Casa Dragones Millionario recipe by bartender Daniel Sanchez, of Joe Leo in Dallas. Photo by Kevin Marple.
Codigo 1530 Rosa recipe for a Spicy Watermelon Margarita. Photo by Amir Shafii.
Casamigos tequila offers up the Casa Lavender cocktail.
Socorro Ranch Water recipe keeps it clean and low carb.
Mijenta tequila's recipe for Maya's Nectar cocktail with a touch of turmeric.
As if we needed an excuse to sip tequila, National Tequila Day is fast approaching. It’s this Saturday. July 24. Regardless of the calendar though, craft sipping tequila is quickly becoming the drink of choice for the stylish set.
In fact, tequila sales grew by 9.6 percent worldwide in 2020 alone, according to Drinks Market Analysis (IWSR). That’s in large part due to its soaring popularity in the United States. Of course, the 100 percent agave-based spirit is most often produced from agave fields in Mexico, tequila continues to be a natural choice for many Texans.
To celebrate National Tequila Day, here are some fabulous tequila cocktails you can easily shake at home:
Código 1530 Rosa is one of the newer expressions by George Strait’s Código brand tequila. It begins with their Blanco, and gets its blush color and light floral finish from “resting” for one month in uncharred Napa Valley cabernet French white oak wine barrels.
This wine barrel aged tequila is perfectly highlighted in a Spicy Watermelon Margarita. Nothing says summer like fresh watermelon, and a touch of jalapeno adds balance to this cocktail.
Spicy Watermelon Margarita
- 2 ounces Código 1530 Rosa
- 1.5 ounces watermelon juice
- .25 ounce lime juice
- dash of agave nectar
- 3 slices of jalapeño (add more for more spice)
Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a highball glass with the salted (or sugared) rim and a large ice cube. Garnish with a lime wedge and jalapeño slices.
Another noteworthy George reps Casamigos tequila. George Clooney and some friends launched the company with help from a master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico. It all started as their “house” tequila, until marketing got a hold of it and Casamigos spread like. . . well, agave. It’s now the house tequila at many bars and restaurants.
The Casa Lavender is a muddy colored concoction with plenty of herbal appeal and smooth, relaxing lavender.
- 5 ounces Casamigos Blanco Tequila
- .75 ounce Crème de Violette liqueur
- .75 ounce fresh pineapple juice
- .5 ounce fresh lemon juice
- .5 ounce simple syrup
- 2 dashes of lavender bitters
- garnish with dried (or fresh) lavender sprigs
Combine all ingredients into a shaker and dry shake (no ice). Then add ice and shake vigorously for a few seconds before straining into a coupe glass. Garnish with two dried (or fresh) lavender sprigs.
Owners, Josh Irving and Pablo Antinori, are both based in Dallas, and their Socorro tequila is produced in Jalisco, Mexico, at Casa Camerena. This is place with more than 200 years of history, tradition and experience making some of the greatest tequilas in the world.
Ranch water has become the state drink of Texas in recent years. And Topo Chico is many’s preferred mixer. Both simple and refreshing, this drink lets the tequila shine through. I prefer mine with a reposado adding its hints of oak and vanilla, but most people grab a fresh blanco.
Socorro Ranch Water
- Tajin or salt (for rim)
- 2 ounces Socorro Blanco
- .05 ounce fresh lime juice
- splash of Topo Chico to top
Fill a 12 ounce glass with ice. Rim the glass with Tajin or salt to taste. Add Socorro Blanco and lime juice. Top with a splash of Topo Chico. Make it seasonal by adding one ounce of your favorite fruit juice.
Mijenta Tequila is a product of Mexico’s Jalisco highlands, imported by Dallas’ own Altos Planos Inc. Its artisanal tequila is crafted by master distiller Ana Maria Romero and the rest of the Altos Planos team to achieve a silky result.
Maya’s Nectar is the creation of Mijenta Tequila’s co-founder and resident mixologist Juan Coronado. With honey and pineapple enhancing the tropical fruit notes within the tequila, this cocktail adds both turmeric and acidity to balance and complement the flavors.
- 2 parts Mijenta blanco tequila
- .75 part pineapple
- .5 part honey turmeric syrup
- .75 part lime juice
Shake all ingredients vigorously with plenty of ice. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thyme sprig.
This small batch distiller sources from Jalisco’s agave region as well. Founded in 2009 by Bertha González Nieves, who was the first woman to be certified as ‘Maestra Tequilera’ (master tequila distiller) by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila, it’s a super-premium brand with a similar provenance.
This recipe is courtesy of bartender Daniel Sanchez of Joe Leo restaurant in Dallas. With under five ingredients, and a hint of sweetness from the top shelf Grand-Marnier, it comes together in just a few minutes.
- 1.5 oz Casa Dragones Blanco
- .75 oz Grand-Marnier Louis-Alexandre
- .75 oz Lime Juice
- .5 oz Champagne Syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake until tin is chilled (10 to 15 seconds). Rim one third of a martini glass with a golden black lava sea salt for dramatic effect. Double strain into a martini glass and serve immediately.
No time to shake your own? You could consider grabbing one of the growing number of canned tequila cocktails in the refrigerated section of stores that sell drinks. Options include RANCH2O margarita or Ranch Water, Two Chicks grapefruit Paloma, Austin’s Ranch Rider Spirits Co., or Cutwater Spirits margarita cans in flavors like mango, strawberry and summery peach.