11 Tequila Cocktails That Go Beyond the Margarita

watermelon tequila cocktail recipe

Tequila has a reputation as a party alcohol: It’s the one you reach for on vacation or for a weekend margarita. (And we love them, especially with a twist; see our Cucumber Margarita recipe or our Watermelon Margarita recipe for just two tasty examples.) But these tequila cocktail recipes show the Mexican spirit in a different, and dare we say, more sophisticated light. Try them out and find your new go-to cocktail for entertaining…or just for a Thursday night at home.

1. Tequila Negroni

Tequila Negroni recipe


Spaghetti tacos aren’t the only Mexican-Italian fusion we’re into. We also like swapping out the usual gin for blanco tequila in a classic negroni cocktail once in a while. Get our Tequila Negroni recipe.

2. Copa Verde

Copa Verde avocado cocktail


This clever cocktail incorporates avocados and thyme for a savory twist on your typical tequila drink, with a nice bit of body from the creamy fruit. Get our Copa Verde recipe.

3. Big Spender

Big Spender tequila cocktail recipe


Hey, big spender, we can’t get enough of you. This gorgeous bubbly cocktail gets its sparkle from Champagne (or Cava). 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.

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4. Zapatos Nuevos

watermelon tequila cocktail 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.

5. Silk Stockings

Creamy Tequila cocktail 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. Not that you can’t enjoy it in summer too; think of it as a lighter, boozier milkshake and it makes sense. Get our Silk Stockings recipe.

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6. La Pinela

La Pinela pineapple cocktail


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.

7. Mexican 75

Mexican 75 (French 75 with tequila) recipe


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.

8. Tamarindo Borracho

Tamarind Tequila Cocktail 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.

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9. Coupe de Ville

beer margarita recipe


This kinda sorta counts as Grand Marnier-enhanced margarita, but it gets a fizzy lift from lager, and is great for big batches (whether you’re hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or watching a game with friends). Get our Coupe de Ville recipe.

10. Extra-Spicy Bloody Maria

extra spicy Bloody Maria cocktail


Tequila can be for brunch too—try this spicy tequila twist on a Bloody Mary with your next breakfast burrito or plate of huevos rancheros. Get our Extra-Spicy Bloody Maria recipe.

11. Tequila Mockingbird

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.