Tequila Shot Recipe

Tequila shots in shot glasses with lime wedges and salt on a small plate

The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 shot
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
116 Calories
0g Fat
7g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 116
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 316mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*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.)

To properly take a shot of tequila (or tequila cruda), you need salt, lime, and tequila, all carried out in a specific order. The mantra to remember is "lick, shoot, suck": Lick the salt off of your hand first, drink the shot swiftly, and finish by sucking on a wedge of lime.

This method is a hit at parties and with tourists in Mexico, but it does contradict what tequila connoisseurs recommend—that you should savor the taste and aroma slowly when drinking straight tequila, particularly the good stuff. However, enjoying a tequila shot this way adds a bit of fun to a gathering and can help temper the astringency of the alcohol.


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"Taking a shot is a polarizing endeavor. As a bartender, my obligation to customers when asked for tequila shots was to retort “Training wheels?” Training wheels referred to the salt and lime garnish attached to a tequila shot. The salt mellows the harshness of the tequila, and the lime cuts the bite of the salt." —Sean Johnson

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Pinch kosher salt, or sea salt

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila

  • Lime wedge, or lemon wedge

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Moisten the back of your hand between thumb and index finger (usually by licking) and pour on a pinch of salt.

  3. Lick salt off your hand. The salt lessens the burn of the tequila.

  4. Immediately drink shot glass of tequila quickly.

  5. Immediately bite into and ​suck on lime or lemon wedge. The sour fruit balances and enhances the flavor of the tequila.


  • Whichever tequila you choose, it is best to avoid the cheaper brands as they almost certainly bring on hangovers. That said, no premium tequila will save you from a nasty morning if you have too many shots. However, this method may not be worth using a premium tequila that is ideally sipped slowly as you would a scotch.
  • The popular tequila of choice for tequila shots has long been gold tequila, though that is quickly changing. Consider pouring a good blanco tequila into your shot glass, as it is typically much smoother. If you want to kick it up a notch, go with an aged reposado tequila or opt for a smoky mezcal.

Recipe Variations

  • Add more variety to your tequila shots by rimming the shot glass. Plain or colored sugar are fun options, as is a 50-50 mix of cinnamon and sugar. Of course, you can always go with margarita salt.
  • If you're bored with the standard straight shot of tequila, try a shooter instead. Some fantastic shot recipes made with tequila include ingredients like pineapple juice, triple sec, Tabasco sauce, and espresso.

How Strong Is a Shot of Tequila?

Tequila is typically 35 to 50 percent ABV, or 76 to 100 proof. A standard tequila shot is 1.5 ounces and, since the only ingredient (other than a dash of salt and a squirt of lime) is tequila, your drink will be 75 to 100 proof. While shots are small and fun and easy to drink, be careful. They can quickly lead to extreme drunkenness or alcohol poisoning if you're not careful. It's wise to stick with one of these shots a night and enjoy a lighter drink before and after.

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