Tequila has a reputation as a party alcohol: It’s the one you reach for on vacation or for a weekend margarita. But these cocktail recipes show tequila in a different, more sophisticated light. Try them out and find your new go-to cocktail for entertaining…or just for a Thursday night at home.
Since the name is a play on the famous book, we consider drinking this cocktail kind of like getting our (drinking) education. With just four ingredients, it’s easy to make but the addition of crème de menthe takes tequila in a new direction. Vividly green in color, it’s just the sort of interesting cocktail we like to serve at a party. Get our Tequila Mockingbird recipe.
2. Big Spender
Hey, big spender, we can’t get enough of you. This gorgeous bubbly cocktail gets its sparkle from Champagne. The flavor profile might sound too complicated, but give it a chance. Unexpected spirits, like Clément Créole Shrubb liqueur (a spiced rum blend), mingle together to create a bold and bright drink. Get our Big Spender recipe.
We aren’t entirely sure why this drink is called “new shoes” in Spanish, but you’ll be so busy sipping that you won’t even think about it. Basil, lime juice, and cubes of fresh watermelon make this one of the most refreshing tequila cocktails we’ve ever had. Ideal for summer and spring, it’s an easily batch-able drink to make for a crowd. Get our Zapatos Nuevos recipe.
Tequila isn’t just for cold summer drinks. Here, we shake it up with heavy cream and sweet crème de cacao. A dash of cinnamon and a touch of grenadine transform the drink into a festive winter indulgence that is high on our list for holiday parties. Get our Silk Stockings recipe.
5. La Pinela
Spicy and sweet, this tequila cocktail gets its kick from Licor 43, a spiced Spanish liqueur with hints of vanilla. The sweetness is far from one note: Pineapple juice adds natural sugar and homemade cinnamon syrup layers on a little more. Make extra cinnamon syrup to use in fall cocktails and desserts; we promise it won’t go to waste. Get our La Pinela recipe.
6. Mexican 75
France can keep their French 75 cocktails. Instead, discover a new twist on the classic drink. This recipe swaps gin for tequila and keeps the lime, simple syrup, and sparkling wine. It’s sweet, effervescent, and gets you tipsy. What’s not to like? Get our Mexican 75 recipe.
Spice up your tequila with a hit of tamarind-chile syrup. This sweet infused simple syrup is the perfect way to showcase tamarind, a slightly sour fruit that is often found in Indian and Mexican cuisine. Tequila is an excellent foil for the bold flavor of the tamarind and the heat of the chile. Get our Tamarindo Borracho recipe.
Header image: Zapatos Nuevos from Chowhound
Posie Harwood is a New York City-based writer and photographer. She grew up on a farm and likes raw milk, warm bread with butter, and plenty of fresh air. Follow her on Instagram, and her blog 600 Acres.