glass whose edge is half salted and garnished with mint leaves.

–Courtesy the Andaz Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

8. The Mystic Marvel


Recipe

1.5 oz Casamigos Tequila
1 oz prickly pear purée
.75 oz agave
.75 oz lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a salt rim and lime.

–Courtesy Fishbowl at Dream Midtown in New York City

9. Blue-cumber Lime Margarita


Recipe

1.5 oz Blue Nectar Silver
3-4 slices of cucumber
.75 oz Cointreau
1.5 oz lime juice
1.5 oz lime simple syrup*

Directions:

Muddle cucumber with Blue Nectar Tequila. Add remaining ingredients and shake over ice. Strain into rocks glass. Garnish with cucumber slice.

*For Lime Syrup

Combine 2 cups of water, 1.5 cups of sugar, and zest of 1 lime in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool until ready for use.

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–Courtesy Jeremy Seaver of Tio's Mexican Cafe in Ann Arbor, Michigan

10. Blood Orange Margarita


Recipe

1.5 oz Silver Tequila
.5 oz Cointreau
.5 blood orange juice
.75 oz simple syrup
1 oz lime juice

Directions:

Fill a mixing tin with ice. Add all ingredients and shake vigorously. Empty shaker contents into a rocks glass with a salted rim. Garnish with a blood orange slice.

–Courtesy Scott Allen of Copper Lounge at the Intercontinental Los Angeles

11. La Rosita


Recipe

1.5 oz Corralejo Reposado Tequila
.5 oz Campari
.5 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
.5 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Directions:

Build in a double rocks glass over ice. Briefly stir to mix. Garnish with a lemon peel and its oils.

–Courtesy Fowler & Wells in New York City

12. The Mayan Chayita


Recipe

4 Chaya leaves (or approximately 1 tsp of chaya powder)
8 mint leaves 
1 oz lime juice 
1 oz orange juice
1.5 oz simple syrup
2 oz white tequila

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until smooth and serve in a festive glass.

–Courtesy of the Andaz Mayakoba 

13. The Marble Queen


Recipe

1.5 oz Milagro Tequila
1 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut
.5 lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and shake over ice. Serve with a salted or spiced rim.

–Courtesy of Fishbowl at Dream Midtown in New York City

Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

BUY NOW from $2.59Coco Lopez cream of coconut.

14. Casa Ginger Mint Paloma


Recipe

2 oz Casamigos Reposado
1.5 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz sugarcane Syrup
.5 oz ginger syrup
8-10 mint leaves

Directions:

Muddle herbs. Combine all ingredients into tin shaker. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 8–10 seconds. Fine strain into highball glass. Add fresh ice. Garnish with grapefruit wheel and mint sprig.

BUY NOW from $31.99Casamigos Reposado. 

15. El Agresor


Recipe

1 El Tesoro
.5 oz lemon juice
1 oz fresh apple juice
.5 oz simple syrup

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Directions

Combine all ingredients and serve in a Champagne glass with a lemon twist.

–Courtesy of the Dorsey at the Venetian in Las Vegas

16. Tequila's New Fashion


Recipe

2 oz Casamigos Añejo
.5 oz simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
2 dashes banana bitters

Directions:

Add all ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into bucket glass over single ice block. Garnish with a bruleed plantain.

–Courtesy of Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach, California

17. Paloma Cartuja


Recipe

1.5 oz blanco tequila
.75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
.25 oz cinnamon syrup
1.5 oz fresh grapefruit juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz soda water

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for the soda in a shaker and shake briefly with ice. Fine strain into empty collins glass. Add the soda. Fill with cubed ice. Garnish with grapefruit peel.

–Courtesy China Poblano in Las Vegas

18. Jalisco Express


Recipe

2 oz Tres Agaves Blanco
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz Tres Agaves Agave Syrup
1 slice of jalapeno (no seeds)
2 cucumber slices
6-8 small basil leaves

Directions:

Place basil, jalapeno, and cucumber slices in shaker; add agave syrup and muddle. Add in rest of the ingredients and ice. Shake, double strain and serve over ice in lowball glass; garnish with a Tajin rim.

