5 Super-Simple Tequila Cocktails That Aren’t Margaritas

updated Apr 26, 2020
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A bottle of tequila is a bar-cart staple and a good margarita recipe is something everyone should have in their back pocket. But if you’re wondering what to do with it beyond the basic margarita, we can help. Here are five easy-to-make, surprisingly-sophisticated cocktail recipes that make the most of tequila’s peppery flavors.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. The Paloma

A paloma is a cousin of the margarita. Spanish for “dove,” it pairs the lime in a margarita with grapefruit juice. The simple addition adds a lot of flavor: One sip and it might easily become your new favorite tequila-based drink.

Get the recipe: The Best Paloma Cocktail

2. The Bloody Maria

The Bloody Mary may be the more popular version of this restoratively spicy tomato-based brunch staple, but we’d argue that tequila is the more natural choice for such a bold, peppery drink.

Get the recipe: The Bloody Maria

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Spicy Pineapple Punch

This punch tastes like it has way more than three ingredients. But it’s as simple as can be: Pineapple juice, tequila, and fresh jalapeños join forces in this summertime crowd-pleaser.

Get the recipe: Spicy Pineapple Punch

4. El Diablo

Tequila isn’t just a summertime drink, though — it’s also great for the fall. Case in point: El Diablo, which uses ginger beer for a drink full of fall flavors. You’ll need to pick up a bottle of creme de cassis for this cocktail, but it’s worth it. The sweet liqueur, which is made from black currants, also makes a delicious spritzer in a glass of sparkling wine.

Get the recipe: El Diablo

5. Strawberry Basil Margaritas

When you’re tired of lime juice, it’s time to start experimenting with other juices — and herbs! While strawberry and basil are classics, you can use the ratios to mix whatever berries and herbs you like, depending on what you have on hand: Blackberries or raspberries are good choices, and mint is a good substitute for basil.