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9 Refreshing Tequila Drinks to Enjoy This Summer

9 Refreshing Tequila Drinks to Enjoy This Summer

Haunted by college experiences tainted by too many shots of less than savory variants, tequila gets a bad rap. We’re not advocating for a return to form—in fairness a shot of tequila now and then can be a good thing—but rather a trip to the home bar to experiment with the best the blue agave plant has to offer to make great tequila drinks. Every home bar needs at least one good bottle of tequila, and there are quite a few tequila cocktails you can make that won’t end up on any unacceptable drinks after 30 list.

Original Tequila Sunrise

Not to be confused with its more modern counterpart that’s essentially a Screwdriver made with tequila and grenadine, the Original Tequila Sunrise is a delicious cocktail with a history dating back decades before the Eagles ever recorded the song of the same name. In place of the orange juice and grenadine you’ll find the criminally underutilized crème de cassis, a liqueur with origins in France, made from blackcurrants that imparts an earthy, floral taste that’s further opened up with the addition of club soda at the end. Recipe

Texas Two-Step

There are more variations of the popular tequila cocktail known as the Texas Two-Step than there are different types of tequila. We’re partial to the version from The Smith that, despite being more complicated than the rest, adds a level of complexity and depth of flavor from the use of grapefruit shrub, pineapple juice, yellow chartreuse, wildflower honey and fennel bitters. If you want a complex craft cocktail and you’re in the mood for tequila, look no further. Recipe

Juan Collins

The Collins family of drinks is probably one of the first groups of cocktails you ever learned to make at home because they’re incredibly easy to whip up. Combine the liquor of your choice with lemon juice, a nectar or syrup and a little bit of club soda to create something slightly bubbly that’s as refreshing as it is easy to riff on. In this case, we’re skipping the brothers Tom (gin) and John (whiskey) in favor of Juan, who prefers his drinks made with a shot good tequila. Recipe

Tabard Cocktail

One look at the Tabard Cocktail and it’s immediately clear the reposado, sherry and Drambuie liqueur drink is sure to be a hit at the holidays and all over Instagram. Aptly named after the iconic D.C. hotel of the same name, the Tabard Cocktail can be served up or on the rocks and is filled with an alchemical composition that’s equally earthy and herbaceous while still being bright and floral. Recipe

Orange Strawberry Tequila Fizz

As the name implies, the Orange Strawberry Tequila Fizz is a bubbly drink filled to the brim with bright citrus notes thanks to all the fresh fruit juice that goes into its creation. If the drink was any thicker we’d be inclined to call it a smoothie, but as it is, the Orange Strawberry Tequila Fizz imparts all those delicious flavors that you’d be a criminal not to love and adds the complexity of a quality tequila. This cocktail is as delicious and refreshing as the ingredient list is long. Recipe

Pepino’s Revenge

Combine tequila, basil, lime and cucumber to get the cocktail that even iconic chef Wolfgang Puck serves at London’s 45 Park Lane. Pepino’s Revenge uses light floral and vegetal ingredients to open up the already complex flavors of whatever tequila you use to make it—we’d recommend a silver or blanco—and turn them into a drink that’s downright perplexing in its flavor profile. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to drink just one. Recipe


If you’re going to throw caution to the wind and drink on a hot day even when you know you’re dehydrated, you won’t find a better refresher than the classic Margarita. As long as you’re not ordering it frozen, it’s totally acceptable for a sunny brunch or with a plate of tacos for dinner. We prefer the classic lime on the rocks made with a blanco tequila and served in a salted glass, but feel free to experiment with other flavors including the often underrated Blue Margarita. Recipe


According to Bon Appetit, and contrary to popular belief, the Paloma outshines the Margarita as Mexico’s most beloved cocktail. Like plenty of other tequila cocktails, the Paloma cuts the bite of the liquor with the addition of fruit juices or nectars. In the case of the Paloma, this is done with fresh grapefruit juice to create a slight sweetness and a bit of tart that’s the perfect alternative to a marg on a hot day. Recipe

Bloody Maria

Tomato juice. Worcestershire sauce. Tabasco. Horseradish. Celery salt. Pepper. Making a Bloody Maria is as simple as making her sister the Bloody Mary; you just use tequila instead of vodka. The benefit of this variation on the popular brunch cocktail is that the tequila itself can add so much complexity to the flavor of the drink depending on the variety and brand of tequila you’re using to make it. Recipe

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