Tequila is famed for the fun ritual when shooting it. Enjoying the spirit straight with lemon and salt, accompanied by friends never disappoints but you’re missing out on so much more. Tequila is a great accompaniment in a cocktail. We've compiled a list of the six best classic tequila cocktails for you to try.

Come and discover these great recipes below...


What style of tequila should I use?

By using blanco tequila, the cocktail is easier to balance. Añejo or reposado tequila can overpower and dominate the flavours of a tequila cocktail sometimes. Most tequila cocktails use blanco, so unless stated, these classic tequila cocktails require blanco. 

Learn all about each tequila style here in our 'what is tequila' article. 

1. Paloma

Paloma cocktail with grapefruit and rosemary garnish

This one is a Mexican favourite. Sophisticated and refreshing, it's great to enjoy alongside a spicy meal and soothe your tongue. This recipe can be adapted to use grapefruit soda over the juice and soda water. The Mexican brand Jarritos make a delicious pink grapefruit soda which is often used in Mexico to make Palomas.


  • 50ml Tequila
  • 10ml Fresh lime juice
  • 60ml Fresh pink grapefruit juice
  • Soda water


  1. Step 1 – Pour the tequila, lime juice and pink grapefruit juice into a glass filled with ice.
  2. Step 2 – Stir a little to mix the ingredients.
  3. Step 3 – Top with soda water.


2. Margarita

Margarita cocktail with lime slice

Margaritas are perhaps the most well known tequila cocktail and most loved globally. This simple classic tequila cocktail is zingy, zesty and sweet all at the same time. The best thing about Margaritas is not just their salt rim but also their versatility. Popular variations of the classic Margarita use passion fruit, tamarind and hibiscus these days.


  • 40ml Tequila
  • 20ml Cointreau
  • 30ml Fresh lime juice
  • 10ml Sugar syrup (simple syrup)


  1. Step 1 – Prepare the Margarita glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the rim. Then dip into salt, so that the salt sticks to the glass rim.
  2. Step 2 – Add all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Step 3 – Shake well.
  4. Step 4 – Strain into the prepared glass and serve.

NOTE: Fresh lemon juice is also a popular main ingredient for Margaritas in bars these days. The lemon juice adds more of a bite than lime does, so it's perfect for those preferring that palate.


3. Tequila sunrise

2 Tequila Sunrise cocktails with straws

A Tequila Sunrise is probably one of the easiest cocktails to make out there. Just three ingredients are needed to enjoy this classic tequila cocktail, making it perfect for last-minute parties on a budget.


  • 40ml Tequila
  • 10ml Grenadine
  • Fresh orange juice


  1. Step 1 – Pour the tequila into a glass filled with ice.
  2. Step 2 – Top the drink with orange juice, leaving some space for the grenadine.
  3. Step 3 – Place a straw into the drink and carefully pour the grenadine down the straw. This lets the grenadine sit nicely at the bottom of the drink.

Learn more about cocktails in our 'what is a cocktail' article. You'll find history, recipes and so much more about cocktails...


4. El Diablo

El Diablo cocktail with lime garnish

This is our first of the list calling for a different style of tequila. El Diablos require reposado tequila over blanco to provide a much stronger and deeper flavour. Looking for a smooth, fruity and spicy cocktail? This is the one for you...


  • 30ml Reposado tequila
  • 10ml De Kuyper crème de cassis
  • 10ml Fresh lime juice
  • Ginger ale


  1. Step 1 – Place the tequila, Crème de Cassis and lime juice into an ice-filled glass.
  2. Step 2 – Fill with ginger ale to the top.

Discover tequila for yourself on our authentic EBS Tequila and Mezcal Expedition in Jalisco, Mexico. 


5. Matador

Matador cocktail with pineapple garnish

Enjoy Piña Coladas but want something with a little more bite? Try the Matador. It's a little similar to a Margarita too, so if you're a fan of both of these cocktails then you'll definitely love a Matador.


  • 60ml Tequila
  • 30ml Triple sec
  • 30ml Fresh lime juice
  • 70ml Pineapple juice


  1. Step 1 – Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake well.
  2. Step 2 – Strain into a glass with ice and serve.


6. La Rosita

La Rosalita cocktail with orange twist

If you're having a sophisticated evening then this is the tequila cocktail for you. With its Italian influence, La Rosita is the best balanced cocktail here. Inspired by a Negroni, it's great as a digestif after a big Mexican meal. It's also a user of reposado tequila too! 


  • 45ml Reposado tequila
  • 45ml Campari
  • 45ml Extra dry vermouth
  • 15ml Sweet vermouth
  • Angostura bitters


  1. Step 1 – Add all of the ingredients except the bitters into a glass with ice.
  2. Step 2 – Stir gently.
  3. Step 3 – Finish by adding a couple dashes of Angostura bitters on top.


To finish, we'd like to make a special acknowledgement to those popular tequila cocktails that didn't make our list. From the Bloody Maria with tomato juice and hot sauce, to the lighter Tequila Fizz and Tequila Mojito. They're all winners in our eyes and are proudly great tequila cocktails too.


Want to know how to taste tequila like an expert? Read our tequila tasting guide here. 

Inspired to take up bartending? Take a look at our EBS Bartender Courses here.