Tag Archives: Tequila Cocktails

No, Mezcal is Not Just a Smoky Tequila – Debunking Mezcal Myths for National Mezcal Day

For anyone who has said “Mezcal is Tequila’s smoky cousin,” Ilegal Mezcal, the handcrafted Mexican spirit with a legendary history, is here to dispel myths about the diverse spirit in honor of National Mezcal Day, October 21st.

Myth 1: All Mezcal is smoky

  • Smokiness is not a virtue of mezcal – the level of smoke is highly dependent on the individual producers. The amount of resin in the wood greatly impacts how much smoke it emits once burned. So, when utilized in production, certain types of wood will infuse more smoke into the liquid than others. Ilegal chooses to honor the Mezcaleros’ tradition and create an agave-forward product with a light kiss of smoke. 

Myth 2: The Mezcal Boom is hurting agave

  • If you’ve heard the agave spirits boom is leading to overharvesting of agave, not all plants are at risk – this is specific to wild agave. Ilegal utilizes 100% sustainable Espadin agave to ensure the land from which its mezcal comes from is cared for.
  • Growth within the agave spirits category has produced ample employment and economic growth opportunities for many community members in cities such as Oaxaca and Jalisco. Ilegal’s dedication to growing horizontally, not vertically, has allowed the brand to hire more local employees – and expand while remaining artisanal.
  • In order to protect the agave and avoid having plants that are too genetically similar, Ilegal’s agave is planted using both seeds and rhizomes. this helps promote the strength of the agave against illnesses.

Myth 3: Real Mezcal is never aged

  • Joven is not the only Mezcal variety! Mezcals have been aged in wood barrels, glass demijohns, and clay canteros since the 1700s. Back then, most of the wood barrels arrived from Spain carrying wine, which were later used for mezcal. Today, most small mezcal distillers produce a small amount of barrel or glass-aged mezcal and It’s usually reserved for special occasions. Ilegal honors this tradition by aging its Reposado and Añejo in oak barrels, which impart rich flavors on the liquid.

Myth 4: Mezcal must be sipped out of Copita

  • Mezcal is a communal spirit and as such is best enjoyed with no rules attached. An original school of thought declared that mezcal should be sipped on its own and not in cocktails, but modern menus and taste preferences beg to differ.

With mezcal drinks popping up on cocktail menus across the country, it’s clear that the complexity of mezcal should be enjoyed in any way it’s desired – cocktails and aged varieties included. Spice it up and do things the Ilegal way this National Mezcal Day by sharing a Mezcal Margarita with those you care about most. Ilegal’s is made using real ingredients such as the Joven Mezcal, fresh lime, and agave nectar. 

Ilegal Mezcal Margarita 


  • 2 ounces Ilegal Mezcal Joven
  • 1 ounce Lime Juice 
  • 1/2 ounce Agave Nectar 


  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake.
  2. Dump the contents into a rocks glass with a pre-salted rim. 

Or buy an Ilegal Mezcal Margarita Kit and follow instructions for the perfect margarita. 

About Ilegal Mezcal 

Ilegal is beautifully balanced mezcal with a notorious history that includes smuggling and weeklong parties in Café No Sé, a clandestine bar and music hub. Handcrafted in small batches by fourth-generation mezcaleros, our Joven, Reposado, and Añejo mezcals are all made with perfectly ripe, sustainable Espadín agave, double distilled in the Santiago Matatlan Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Commitment to quality is apparent in every step of our process, from harvest to first sip.

six splendid tequila cocktails

Celebrate the best part of what summer has to offer with National Tequila Day.

Because great tequila is for more than just margaritas, VIVA XXXII Tequila collaborated with top mixologists from NYC and LA for their signature cocktails. Bringing a premium sipping tequila to the market at an attainable price point, VIVA XXXII contains two varietals: a Joven and a Reposado. The Joven ($40) is an estate grown 100% blue agave blanco, meticulously blended with our 3-year-old extra anejo. The Reposado ($45) is estate grown and rested for 6 months in new American Oak barrels. The best part? The brand donates 10% of net proceeds to animal abuse prevention charities.

