Cantarito Tequila Cocktail

Easy Cantarito Tequila Cocktail

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktial (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
156 Calories
1g Fat
12g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 cocktial (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 679mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 25g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*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 cafes 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.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 4 ounces ​grapefruit soda (or enough to fill)
  • Garnish: lemon, lime, or orange wedge
  • Garnish: salt (for rimming)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

  4. Top it off with grapefruit soda.

  5. Garnish with a wedge of citrus fruit.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • 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 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!