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4 simple tequila drinks anyone can (and should) make

Easy tequila drinks to add to your home bar list

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Tequila is a very versatile spirit. Whether it’s blanco (also known as silver or plata), cristalino, joven, reposado, añejo, or extra añejo, this Blue Weber agave-based spirit is suited for slow sipping neat or on the rocks. It’s also a great base for some of the most beloved cocktails ever made.

While there are differing aromas and flavors based on the various ages and techniques, tequila is well known for its mix of roasted agave, vanilla, tropical fruit, caramel, and light spice notes. These flavors work well in cocktails featuring fresh citrus, herbs, and other ingredients.

And while some tequila-based drinks require many steps and a whole cabinet of ingredients, there are also a handful of straightforward tequila-centric cocktails. As a bonus, some of the most well-known tequila-centric cocktails ever conceived fit this criterion, and they are simple tequila drinks.

4 simple tequila drinks anyone can make

If you already have a bottle of tequila on hand for shots before an evening out or slow-sipping on a cool evening, you’re only a few ingredients and steps away from making some well-known tequila-based cocktails. Don’t believe us? Keep scrolling to see some and even learn the recipes and step-by-step instructions to prepare them.

Ranch Water

A serving of ranch water cocktail
Brent Hofacker / Adobe Stock

When it comes to simple tequila-based mixed drinks, there’s no beating the Ranch Water. This mix of blanco tequila, carbonated mineral water, and fresh lime juice is refreshing, crisp, and perfect for a hot day. There are many stories explaining the origin of this drink, but it can be traced to West Texas ranches (hence the name) and is most often made with Topo Chico sparkling mineral water.

What you need to make Ranch Water

  • 2 ounces of blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • A sparkling water topper

The Ranch Water recipe steps

1. Add ice to a highball or pint glass.
2. Pour the blanco tequila and freshly squeezed lime juice into the glass.
3. Top with sparkling water of choice (Top Chico is the traditional choice).
4. Stir gently to combine.
5. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Tequila Sunrise

Tequila Sunrise
Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

There might be no more aptly named cocktail than the Tequila Sunrise. While there are theories that a version of the drink was created in the 1930s, bartenders Bobby Lozoff and Billy Rice created another version of the drink at the Trident in Sausalito, California for a party celebrating the beginning of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 tour. Made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, it looks like a setting sun when everything is added to the glass. It’s a simple, sweet cocktail that deserves more contemporary attention than it gets.

What you need to make Tequila Sunrise

  • 3 ounces of orange juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces of blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce of grenadine syrup

The Tequila Sunrise recipe steps

1. Add ice to a Collins, highball, or pint glass.
2. Pour the tequila and orange juice into the glass.
3. Top it with grenadine and wait for it to sink to the bottom.
4. Don’t stir.
5. Garnish with an orange wheel.


Margarita with water in the background
Olha Tatdot / Unsplash

There’s no argument that the margarita is by far the most popular tequila-based drink. If you’re going to make a traditional margarita, it’s not frozen. The traditional recipe calls for tequila, triple sec, and freshly squeezed lime juice. According to some, the popular cocktail was invented in 1930 by Dona Bertha, bartender and owner of Bertha’s Bar in Taxco, Mexico. Another story surrounds a bartender and hotel manager named David Daniel Negrete. Supposedly, he created the drink in 1936 at Hotel Garci Crespo in Tehuacan, Puebla, Mexico, for his girlfriend Margarita.

What you need to make a margarita

  • 1 1/2 ounces of blanco tequila
  • 1 ounce of triple sec
  • 3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Sea salt

The margarita recipe steps

1. Add ice to a shaker.
2. Pour blanco tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice into the shaker.
3. Shake vigorously to combine.
4. Rum a lime wedge around the edge of a rocks or Old Fashioned glass.
5. Dip the glass in sea salt to coat the rim.
6. Strain the ingredients into the glass.
7. Add a lime wedge for a garnish.


Paloma cocktail
Alexander Prokopenko / Shutterstock

Some people believe the Paloma might have been created in the late 1800s, others believe it was invented at La Capilla in the town of Tequila in Jalisco, Mexico. Famed bartender Don Javier Delgado Corona gets credit for creating it and the Batanga (a drink made with tequila, cola, and lime). While there are different ways to make a Paloma, the traditional way is with tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime juice.

What you need to make a Paloma

  • 2 ounces of blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Grapefruit soda topper

The Paloma recipe steps

1. Add ice to a highball or pint glass.
2. Pour in the blanco tequila and lime juice.
3. Top with grapefruit soda.
4. Gently stir to combine.
5. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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