VIVA Summer Solstice


Summer Solstice


  • 2 oz. of VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz. of Citrus Mix (equal parts lemon and lime)
  • ¾ oz. of Aperol Spiked Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave Nectar to Aperol). You could also do 1/2 normal Agave Syrup and 1/4 Aperol
  • Tajin Rim

Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, and give a long hard shake. Take a coupe glass and rim with a salt/pepper/tajin mix. Double strain the cocktail (to remover ice chips) in the coupe and garnish will a rolled Grapefruit peel “flower”.

Tasting Notes:  The balance of summer in a glass: bright, refreshing and with just a bit of heat. This cocktail hits all of the major palate areas. It is tart, sweet, earthy, and just a bit spicy. It is perfect for sipping away the long nights of summer.

by TocaMadera (8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048)

VIVA Rip Tide


Rip Tide


  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh Juiced Pineapple
  • ½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup (3:1 Agave to Water)

Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker and give a short “dry” shake. Then, add crushed ice to shaker. Pour ice and cocktail into a highball glass and top with a float of Angostura Bitters and Pineapple Frond.

Tasting Notes: TIKI Tequila! The freshness of the juices is what brings out the natural flavors of the tequila here. A slight bit on the sweet side, it won’t leave you with a tooth ache, but rather aching for another. The softer more rounded flavor notes of the Reposado Tequila dance in this cocktail.

by Seamore’s (390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013)

VIVA Crisp




  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
  • 3 fresh slices of Cucumber
  • 2-3 fresh slices of Jalapeno (deseed to control spice factor)
  • ¾ oz. Agave Syrup

Directions: Place all in a tin and lightly muddle. Do not crush ingredients just press to express oils and flavors. Add ice and give a short and soft shake. Pour all into a Double Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with some something fresh and fragrant. We use a lime peel and cucumber wheel. But a large basil sprig is also recommended.

Tasting Notes: This is a very fresh and big cocktail. The cucumber and Jalapeño serve as the stage for the bright notes of the tequila to shine through. The agave gives the cocktail balance. It’s a garden in a glass!

by Chris Kramer @celebratedspirits of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

VIVA Tourist




  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
  • ¼ oz. Mezcal
  • ¾ oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Fresh Pineapple
  • ¾ oz. Fresh Orgeat (Almond Syrup)
  • 2-3 fresh Jalapeño Slices

Directions: Place all in a tin and add ice. Give a long hard shake then double strain the cocktail into a single Old-Fashioned Glass. Garnish with a Jalapeño slice.

Tasting Notes: Like any good trip, this cocktail is an experience. It has big mouth presence and will linger in your mouth and memory like any good vacation. The lime, pineapple, and almond give a nice tropical vibe while the Joven and the Jalapeno jump in, keeping the drink from getting too sweet. The mezcal comes in right at the end for a lasting, smokey finish.

by Chris Kramer @celebratedspirits of The Larchmont (5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038)

VIVA Las Peaches


Las Peaches


  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
  • ¼ Fresh Ripe Yellow Peach
  • 1 Rosemary Sprig
  • ¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Soda Water

Directions: Place all ingredients in a tin and muddle until the peaches have expressed a decent amount of juice. Next, add ice and give a medium strength, medium length shakes and add 2 oz. Soda Water. Double strain onto fresh ice into a Highball Glass and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.

Tasting notes: Peaches and tequila are quite a pair. The bright citrus notes in the Joven latch onto the fresh peach and take off running. The cinnamon and rosemary are there to help balance out the flavor profile adding some spice and bitter earthy qualities. It’s refreshing, different, and will leave you asking for another. It’s not as crazy as a Vegas shotgun wedding but it is as good of a time!

made by Blaine Adams of Barrel & Ashes (11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

VIVA Cooler




  • 2 oz. VIVA XXXII Joven Tequila
  • 2 Fresh Cucumber Slices
  • Pinch of Mint Leaves
  • Small pinch of cilantro leaves
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ oz. Agave Syrup
  • Tonic Water

Directions: Place all ingredients into a tin and lightly muddle. Next, add ice and give a short and soft shake. Take a Double Old-Fashioned Glass and rim with salt. Then, pour contents into the glass and top with a float of tonic water.

