You guys: Today’s National Tequila Day. Let us be first to say that, yes, we realize the sheer absurdity of finding ways to celebrate every
marketing ploy “national” day under the sun, but, well, it’s tequila. Deal with it.
The day couldn’t come at a better time—a summer Friday—so instead of opting for that sugary margarita (snooze) or a shot of Cuervo (amateur), why not whip up some seriously impressive tequila-based cocktails at home? Yes people, tequila can be swanky.
After speaking to mixologists and tequila aficionados across the country, we’ve highlighted the 12 boozy concoctions worthy of National Tequila Day drinking (and Instagramming—these drinks are gorgeous). Click through the gallery now–and someone hand a medal to whomever put this day on the calendar.
Pitaya-Rita by Colt Cannon from Pitaya Plus
Ingredients: 3 oz silver tequila, 2 oz Pitaya cubes or 1/3 smoothie pack, splash of orange juice.
Directions: Shake all ingredients well and pour liquid over ice. Garnish with lime wedge.
Mixologist tip: The frozen fruit cubes keep this cocktail extra-cold, and won't dilute the drink like ice cubes would.
Ocean Front by Robert Ferrara from Lure
Ingredients: Avion Silver, fresh pineapple, cilantro, lime, Chesapeake Bay Bitters, Cel-Ray soda, cracked black pepper
How: Shake all ingredients, strain into a glass, and then top with Cel-Ray soda.
Mixologist tip: Garnish with a piece of pineapple.
A Summer Sap by Erin Barnicle from Tempo
Ingredients: 2 oz tequila, 2 oz drinkMAPLE maple water, 1 oz pomegranate juice, squeeze of fresh lemon and lime juice.
How: Fill a short glass with crushed ice. Shake tequila, maple water and pomegranate juice to combine, then pour over ice. Add squeeze of lemon and lime and garnish with mint.
Mixologist tip: The maple water adds a light and refreshing subtle sweetness, offsetting the tartness of the pomegranate and lemon/lime juice. If you haven't tried using maple water as a mixer yet, give it a shot--its mild flavor makes it the perfect canvas for a summertime cocktail.
The Paradise South by Katie Bruce from Northern Territory
Ingredients: 1.5oz Milagro Silver, 1oz Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, 1 oz passion fruit purée, 3/4 oz simple syrup, 1-2 egg whites.
How: Dry shake the egg whites in a shaker first for about five seconds. Add ice and other ingredients, shake vigorously until cold. Strain up into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish by cutting a slit in the bottom of a raspberry and sitting on the side of the glass.
Mixologist tip: When you strain the drink into the glass, make sure the strainer isn't too tight on the shaker or else it will block the egg whites.
Signature Pineapple Spice by Rob Floyd at Corsair by Scott Conant
Ingredients: Pineapple (2-3 small pieces), jalapeno (1 thin slice), 3-4 oz fresh lemon juice, 3-4 oz simply syrup, 2 oz tequila blanco, 3-5 blueberries, ground pepper to taste.
How: Muddle pineapple with a thin slice of jalapeno, add lemon juice, simple syrup, tequila, ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice then add fresh blueberries and top with fresh ground black pepper.
Mixologist tip: Two twists of a pepper mill is the perfect finish.
Glowing Margagreena by Annie Lawless from Suja Juice
Ingredients: 2 oz Suja Classic Glow, 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice, 2 oz tequila, ice, crunchy sea salt for rim of glass (optional), lime wedge.
Directions: Mix Glow and orange juice. Combine with tequila and ice in cocktail shaker, shake thoroughly until mixed. Wet rim of glass and dip in sea salt, if desired. Garnish with lime wedge.
Mixologist tip: This upgraded margarita combines flavors of apple, cucumber, mint and spearmint for an added herbal complexity.
La Borracha by Louis Fata from Abajo NYC
Ingredients: .25 oz green chartreuse, .25 oz fresh lime, 1 oz strawberry peppercorn shrub, 1.5 oz basil infused Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver (SBR), 2 oz ginger beer.
How: Build all except ginger beer in shaker. Shake hard, double strain, and serve in collins glass with long ice cube. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fresh basil.
Mixologists tip: When making the shrub, it is best to let sit in the fridge for about a week before fine straining. This gives it the opportunity to let the flavors of the vinegar, sugar, strawberries and peppercorns combine.
Off the Clock by Andrew Meltzer at 15 Romolo
Ingredients: 0.25 oz egg white, 0.5 oz rich ginger syrup, 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice, 0.5oz Pur Pear liqueur, 1.5 oz Arette Reposado tequila, seltzer water.
How: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass or tin and shake without ice to emulsify ingredients. Add ice and shake well to chill and dilute. Strain into a 10oz tall collins glass and add approximately 2 oz cold seltzer water.
Mixologist tip: Fill the glass with ice and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Photo: Balthazar Digital Media
Border Frappe by Esteban Ordóñez from International Cocktail Group
Ingredients: 2 oz tequila avión silver, 3/4 oz lime juice, 1 tbsp. black currant jam, blackberry and lime wheel for garnish.
How: Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker and shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain into a collins or highball glass.
Mixologist tip: For great presentation, garnish with a blackberry and a lime wheel.
What's Your Favorite John Huges Movie by Brian Bartels at Bar Sardine
Ingredients: 1 oz. blanco tequila, 1 oz dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc), 2 oz grapefruit juice.
How: Shake all of the ingredients together, strain into a martini glass, and if it's hot, serve on the rocks.
Mixologist tip: When making cocktails, always have a paring knife and serrated knife handy. The serrated knife is a must for cutting citrus peels, wheels and wedges, and paring knives are essential for trimming garnishes.
Pineapple Express by William Rivas from Macchialina Taverna Rustica
Ingredients:1.4 oz jalapeno-infused avion blanco tequila, 3-4 oz fresh pineapple juice, 1-2 oz fresh lime juice, 1-2 oz simple syrup.
How: Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake and strain over ice into rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
Mixologist tip: Add the tequila and one jalapeno into a jar to infuse for 24 hours. Check the tequila throughout the day to make sure it doesn’t get to spicy.
Screaming Rita b yJennifer Soranno at Bourbon Steak
Ingredients: 1 oz Siete Leguas tequila, 1 oz Ancho Reyes, 3-4 oz fresh lime juice, 1-2 oz fresh agave, mint leaf to garnish.
How: Place all ingredients into a shaker, strain over ice into glass.
Mixologist extra tip: Salt the rim of the glass first.