Ask a random stranger about their favorite easy tequila cocktail, and you’re likely to hear a Margarita.
While that’s not a bad response, it’s not exactly an answer to the question at hand. The Margarita is a supreme concoction, but there are plenty of simpler, two-ingredient mixes that highlight tequila’s flavors in new, bold ways. The next time you ask yourself that same question, consider one of these six delicious mixers for tequila.
We suspect that the Paloma beat out the Margarita for the national drink of Mexico because it’s just so darn simple to make. Granted, omitting the lime juice from the original drink does reduce its flavor complexity, but it also strengthens the classic cocktail’s best feature: its utter ease. Combine two of Mexico’s greatest gifts to civilization—blanco tequila and Jarritos soda—in a Highball glass, and try telling us you miss the lime.
Should you somehow forget to mix yourself a proper batch of Margaritas before stationing yourself on a sunny poolside lounge chair, simply place your preferred blanco tequila, a bottle of limeade, a Highball glass, and a bucket of ice within arm’s reach. When the sun really starts to beat down and you feel the third bead of sweat slip gracefully from your unfurrowed brow, combine the ingredients to your liking (no shame in equal parts) and give it a finger stir.
Blood Orange Juice
Tequila deserves a prized spot among its fruity pairings, and in case you’ve missed the theme here, citrus is the spirit’s best friend. When it comes to oranges, leave the sweet, plain OJ to the vodka drinkers. Opt for vibrant blood orange, which packs enough potent taste and bitter strength to match tequila’s spritely character.
Put down the s’mores and step away from the campfire—this boozy hot chocolate isn’t your camping trip, bourbon-spiked cocoa. Nor is it your standard Chartreuse-laden, après-ski cocoa, or even your overly sweetened vodka variety. This is proper, spiced hot chocolate, made with Ibarra (love to all Abuelita fans, but Ibarra just has more flavor) and dashed with enough tequila to remind you that you’re drinking an adult beverage. Consider using reposado tequila, which adds lots of caramel and vanilla flavors to the mix.
Bartenders usually pair tequila with other flavors from the Americas, but pulling together drinks from across the globe can reveal some pretty fantastic pairings. A nice iced chai adds layers of dry, spicy, and herbal notes (depending on your particular chai blend) to reposado tequila, while the slight caramelized sweetness of the spirit opens up the tea’s spices. This is the perfect two-ingredient cocktail to mix when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Floral flavor is one of tequila’s strong suits, and pairing the spirit with delicate elderflower liqueur really helps both ingredients bloom. The sweet, almost creamy liqueur evens out blanco tequila’s edges while boosting its own natural grassy notes. Stirred two-to-one in a lowball glass, the duo is hard to beat.