20 Cocktails that are event better with Tequila

Article by Maxim   July 24th 2017

National Tequila Day is July 24, so it’s only natural that we mark this somewhat dubious “holiday” by celebrating the world’s most popular agave-based spirit.

We all know about classic tequila-spiked cocktails like margaritas and palomas. But how about tequila in drinks that traditionally aren’t comprised of tequila, from sturdy favorites like the martini and Old Fashioned to fanciful craft cocktails being whipped up at bars across America.

How does tequila play in drinks that aren’t typically made with it? According to Johnny Swet, head mixologist at Skylark in Manhattan, it’s a match made in cocktail heaven.

“Tequilas are wonderfully complex with some amazing notes and flavors,” he says. “I often substitute tequila in cocktails that call for rye or bourbon. I tend to use silver tequilas in juice and fruit-forward cocktails, but prefer the aging of reposado and anejo for stirred and boozy cocktails.”

Jonathan Shock, bartender at Detroit’s Prime + Proper, says tequila’s complex vegetal notes make it a solid substitute for gin in a drink like a Negroni. “It provides a rich and complex flavor profile while also having the grace to play well with other ingredients without bullying them.”

“It’s no surprise that tequila has had the most dramatic sales growth of any spirit over the last ten years,” says bar manager Kaitlyn Fischer at South Boston’s Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar.

“I honestly think you can swap out tequila for almost any other spirit, making maybe minor changes to other ingredients, and craft a delicious cocktail. The versatility of tequila and its variance in flavor profile, from clean and bright blancos to anejos with a hint of smoke or caramel, really promotes bartenders to be playful and think outside the box when coming up with new ingredients to mix with tequila. Almost anything is fair game.”

With that in mind, here are 20 classic cocktails that are made even better by substituting tequila for other spirits. Bottoms up, people.

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