–Courtesy Alex Valencia of La Contenta in New York City

19. Pacific Tea


Recipe

3 oz jasmine pearl green tea
1.5 oz reposado tequila
1 oz Chinese 5-spice syrup
.25 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz Negro Modelo beer

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a mixing tin. Fill glass with large cubed ice. Pour contents of mixing tin over ice. Garnish with an expressed orange peel.

–Courtesy China Poblano in Las Vegas

20. Mamasita


Recipe

1.5 oz Pineapple and Chipotle infused Tequila*
.5 oz of Cimarron Blanco Tequila
.75 lime juice
.5 oz strawberry syrup**
4 Dashes of Angostura bitters

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a shaker over ice and shake. Strain into a coupe glass.

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*For pineapple chipotle tequila: Combine 2 bottles of tequila with 1 peeled and diced pineapple. Let sit for two days, then add 4 dry chipotle peppers, sliced open. Let sit one more day.

**For strawberry syrup: Combine and stir 1 liter of strawberry juice with 5.5 cups of sugar until sugar dissolves and syrup forms.

–Courtesy Xavier Herit of NoMo Kitchen at the NoMo SoHo Hotel in New York City

BUY NOW from $16.99, vintage etched coupe glasses.

21. Té Verde Margarita


Recipe

1.25 oz Montelobos Mezcal
.75 oz Ancho Reyes Verde
.75 oz strong green tea
1 oz fresh lime juice
5 mint leaves
Simple syrup to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake and serve, garnished with a mint sprig and lime wheel.

22. Ghost Margarita


Recipe

2 oz Avion Silver Tequila
.5 oz Grand Marnier
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz Ghost Chili Simple Syrup*

Directions:

Add all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker, shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass that has a chili salt rim. Serve with a lime wheel and enjoy.

*Ghost Chili Simple Syrup: Take 1 cup of water and 1 cup of brown demerara with one dried ghost chili pepper, bring to a boil and let cool.

–Courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in New York City

23. Mourning Doves


Recipe

1.5 oz El Jimador Reposado
.5 oz Amaro di Angostura
.5 oz maple syrup
.5 oz grapefruit juice
.75 oz lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup

Directions:

Mix all ingredients and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

–Courtesy Pinewood in Nashville

24. Mr. Agave & Ms. Tuna


Recipe

2 oz Tres Agaves Blanco
6 drops of tequila-infused with Habanero
¾ parts lime juice
½ part prickly pear puree (such as Boiron)
¾ parts Tres Agaves Agave Syrup

Directions:

Add all ingredients in the shaker; add ice, shake and strain in coupe or martini glass.

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–Courtesy Alex Valencia of La Contenta in New York City

BUY NOW $54.95, monogrammed martini glass set of 2.

25. Smoking Rose Paloma


Recipe

5 oz Q Drinks Grapefruit Soda
2 oz Montelobos mezcal
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz rose syrup

Directions:

Add all liquid ingredients except soda into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into the glass. Top with the soda and stir. Garnish with grapefruit slice and rose petals.

–Courtesy Ashley Conway

26. Hot to Trot


Recipe

2 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz agave nectar
3 slices cucumber
1-2 slices jalapeño

Directions:

Muddle cucumber and jalapeno. Combine all ingredients over rocks and stir. Garnish with additional cucumber and jalapeño.

–Courtesy PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown in New York City

27. Smokey Arroyo


Recipe

1.5 oz Sombra Mezcal
1 oz grapefruit juice
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz rosemary simple syrup*
Salt (if desired)

Directions:

Combine Sombra, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and rosemary syrup in a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Salt the rim of a rocks glass. Strain cocktail over ice in rocks glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig.

*Rosemary simple syrup: Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Add two sprigs of rosemary and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Allow to chill.

