Level Up Your Tequila Cocktails This Cinco de Mayo
Words by Jane Ryan
No Mexican celebration is complete without some great tequila - but pause a second before you start smashing out the margys for the 10th year in a row. Is it finally time to try something a little different? Absolutely it is! Don't worry, we aren't straying too far from tequila, lime and orange (or agave syrup) but these drinks will prove definitively that tequila is no one trick pony.
Go Floral: Tequila's Other BFF Lavender
Has anyone ever told you how well tequila and lavender match? Well they do, and you don't have to take our word either - just test these drinks out and see for yourself.
With: Patrón Reposado tequila , Green Chartreuse liqueur, maraschino liqueur, lavender sugar syrup, lime juice and lavender bitters*.
We say: Spanish speakers (and Archer fans) will know that Palabra means word, and therefore this is a tequila twist of the famous Last Word, with the amount of maraschino slightly reduced to accommodate the introduction of lavender syrup, which in turn is also balanced by a dash of lavender bitters.
*We know lavender bitters sounds like one of those impossible-to-source ingredients like cordyceps, but we've checked and you can order them from Dans, making them practically common.
With:Patrón Reposado tequila, lime juice and lavender sugar syrup.
We say: A riff on the classic Margarita cocktail, subbing in the floral lavender for the sweetener, created in 2006 by Simon Difford.
Go Herbal: Sweet and Sour Aren't The Only Options
With: Patrón Silver blanco tequila, kummel liqueur, Green Chartreuse, sugar syrup and lime juice.
We say: Citrusy fresh and herbaceous, particularly caraway from the Kummel, with tequila providing the backbone. The reviews on this cocktail alone should convince you to try The Dante - described by Difford's readers as one of the finest drinks in the world.
Corpse Reviver No.4
With: Patrón Reposado tequila, absinthe, Lillet Blanc, triple sec, lemon juice and sugar syrup.
We say: Beautifully balanced with lemon acidity cleansing and offsetting sweet orange with subtle herbal tequila. Created by Måns Dahlman at the Papillon Bar, Bank Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.
With: Patrón Silver blanco tequila, Bénédictine D.O.M. liqueur and margarita bitters.
We say: Tequila shines in this delightfully honeyed and herbal cocktail - a riff on the classic Gypsy Queen by Simon Difford. It may interest you to know that cocktails based on tequila are often termed 'rude', as in the Rude Cosmopolitan, hence the name.
Go Spicey: If Lime & Lavender Are Known Sidekicks, Then So Too Is Spice
Margarita Del Diablo
With: Patrón Silver blanco tequila, chilli liqueur, lime juice, sugar syrup and Claret red wine.
We say: Sip a chilli-spiced Margarita through a thin layer of devilishly red wine. Adapted from a recipe (with Ancho Reyes Verde) created for Dia de los Muertos by Richard Elgar.
With: Patrón Silver blanco tequila, Campari, Aperol, bianco vermouth and chilli liqueur.
We say: AKA a Chilli Tequila Negroni. Think of it like a bittersweet and lightly chili spicy aperitivo to awaken your taste buds. Created in 2016 by Yana Volfson, beverage director at Cosme restaurant in New York City, USA.
Go Neat-ish: Delicious Tequila Needs No Frills
Añejo Old Fashioned
With: Patrón Añejo tequila, agave syrup and Margarita Bitters.
We say: A hint of agave syrup sweetness and dilution from the stirred ice knocks back the spirit's fire while opening and releasing agave flavours. (If you don't have Margarita bitters then Angostura Aromatic Bitters will do.)
With: Patrón Silver blanco tequila, bianco vermouth and Margarita bitters.
We say: A 2:1 Dry Martini that's like no gin or vodka comparison – it's arguably better. Adapted from Megs Miller's Mex Martini and crucially it is her advice to use a bianco vermouth or bianco Americano that makes this cocktail. Megs prefers a lemon zest twist - try both and see.