illustration by hye khim

eight tequila drinks that aren’t margaritas

because it’s national tequila day!

by blair cannon

If you haven’t already heard, today is National Tequila Day, AKA the answer to your party prayers this weekend. To celebrate this seriously awesome holiday, we rounded up some of the raddest cocktail recipes you can make with good 'ole tequila. And better yet, we skipped the typical margaritas and went straight to the more out-of-the-box drinks you can sip on at some of NYC’s coolest bars. So whether you’re a New Yorker planning to hit up some of these hot spots, or you want put your bartending skills to the test and whip ‘em up at home, these recipes are pretty much a guaranteed good time. 

Maestro Dobel Paloma by Gotham Bar

2 1/2 oz. Maestro Dobel

1 oz. amontillado sherry

1/2 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth

1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes

2 dashes Fee Bros. grapefruit bitters

Stirred, served up w/ grapefruit twist

1800 Aztec Temple by Gotham Bar 

2 oz. 1800 tequila

1/2 oz. Maraschino

1/2 oz. Bitterman's Citron Sauvage

1/4 oz. demerara syrup

2 dashes Regan's orange bitters

Stirred, served on the rocks w/ lime wedge

Sampogna by Huckleberry Bar

1.5 oz. Jalapeno-Infused Blanco Tequila  

1 oz. Lemon Juice

1 oz. Honey Syrup

.5 oz. St. Germain

To make jalapeno-infused tequila, add 3 quartered fresh jalapenos to one liter of blanco tequila and let rest for 2-3 days before straining. For honey syrup, dissolve 1 part pure honey into 2 parts boiling water and cool before use. 

Shaken, served on the rocks w/ a speared slice of pickled jalapeno

Dos Mujeres by Bar Bruno

1 oz. Espolon Reposado Tequila

1 oz. Aperol

2 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

Shaken on the rocks w/a dash of bitters, a splash of club soda, and lemon wheel

Dos Puñales (Two Daggers) by Bar Bruno

1 oz. Espolon Reposado Tequila

1 oz. El Peloton Mezcal

1 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

10 Muddled Mint Leaves

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

4 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shaken on the rocks w/lemon peel


2 oz. Tequia Sauza 100% Blue Agave

1 oz. Pieere Ferrand Dry Curaçao

0.75 oz. Lime Juice

1 oz. Cholula Hot Sauce

0.5 oz. Agave Nectar

5 Drops Homemade Habanero Infused Tequila

Shaken on the rocks w/spiced salt rim and a whole habanero pepper

Mezcaliente by Gramercy Tavern 

2 oz. Jalapeño Infused Tequila

0.75 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

0.5 oz. Mezcal

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

3 Halved Slices of Cucumber

To make Jalapeño Infused Tequila: Infuse 8 oz. silver or blanco tequila with a halved jalapeño; taste after 20 minutes; then strain when at desired heat

Shaken straight

Calandria by Hotel Americano

1.5 oz. Zarco Tequila

1/3 oz. Canton Ginger Liqueur

1.5 oz. Passionfruit Puree

1/4 oz. Mango Puree

1/4 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 oz. Cucumber Juice

1/2 oz. Agave Nectar

1/8 oz. Chunk Fresh Ginger, Muddled

3 Slices Fresh Jalapeno, Muddled

Shaken on the rocks w/salt-and-black-pepper rimmed glass and cucumber slice