Tequila has famous cocktails in the same way Julius Caesar had a famous friend called Brutus – a glorious power betrayed and destroyed by those meant to help serve it. The true Margarita has gone the way of the Martini and the white rhino – a beautiful power destroyed by idiots who need chemical help to get horny. Modern Margaritas do for tequila what the Atlantic Ocean did for the Titanic, ruining it with ice and salt, then drowning it in as much liquid as possible.
Margaritas are now advertised with more fruits than women’s cosmetics, and for the same function: artificial changes to make things you wouldn’t normally wrap your lips around temporarily palatable. We’ve already seen how the Tequila Slammer and Lick-and-Suck betray the fundamental LINK TRUTH OF TEQUILA ARTICLE truth of tequila.
The best tequilas are for sipping, not shooting, while the mid-range offer the same successful life strategies as all drinks: trying new things and mixing with others. Which is why we’ve collected some fun tequila cocktails. The Tequila Sunrise is an easy artwork in alcohol, while the Mexican Leprechaun is pure powerup in a glass. But that’s just the start. We’ve got five more fun things to do with Mexico’s true gold.
- 2 oz silver tequila
- 1 oz Kahlua
Pour the tequila into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Pour Kahlua on top and swirl.
The Brave Bull is the embodiment of Mexican liquors. The blue agave of Jalisco, the coffee and sugar cane of Veracruz: that’s not just a national drink, that’s three different ways the sun itself shows its love for us. The source of all life growing through sugars and caffeine to create a potion of pure life. Silver tequila is the youngest form of spirit, brash, bursting with agave, the alcoholic equivalent of a slap in the face and imprecation to get on with everything. Add the invigoration of caffeine and the liquid love that is rum and you don’t have a cocktail, you have a Humanity Upgrade Serum.
It’s important to stick to silver tequila. An aged tequila in this drink is like burning mahogany to keep warm. To lighten the taste, add lime juice and shake with ice to create a South of the Border.
- 2 oz tequila
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into ice-filled old fashioned glass. Add a slice of orange or lemon if you’re into that kind of thing.
This is the Lick and Suck done properly: combining tequila with citrus and white powder to create an even better drink, not cover a terrible one. The sharpness of the sour syncs up with the entire range of tequilas. A depth of flavor for good stuff, or adding citric spikes to the face-punching battery acid of the bad. Either way, you’re much more likely to do fun things, and much more alert to enjoy them.
Prairie Fire (shooter)
- 1 oz tequila
- Add drops of Tabasco
If you can’t work out what happens next, you’ve had too many.
It wouldn’t be a tequila list without a shooter. That ingredient list is incomplete, because it doesn’t include adrenaline and WOOOHOOOO! (Your body will add those automatically). It’s face-blasting fun, infinitely easier to set up than the regular shooters, and you won’t accidentally pickle your nostrils when using the salt-covered back of your hand to wipe away the tears of laughter. No condiments, knive, or acids on your hands (all bad ideas when drinking), all you need is a bottle full of the fun stuff. Which is the point of drinks in the first place.
- 1 part gold tequila
- 1 part amaretto
Pour into a chilled shot glass.
Another shooter because you can’t have just one tequila shooter. Trust me, I’ve tried: it’s impossible. And the more often you try, the less you see the point in limiting yourself. This is the less-lethal round of tequila shooters: it doesn’t feel nearly so bad slamming into you, but it will still put you down. Unlike most shooters it works well as a regular drink, served over ice, and I love it. Because it’s the closest I’ll come to pleasure I give people being referred to as “Chocolate Heat.”
Four Horsemen (shooter)
- 1 part Jim Beam
- 1 part Jack Daniels
- 1 part Johnnie Walker
- 1 part Jose Cuervo
Mix and shoot.
No, no, seriously. Last shooter. I love you guys. Last one. But if this is the last shooter, it’s because it’s an ICBM with multiple nuclear warheads. Don’t drink it. It’s one of the worst things ever inflicted on alcohol, never mind your liver, but now the idea is planted. So when it suddenly seems like a good idea, our advice is to take as many people down with you as possible.
- 1.5 oz tequila
- 0.5 oz crème de cacao
- 0.5 oz blue curacao
- 0.5 oz cream
Shake with ice, serve in ice-filled glasses. Make enough for everyone.
Frostbite: brightly-colored proof that tequila can be fun and friendly without betraying its true nature. That’s the liquor equivalent of a Disney movie. Every bit as easy to drink as anything you’d see with a swirly straw sticking out of it, but built by balancing alcohols instead of sickly syrup. 84% of this drink is pure booze, and it’s still brighter and bubblier than a kid’s cartoon character. Now that I think of it, picturing the characters as drunk explains a lot of kids’ TV shows.
This is one to mix up by the jug for parties. Warn everyone that it’s more powerful than they think, and everyone will have a great time when they don’t believe you. This is the booze equivalent of being rescued from muggers by Captain Crunch driving a monster truck – you wouldn’t have thought such a kiddy thing could kick so much ass, but you’ll enjoy the ride.
Luke McKinney writes about games, drink, science, and everything else that makes life amazing. He’s a columnist on Cracked and writes for several beer magazines. He’s also available for hire. Follow him on Tumblr and Twitter @lukemckinney.