Top 9 Tequila Cocktails to Try

There are many tequila cocktails, but only a handful make this must-try list. If your tequila experience has been limited to shots of gold tequila with a lime and salt, check out this list to expand your horizons.

The beauty of tequila is that the agave flavor brings an earthy, sweet element to drinks that no other liquor can. It is interesting to see how that flavor reacts with a variety of mixers.

  • 01 of 09
    Claire Cohen

    It goes without saying that the margarita is the most widely known tequila cocktail. This cocktail is not only delicious as it was originally intended but has had thousands of variations derived from it that are fun to explore.

  • 02 of 09
    Tequila with orange garnish, close-up
    Christian Kargl / Getty Images

    The beauty of the tequila sunrise is its extra dimension of flavor. You have the tequila mixed with orange juice for a tart citrus, and then you get the extra fruity sweetness from the grenadine. A beautiful drink that will forever be a favorite.

  • 03 of 09
    paloma cocktail
    alpaksoy/Getty Images

    Tall and refreshing, the Paloma makes a wonderful lazy afternoon tequila mixed drink. Grapefruit juice and lemon-lime soda are ideal pairings for tequila and this drink is simple to throw together for last-minute entertaining.

  • 04 of 09
    juan collins drink
    bhofack2/Getty Images

    Juan Collins makes the list of essential tequila cocktails because it shows off a fine tequila in such a wonderful way. Use reposado tequilas for this variation on the popular Collins drinks (John Collins, Tom Collins) in which lemon, sugar, and club soda allow the spirit to shine through in all its glory.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Tequila martini
    Jeff Kauck/Getty Images

    Of course, tequila has found its way into a martini-like drink in which, rather simply, tequila replaces gin. It's strongly recommended that you use the best blanco tequila you can find because it is the star ingredient and will shine ever-so-bright with the help of the vermouth.

  • 06 of 09
    White Russian
    Laurie Rubin / Getty Images

    A little more on the darker side, the Brave Bull skips all the fruity flavors commonly found in tequila drinks, opting for another great flavor pairing, coffee. Very simply, this is a lowball made of tequila and Kahlua on the rocks. Think of it as a Mexican Black Russian.

  • 07 of 09
    blue pineapple cocktail
    bhofack2/Getty Images

    Want a little blue in your life? This neat tequila drink is ideal and a wonderful taste of tequila, blue curacao, and pineapple. Shaken and served in a cocktail glass, it is also an elegant addition to any affair.

  • 08 of 09
    Bloody maria
    grandriver/Getty Images

    The Bloody Mary is one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time, but have you tried substituting tequila for the vodka? If you enjoy all things spicy you will not go back to the vodka version because the tequila adds a dimension to the classic, tomato-spice mix that is simply the perfect match.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Two Cosmopolitan Cocktail Drinks
    Steve Lupton / Getty Images

    You may have noticed by now that many of these essential tequila cocktails are variations on a drink typically made with another base liquor. In this instance, the Passion Cocktail is based on the Cosmopolitan.