Tasting Notes: This drink is cool under pressure. The fresh herbs and citrus are bright and refreshing giving this drink an almost cooling sensation. The Joven stands as the backbone giving the drink just the right amount of heat. It’s familiar and different all at the same time. No peer pressure here but seriously be cool.

by Cocina Condesa (11616 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604)

Grilled Strawberry Lime Margarita

Enhance a classic margarita with the flavors of grilled strawberries and a squeeze of grilled lime.

Are you ready for barbecue season? Change things up a bit this year and add a different logo tipple and tasteflavor to your tequila cocktails. The team at Kenyon has developed a festive grilled strawberry lime margarita recipe that will be sure to impress your friends and neighbors at your next backyard cookout.


Grilled Strawberry Lime Margarita


Prep Time: 5 Minutes  •  Total Time: 15 Minutes

Serves 2

Grilled Strawberry Margarita FinishIngredients

  • 1 lb Strawberries (Hulled)
  • Granulated Sugar
  • 1-2 Limes
  • 1 Cup Margarita Mix
  • 3 oz Tequila
  • Ice


  1. Preheat your Kenyon grill to a med-high heat.
  2. Hull Strawberries and place them on pre-soaked skewers. Lightly coat with sugar and set aside.
  3. Cut Lime into 1/4″ thick slices.
  4. Once your grill has preheated, place the strawberry skewers and limes on the grate and close lid. Let grill for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, removing limes first. Set aside and let cool.
  5. Rim your margarita glasses with the lime then dip in either salt or sugar.
  6. In a blender add margarita mix, tequila, ice and grilled strawberries. Blend until frothy. Pour and add a squeeze of grilled lime. Use any remaining grilled fruit to garnish the glass.

Sip and enjoy!

If you’re in the northwest, don’t let rainy and cold weather ruin your grilling season. Kenyon’s premium smokeless and flameless grills can be used outdoors or indoors to create the perfect concoction. Just fire up the grill and invite your friends over.

5 Sexy Tequila-Based Cocktails for Spring

Where are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo? It lands on a Friday this year which gives us even more of a reason to enjoy a refreshing tequila-based cocktail! Say “salud” this May 5th like a true Southern Californian and celebrate with a drink (or two).

Whether you’re looking to spice things up, get a little fruity or stick to the classic, these 5 San Diego restaurants have you covered. Please find a list of thirst-quenching, sexy Cinco de Mayo cocktails below and if you happen to be in the area, swing by to sip and savor.

logo tipple and taste
If you’re celebrating at home, these 5 restaurants have shared their favorite cocktail with us, so you can sip California-Style with friends on the front porch, in the backyard or wherever the party takes you ~ Enjoy!

JRDN at Tower23 Hotel

Toast to Margarita Day by the beach while sipping JRDN’s Chile Mango Margarita, made with chili-infused tequila, mango syrup, and house mix. Watch people biking along the Pacific Beach boardwalk and take in the sunset for a perfect evening. $12

723 Felspar St., San Diego, CA 92109  •  858.270.2323  t23hotel.com

JRDN's Chili Mango Margarita


JRDN_s Chili Mango MargaritaIngredients

  • 2 ounces Chile Infused Tequila (6 dried red chiles in 750 ml agave tequila for medium heat)
  • 4 ounces House Mix (equal parts simple syrup, lemon, lime, and orange juices)
  • 1/2 ounce Monin Mango Syrup
  • 2 cups of ice cubes
  • Tajin Rim
  • Lime Wedge Garnish

In cocktail shaker, stir together house mix and mango syrup. Add chile-infused tequila and 1 cup ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 25 seconds, then pour into prepared glass. Fill glass with remaining ice cubes.


