Tequila Cocktails That Aren't Margaritas

Margaritas are great and we love them. A little happy hour situation with chips and guac on the side? A perfect marriage. But if you don't share our joy for tequila, triple sec and lime on the rocks (or frozen, if you get down like that), there are other excellent ways to enjoy Mexico's signature spirit. Expand your horizons with these tequila cocktails that aren't margaritas.

Banco de Mexico

This tequila drink is a crafty take on the traditional mint julep. Instead of bourbon and mint, the Banco de Mexico gets tequila and its smoky sister mezcal. It also gets a little creme de cacao for a hint of both chocolate and vanilla. Talk about a variety of flavors!

Click here to see the Banco de Mexico recipe.

Bloody Maria

The bloody maria is a spin on the traditional brunch beverage, the bloody mary. This version masterfully combines tequila with international spices and colorful tomatoes.

Click here to see the Bloody Maria recipe.

Café Olé

The Café Olé combines two of life's greatest nectars: coffee and tequila. It's also really easy to make, with only four ingredients in total (tequila, oat milk, cold brew and hazelnut). We suppose you could probably use whatever milk you want, but oak milk is all the rage right now, so why not?

Click here to see the Café Olé recipe.

Mexican Mule

If you appreciate a good cocktail, you've likely had a Moscow mule with vodka, ginger beer and lime in a shiny copper mug. Try it with tequila instead and you've got yourself a Mexican mule.

Click here to see the Mexican Mule recipe.


Corralejo Tequila Tropical

This cocktail is like a tropical snow cone for adults. The tequila is complemented by pineapple and lime juices, plus some simple syrup (sugar) and bitters for balance.

Click here to see the Corralejo Tequila Tropical recipe.

Mexican Heat

With blood orange, tequila and chile, this cocktail is like an intense tequila sunrise, without the grenadine.

Click here to see the Mexican Heat recipe.

Cinco de Derby

It's all in a name, and as "Cinco de Derby" suggests, this cocktail was created with Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby in mind. The recipe — by Instagram-famous Apartment Bartender Elliott Clark — includes and unlikely combination of Champagne and tequila, plus blackberry, cinnamon and lime.

Click here to see the Cinco de Derby recipe.

Playa Colada

If you're looking for something creamy with a little kick, your search ends here. The Playa Colada is a twist on the piña colada, but instead of using rum it features tequila and a few other juices beyond pineapple.

Click here to see the Playa Colada recipe.

Smoky Paloma

It seems that every modern-style bar in the country today has at least a couple of mezcal-based cocktails on their menu. This is a variation on the grapefruit-based paloma, which is typically made with tequila. The mezcal makes it a touch smokier.

Click here to see the Smoky Paloma recipe.

Tequila or High Water

This boozy beverage features just four simple ingredients: tequila and Champagne cut with lime juice and simple syrup. Tequila or High Water is a play on "Hell or High Water," a film starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges.

Tequila Smash

It's time to upgrade your tequila soda. This recipe uses blackberries to give the drink nice flavor and color, and sage leaves to elevate everything to the next level. Plus, when has a lemon-lime soda ever let you down?

Click here to see the Tequila Smash recipe.

Tequila Sunrise

If you drink tequila on the regular, you're likely familiar with the tequila sunrise. It's a classic, truly. You can't go wrong with orange, lime and cranberry (or tequila, for that matter). It's fruity and refreshing. Now we just need a beach.

Click here to see the Tequila Sunrise recipe.

Watermelon Basil Punch

This recipe combines tequila with some of the best flavors of summer: watermelon, basil and lemon. It's pretty and refreshing, and it's perfect for sipping with a group of friends on a warm days.

Click here to see the Watermelon Basil Punch recipe.

Wealth in Division

This handcrafted drink was created by Al Sotack, a bartender at Jupiter Disco in Brooklyn, New York. He says: "Wealth in Division gives a tribute to the adorned agave spirits of Mexico. This cocktail is bright, elegant and complex with a touch of heat."

Click here to see the Wealth in Division recipe.

A Good Old-Fashioned Shot

Put some hair on your chest before you head to the bar or end the night with a little salt and lime. This no-frills option will certainly get you drunk and help you lose weight, according to science. Separate studies show that taking a shot of tequila could help lower your cholesterol and aid digestion. It's also gluten free! So if you have a sensitivity, you're good. The best part of all? You can get one at each and every one of the 150 best bars in America.

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