28. Dama Dorada


Recipe

1 oz Amontillado Sherry
.5 oz Mezcal
.5 oz Blanco Tequila
.75 oz lemon juice
.75 oz star anise syrup
1 lemon wedge and wheel
Tajin rim

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Use lemon wedge to rim a collins glass. Strain into the collins glass and top with ice. Rim and garnish with a lemon wheel

–Courtesy Christopher Fleischman of Riel in Houston, Texas

29. Citrus Aisle Party


Recipe

2 oz Montelobobs Mezcal
.75 oz lime juice
.75 oz cinnamon syrup
Pinch of salt
Q Grapefruit to top

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Directions:

Shake all ingredients except soda and strain into a glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with a lime and grapefruit wheel.

–Courtesy Apartment Bartender

30. Tepache Kid


Recipe

2 oz Tres Agaves Añejo
1 oz pineapple puree
1 oz tamarind syrup (tamarind paste mixed with equal parts refined sugar and water)
2 dash angostura bitters

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into the shaker with ice; shake and strain on the rocks and garnish with pineapple wedge.

–Courtesy Alex Valencia of La Contenta in New York City

31. Strawberry Kiwi Margarita


Recipe

2 oz Blue Nectar Silver
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz agave nectar
.25 oz strawberry liqueur
2 strawberries
Half of one kiwi, peeled

Directions:

Muddle kiwi and strawberry together and combine all ingredients. Shake and strain, garnish with a strawberry and kiwi slice.

–Courtesy Rocco's Tacos in Florida and New York

BUY NOW from $24.98, Blue Nectar Silver Tequila.

32. Smokin' Margarita


Recipe

2 oz Avion Blanco
.5 oz Buenbicho Mezcal
.75 oz Lime juice
.5 oz Agave nectar

Directions:

Combine all ingredients over ice, shake, and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass that has been rimmed with salt.

–Courtesy Percy Rodriguez of the Vine in New York City

33. Vampiro


Recipe

1.5 oz Tres Agaves Tequila Reposado
5 oz Sangrita*
.5 oz lime juice
Balance with grapefruit soda (Squirt or Jarritos)

Directions:

Pour tequila into serving glass, then add the sangrita mix and top off with grapefruit soda; stir ingredients together and garnish with grapefruit wheel.

*Sangrita: Blend together a pinch of salt, hot sauce, juice from one orange, juice from four limes, juice from two grapefruits, a pinch of black pepper.

–Courtesy Alex Valencia of La Contenta in New York City

34. Something Wicked


Recipe

.75 oz Sangrita Mix*
.75 oz lime juice
1.5 oz pineapple juice
2 oz Mezcal
Smoked Salt
1 Lime

Directions:

Line the rim of a glass with smoked salt by first coating with lime and rolling in salt. Pour all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake before straining into a glass with ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

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*Sangrita: Blend half of a pineapple, 1 cucumber, 1 pint of blackberries, 5 ancho chilies, 1.5 cup lime juice, 1 cup orange juice, .5 cup pomegranate juice, and 1.5 cup sugar and strain. 
Refrigerate and store for up to 2 weeks.

–Courtesy Tapestry in New York City

35. Chai Mezcalita


Recipe

Salt, pinch
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz Chai Syrup*
1.25 oz Banhez Mezcal
.75 oz Libelula Joven Tequila (or silver tequila of choice)
2 whole star anise for garnish

Directions:

Add all measured ingredients. Fill shaker with ice. Shake very well. Fill rocks glass with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with anise to serve.

*Chai syrup: Combine 1 quart water, 1 Tbsp whole allspice berries, .5 Tbsp whole cloves, 8 whole star anise, 3 inches fresh ginger rough chopped, 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns, .5 Tbsp whole cardamom, 8 cinnamon sticks, and .5 Tbsp vanilla extract in a pot and boil. Then allow to simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat, add 6 black tea bags and steep for 15 minutes. Add .75 quart sugar. Can refrigerate for up to 6 weeks.

–Courtesy Gretchen Thomas of Bartaco restaurants

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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