Cantarito Tequila Cocktail

Cantarito Tequila Cocktail recipe, cocktail in a glass with orange and lime slices

The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
382 Calories
3g Fat
85g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 382
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 85g 31%
Dietary Fiber 19g 68%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 371mg 1,854%
Calcium 182mg 14%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 1003mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The cantarito is a complex cousin of the paloma, and it's also a favorite tequila cocktail from Mexico. Its name comes from the cantarito (or jarrito de barro), a stout clay cup that's used to serve drinks like this at bars and cafés all over Latin America.

This popular highball adds lemon and orange juice to the paloma's mix of tequila, lime, and grapefruit soda. The extra citrus transforms the drink into one of the most refreshing tequila cocktails around and makes it a perfect summer drink that's super easy to mix up.

One authentic variation of this mixed drink is called a cantarito de Amatitán. It's named after the municipality, which is home to the Tequila Herradura distillery in the state of Jalisco, where the majority of tequila is produced. That version changes the citrus ratio and adds agave nectar. There are other changes you can make to the cantarito as well, and it's fun to taste all the possibilities.

"This recipe shows what the addition of orange and lemon can do to an already succulent combination of agave, grapefruit, and lime. This cocktail is round, full-bodied, and fun. The added ingredients, complexity, and time to make this cocktail just might make it more enjoyable than a Paloma." —Sean Johnson

Cantarito Tequila Cocktail Recipe Test
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Coarse salt, for optional rim

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce orange juice

  • 4 to 6 ounces grapefruit soda, to taste

  • Lemon, lime, or orange wedge, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cantarito Tequila Cocktail ingredients, tequila, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit soda, citrus fruits, salt

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  2. If you like, rim a collins glass with salt after wetting the rim with a citrus wedge.

    wet the rim of a glass with a citrus wedge, orange and lime wedges, plate of salt

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  3. Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and juices.

    Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lemon, orange and lime juices

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  4. Top it off with grapefruit soda.

    Add grapefruit soda to the tequila and juice mixture

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner

  5. Garnish with a wedge of citrus fruit. Serve and enjoy.

    Cantarito Tequila Cocktail in a glass with orange wedges

    The Spruce / Nyssa Tanner


  • The best cantarito is made with fresh citrus juices. You will not regret taking the time to squeeze each fruit.
  • For the tequila, blancos are a good choice. Some people enjoy it with the slight aging found in a reposado.
  • There are a number of grapefruit sodas available; Jarritos, Squirt, and Fresca are commonly poured into a cantarito and rather easy to find. Specialty sodas, like those from Hansen's, Izze, and Q Drinks, are excellent choices as well.

Recipe Variations

  • To make the cantarito de Amatitán, shake 2 ounces of tequila, 1 ounce of agave nectar, 1/2 ounce each of lemon and lime juices, and 1/4 ounce each of grapefruit and orange juices with ice. Toss a dash of sea salt into a tall glass and pour everything from the shaker into it. Top it off with grapefruit soda and garnish with an orange wedge.
  • No grapefruit soda? Pour about 1/2 ounce of grapefruit juice, then top the drink with any light soda (e.g., club soda or lemon-lime soda).
  • The cantarito is a fabulous candidate for a big-batch cocktail. Mix the tequila and juices up in a pitcher, store it in the refrigerator, then top the glasses with soda when you're ready for a drink.

How Strong Is a Cantarito?

Estimating the alcohol content of soda-topped mixed drinks is never precise. Pouring an 80-proof tequila with a total drink volume of 7 ounces results in a cantarito around 9 percent ABV (18 proof). Whether you pour more or less soda, it's almost always a very casual drink and similar to a glass of wine. Go ahead, enjoy a couple for happy hour.