The Cantarito: A Refreshing Tequila Cocktail Filled With Citrus

Easy tequila Cantarito cocktail recipe

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
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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 is also a favorite tequila cocktail from Mexico. It gets its name from "cantaritos," which are small clay cups used to serve drinks like this at bars and cafes.

This popular highball adds lemon and orange juice to the paloma mix of tequila, lime, and grapefruit soda. All this extra citrus transforms the drink into one of the most refreshing tequila cocktails around. It's a perfect summer drink, especially when you're lounging around the pool or on the beach with good friends.


  • 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 the glass)
  • Garnish: lemon, lime, or orange wedges
  • Garnish: salt (for rimming)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rim a collins glass with salt if you like, 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!


  • The best cantaritos are made with fresh citrus juices. You will not regret taking the time to squeeze each fruit.
  • For the tequila, blancos are a good choice, though some people enjoy it with the slight aging found in a reposado.
  • There are a few grapefruit sodas out there that will work perfectly here. Jarritos Grapefruit and Squirt are most used often. Do try a cantarito made with Q Grapefruit, though, because the soda was designed specifically for cocktails like this.

Recipe Variations

  • Some cantarito recipes split the orange juice equally with grapefruit juice while sweetening the drink with 1 ounce of agave nectar. You might find this recipe called cantarito de Amatitán. It is named after the municipality which is home to the Tequila Herradura distillery in the state of Jalisco, where the majority of tequila is produced.
  • Other cantarito recipes simply skip the grapefruit soda.
  • If you do want some carbonation but don't have grapefruit soda in stock, any other light soda (e.g., club soda or lemon-lime soda) will make a nice drink.
  • The cantarito is a fabulous candidate for a big-batch cocktail. You can mix the tequila and juices up in a pitcher, store it in the refrigerator, then top your glass with soda when you're ready for a drink.

How Strong Is a Cantarito?

Trying to estimate the alcohol content of mixed drinks that are topped with soda is a challenge. If you pour an 80-proof tequila and have a total drink volume of 7 ounces, the cantarito will be around 9 percent ABV (18 proof). Pouring more or less soda will affect that. However, it does make a very casual drink that is just a little milder than the average glass of wine. Go ahead, enjoy a couple for happy hour!