Top 15 Tequila Cocktails to Try

Explore the range of drink possibilities tequila offers

Tequila cocktails are diverse and a lot of fun to explore. You can mix up the original margarita or enjoy it in a variety of flavors, from strawberry to tamarind. There are also tall, refreshing mixed drinks, slow-sipping versions of famous whiskey and vodka cocktails, and tantalizing spicy cocktails. With each recipe, you get an entirely new experience.

The beauty of tequila is that its agave flavor brings an earthy, sweet element to drinks. It's a flavor you won't find in any other distilled spirit, and it's fascinating to discover how that reacts with a variety of mixers. Kick off your tequila adventure with a few essential cocktails that display the spirit's versatility.

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  • 01 of 15

    The Margarita

    Margarita

    The Spruce Eats / Claire Cohen

    The margarita is the most widely known tequila cocktail. The original lime version is incredibly easy to mix up from scratch. It requires just three ingredients, and the fresh citrus flavor is captivating. Once you get a taste of an authentic margarita, there are many other margaritas to explore.

  • 02 of 15

    Tequila Sunrise

    Tequila Sunrise

    The Spruce Eats

    Another iconic cocktail in the world of tequila is the beautiful tequila sunrise. This simple mixed drink includes tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. Not only does the grenadine create a sunrise in your glass, but it also adds a fruity sweetness to contrast the tart citrus. With tequila hanging out in the background, it's easy to see why this will forever be a favorite.

  • 03 of 15

    The Paloma

    Paloma Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats

    The paloma may be one of the most underrated tequila cocktails around. For this recipe, you'll choose your favorite tequila, add a little lime juice, then top it off with grapefruit soda. The simplicity does not do justice to the taste, and it's one of the best ways to experience the perfect pairing of tequila and grapefruit.

  • 04 of 15

    Juan Collins

    Juan Collins Tequila Mixed Drink Recipe
    Brian Macdonald / Getty Images

    Tequila makes an appearance in the collins drink family as well. While gin, whiskey, and vodka have long been the stars of this famous formula, a shot of tequila gives it new life. In the Juan Collins, you'll pour lemon juice and agave nectar, then finish it off with club soda. These semi-transparent flavors allow a good tequila to shine in all its glory.

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  • 05 of 15

    The Tequini

    Tequila Martini (Tequini) With a Lemon Twist

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    With all the martinis in the world, it should not be a surprise that tequila has found its way into the mix. The tequini replaces gin with tequila, and it's a fascinating way to switch up a routine. The key to this drink is to start with the best blanco tequila you can find. Pair that with quality vermouth, and you have a dry cocktail with a shining personality.

  • 06 of 15

    Brave Bull

    Brave Bull Tequila Cocktail

    Ekaterina Molchanova / Getty Images

    Fans of the vodka-based black Russian will surely want to get a taste of the brave bull. Tequila's agave flavor adds a new dimension to the mixed drink, and the recipe shows off another fabulous tequila pairing: coffee. In this lowball, all you need is a little Kahlua (or your favorite coffee liqueur) for a fun twist on a happy hour staple.

  • 07 of 15

    Envy Cocktail

    Elegant Envy Cocktail Tequila Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Blue and green cocktails are alluring. Throw tequila into the mix, and you know it's time to get the party started! One of the best in this category is the stunning envy cocktail. This fancy little cocktail is filled with tropical fruits, shaking tequila with blue curaçao and pineapple juice. When served in a cocktail glass, the turquoise drink works just as well for elegant affairs as it does for casual parties.

  • 08 of 15

    Bloody Maria

    Easy Bloody Maria Tequila Cocktail Recipe

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    The bloody Mary is one of the most popular mixed drinks of all time. Have you tried substituting tequila for the vodka? The bloody Maria recipe has everything that makes the original great, including savory tomato juice and all the classic spices customized to your taste. However, with tequila's agave flavor in the background, this brunch cocktail is even more exciting.

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  • 09 of 15

    The Passion Cocktail

    Passion Cocktail
    Getty Images/Leslie Thomson

    The passion cocktail is an excellent choice when you're in the mood for the sweet taste of cranberry. Just like the cosmopolitan, you'll need cranberry and lime juices along with an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier. It's simple, lovely, and perfect for a romantic dinner, and this recipe makes two drinks. You might even find you prefer tequila over the vodka version.

  • 10 of 15

    Sangrita

    Sangrita Tequila Shot

    The Spruce Eats 

    Many shots and shooters use tequila, but few can rival the taste of the sangrita. This two-part shot is a taste experience like no other, and there are a couple of ways to make it. While the modern sangrita chases a shot of tequila with a spicy tomato juice mix, the original version is entirely different. It backs up the tequila with a shot of orange, lime, and grenadine that's laced with hot sauce.

  • 11 of 15

    Dulce de Tequila

    Dulce de TequilaCocktail
    Jeff Kauck / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Tequila makes an exciting dessert cocktail as well, though this recipe may not be what you expect. The dulce de tequila is a margarita of sorts, combining orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar with reposado tequila. It gets interesting when you pour a small shot of cognac, then give it a sugar rim for a perfectly subtle amount of sweetness.

  • 12 of 15

    Reposado Old-Fashioned

    Reposado Old-Fashioned With Tequila and Nectarines
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    Love an old-fashioned but ran out of bourbon? Grab a bottle of reposado tequila instead! Similar to the original, the reposado old-fashioned is a stunning way to show off an exquisite tequila. It uses agave nectar for the sweetener and switches up the fruits to nectarine slices and Bing cherries. Give it a dash or two of bitters, and a wonderful cocktail is ready to enjoy.

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  • 13 of 15

    El Diablo

    The Popular El Diablo Tequila Cocktail

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    El diablo is a cocktail that every tequila lover needs to taste. The recipe pairs an aged tequila with lime juice and the sweet black currant flavor of crème de cassis. Top it off with your favorite ginger beer to create a dazzling drink.

  • 14 of 15

    Tamarind and Tequila

    Tamarind and Tequila Cocktail

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    Some flavor pairings are utterly perfect. Tamarind and tequila are one of those, and the harmonious duo is the highlight of this simple highball. Mixing a blanco tequila and tamarind nectar, adding a hint of sweetness, then the sparkle of ginger ale creates a drink you definitely won't forget.

  • 15 of 15

    Habanero Martini

    Habanero Martini

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    Spicy cocktails are a natural venue for tequila. In the habanero martini, the tequini gets a peppery kick that's sure to please palates that can handle the heat. The recipe is best with the reposado tequila base. It's accented with dry vermouth and garnished with a whole habanero pepper, which slowly infuses its spice into the mix as you drink. It won't get too hot before it's finished, but it will grab your attention!