East Village culinary hot spot Jsix has an equally creative cocktail menu featuring the El Mariachi Pt. 2 made with Tequila blanco, Mescal, Absinthe, Cherry Herring, vanilla syrup and fresh lemon. $12

616 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101  •  619.531.8744  jsixrestaurant.com


Jsix's El Mariachi Part 2

Jsix_s El Mariachi Part 2Ingredients

  • 1 oz mescal
  • 1 oz tequila blanco
  • .5 oz cherry heering liqueur
  • .75 lemon
  • .5 vanilla syrup


  1. Add a bar spoon of absinthe to a chilled coupe glass.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake for a few rotations.
  3. Double strain cocktail.
  4. Garnish with a lemon swathe.




Tucked away in San Marcos is Decoy Dockside Dining. Spend National Margarita Day sipping on the Smokey Mango-Rita, a delicious blend of Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, lemon & lime juice, jalapeño and mango purée dockside. $12

1035 La Bonita Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078  •  760.621.0909  decoydockside.com

Decoy's Smokey Mango-Rita

Decoy_s Smokey Mango-RitaIngredients

  • 1 1/2 ounce cazadores blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce cointreau
  • 1 1/2 ounce lime and lemon juice (total)
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 4 slices of fresh jalapeño
  • 1/2 ounce mango puree
  1. Add all ingredients to a shaker and muddle the fresh jalapeños
  2. With the smoking gun, build smoke under the glass being used and fill the decanter with smoke as well. Place the glass upside down on the work area to trap the smoke, cap off the decanter.
  3. Once the decanter is full of smoke, pour the ingredients of the cocktail in the decanter and shake with the smoke.
  4. Then grab the glass being used, rim the glass, and add ice. (garnish w/sugar rim & lime wedge)
  5. Take the decanter and pour the ingredients from the smoke-filled decanter into the glass being used.
  6. Garnish with lime



Oggi’s Sports|Brewhouse|Pizza

What is more San Diegan than a Margarita? A margarita made with award-winning craft beer! Oggi’s Beerita is made with the brewery’s fan-favorite California Gold Blonde Ale, Tequila, Sprite and sweet & sour. $7

Several locations in Southern California and Arizona   oggis.com

Oggi’s Beerita


Oggi_s BeeritaIngredients

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 4 oz of Oggi’s California Gold Ale
  • 4 oz Sprite
  • 2 oz Limeade


  1. Mix ingredients together, add ice and serve!




Known for their innovative cocktail menu and difficulty getting a table on a Saturday Night, Hillcrest’s hot spot TRUST offers a delicious twist on the classic. The Trust Cocktail #2 is a satisfying mix of Jalapeno Tequila, grapefruit, agave and firewater bitters. $11

3752 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103  •  619.795.6901  trustrestaurantsd.com

Trust's Cockail #2


Trust_s Cocktail #2Ingredients

  • ¾ oz. Lime Juice
  • ¾ oz. Grapefruit Juice
  • ¾ oz Agave Syrup
  • 1 ½ oz Jalapeno Infused Tequila


  1. Mix all together, shake, pour over ice and garnish w/Fresh Cucumber & sprinkle Tajin







Summer Dreaming with Tommy Bahama’s Mango Habanero Margarita

Temps are low, snow is threatening and we are dreaming of sandy beaches, hot sun and warm blue waters. Now is the perfect time to visit the tropics and pretend you’re on island time.

While I can’t dig my toes in the sand just yet, I can enjoy a taste of the vacation life at home. Raising a glass to all the summer dreamers out there ~ Cheers!

Have you visited Tommy Bahama’s yet? Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue at 45th Street, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is the ideal location for lunch, dinner or Happy Hour. Ask for the Mango Habanero Margarita.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar – New York

551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10176

Open 11:30am Daily  ~  Island Time Happy Hour: 4-6pm Daily

For reservations, please call 212.537.0960 or visit TommyBahama.com

Mango Habanero Margarita


  • 1 ¾ parts Milagro Silver tequila
  • ¾ parts Orange Curacao
  • 1 part mango puree – Perfect Puree
  • 1 part scratch sour mix
  • 2 slices fresh Habanero
  • 4 drops Bitterman’s Hellfire Habanero Shrub – available at Tommy Bahama

Glassware Double Rocks or Similar

Ice Cubes

Garnish Habanero Slices & Salted Rim

Instructions Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake with a Boston shaker to blend. Pour into salt rimmed glass and top with 2 slices of Habanero.

Six Sensuous “Off-The-Menu” Cocktails

In celebration of National Tequila Day this Friday, DeLeón Tequila is partnering with nationally-renowned mixologists from New York, Los Angeles and Miami for secret “off-the-menu” cocktails inspired by this elevated spirit that will be available to those “in the know” from now through August.  This program is called #NextLevelOrder and features DeLeón Platinum, a provocative Blanco made an innovative blend of traditional yet unique tequila making processes.

New York City-

Extra Fancy_Peach Colored GlassesExtra Fancy 302 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn New York, 11211

Follow on Facebook, Instagram or visit the site.

Drink: “Peach Colored Glasses” by Meaghan Montagano Venue: Extra Fancy


  • 5 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier Raspberry Peach
  • .75 oz. spiced honey syrup
  • .5 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. peach puree
  • Sparkling brut rose

Shake DeLeòn Tequila, Grand Marnier, syrup, lemon and peach puree over ice and top with a splash of sparkling brut rose.

The Plaza_Lost HorizonVenue: PALM COURT AT THE PLAZA HOTEL

Visit their website

Drink: “Lost Horizon” by James Menite


  • 2 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • 1 oz. Perfect Puree papaya puree
  • 1 whole egg
  • .5 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 dried cranberries and orange peel

In a Koriko shaker, shake 1 whole egg for 1 minute vigorously to emulsify. Add ice and all other ingredients, incorporate with a second shake, then double strain ingredients into a chilled Coupe. Add 5 dried cranberries and orange peel for garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy deliciousness.

Los Angeles-

Sassafras Saloon_La CaifanaVenue: SASSAFRAS SALOON

Drink: “La Cafina” by Karen Grill


  • 5 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • .5 oz. La Nina Primario
  • .75 oz. pineapple chili shrib
  • .5 oz. lime juice
  • Shaved cinnamon

Add all ingredients but cinnamon to shaker tin and shake vigorously over ice. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass. Shave cinnamon over top and garnish with pineapple wedge and jalapeno slice.

BarToni's_Summer of LoveVenue: BARTONI’S 

Drink: “Summer of Love” by Aidan Demarest


  • 1 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • .25 oz. Smith and Cross Rum
  • .75 oz. Sherry
  • .5 oz. Velvet Falernum
  • .75 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. passion fruit syrup

Shake all ingredients and pour into a frosted mug over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Toca Madera_Agave Por VidaVenue: TOCA MADERA

Drink: “Agave Por Vida” by Juan Martinez


  • 2 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • Fresh Watermelon
  • .5 oz. watermelon mint shrub
  • .5 oz. sweetened ginger juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • Tamarind Candy

Build cocktail in tin, throw two pieces of watermelon into tin and muddle. Add lime juice, ginger juice, watermelon- mint shrub and DeLeòn Platinum. Shake and pour into Cantarito (clay cup). Top off with more fresh ice and garnish with mint sprig and tamarind candy.


Regent Cocktail Club_CobbleoneVenue: REGENT COCKTAIL CLUB

Drink: “Cobbleone” by Richie Petronzi


  • 2 oz. DeLeòn Platinum Tequila
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 oz. agave syrup
  • .5 oz Amontillado Sherry
  • .5 oz. Pedro Ximenez Sherry

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker except for the Pedro Ximenez Sherry. Shake well and pour into a double old-fashioned glass. Top with crushed ice and float Pedro Ximenez Sherry on top. Garnish with blackberries and raspberries.