El Jimador Tequila

Delicious Tequila Cocktails

September 17, 2020

Tequila cocktails are a really interesting space to create. The cocktail history books are full of drinks using spirits and ingredients of all kinds. Although tequila has been with us for a couple of hundred years, we have little to show for it other than the Margarita. So tequila is great breeding ground.

One of the most interesting things for me about tequila is that because of its unique flavour profile, it is less adaptable than gin or vodka for example. However, like rum, when it finds ingredients that it marries well with, the results can be awe-inspiring.

Soul Happiness

Being originally from the island of Cyprus, watermelon is my favourite fruit. Were it not such an inconsistent fruit (in terms of the varying levels of sweetness). Watermelon is an ingredient that brings out tequila’s playful side. This drink from the Soulshakers is as simple as it is magnificent.

Tequila – 50ml
Lemon Juice – 20ml
Watermelon syrup* – 25ml
Orange bitters – 2 dashes

Method: Shake & Strain. Serve up in a large martini glass.
Garnish: A watermelon wedge on the side of the glass.

* “Take a small watermelon and put the flesh through a sieve until you have extracted all the juice. Take the resulting juice and mix it with an equal quantity of caster sugar. The syrup should be thick and sweet. Stir in the juice of one lemon and it is ready to use. Watermelon syrup keeps for one week in the fridge”- http://www.soulshakers.co.uk/cocktails/straight-up/tequila/soul-happiness/


Tequila Espresso

Although it’s the Vodka Espresso (aka Espresso Martini) that has become the emperor of the coffee pick-me-up cocktails, it is the quiet Tequila Espresso that is the more accomplished. In much the same way as the aforementioned watermelon, tequila has a natural affinity with coffee that vodka cannot match. If Dick Bradsell had given us this cocktail with tequila at the heart, I wonder if it would have had the same fire lit under it.

Tequila – 40ml
Kahlua – 10ml
Toussaint  10ml
Fresh espresso – 25ml

Method: Shake & Strain. Serve up in a large martini glass.
Garnish: 3 coffee beans.


Tequila Treacle

Adapted from Dick’s Treacle and created by Kevin Armstrong. This drink uses agave instead of sugar syrup which introduces the sweetening agent that tequila knows so very well of course. Since they share the agave plant as parents, they are brothers from another mother. Simple and very effective.

Tequila – 50ml
Agave syrup – 10ml
Orange bitters – 1 dash
Angostura bitters – 1 dash
Apple juice – 10ml

Method: Stir in a rocks glass over cubed ice.
Garnish: Lemon peel


Tequila Sunrise (the original recipe)

I was really happy and pretty fascinated when I learned that there was more to the Tequila Sunrise than I first knew. Then came the reality check that no one would care. The kind of people that order this drink are those that couldn’t care less that this drink has hidden integrities. They just wanted to watch you float grenadine down the straw to make a “sunrise” in their glass.

I am indebted to Dale de Groff for introducing this recipe to a group of us in a training session he hosted for us at The Player in London. According to Dale, the following recipe is adapted from The Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana.

Tequila – 50ml
Lemon juice – 15ml
Sugar syrup – 5ml
Cassis – 10ml
Grenadine – 5ml
Soda – Top

Method: Build in to a highball glass leaving the grenadine and cassis behind. Mix well. Finally, slowly pour the cassis and grenadine to create the sunrise effect.
Garnish: None


Grapefruit Picador

Originally served at the Café Royal back in the 1930s and published in the Café Royal Cocktail Book (1937).
The Picador (without the grapefruit prefix) gave birth to the recipe that is now commonly associated with another drink that you might have heard – The Margarita. A masterful cocktail from The Hawksmoor.

Tequila – 50ml
Grapefruit Sherbet** – 15ml
Velvet Falernum – 15ml
Lime juice – 25ml

Method: Shake and strain over cubed ice in a rocks glass
Garnish: Thick grapefruit slice

**Grate the zest of two pink grapefruits using a microplane over 400g of caster sugar. Leave for 1hr or so to allow the oils of the fruit to soak in to the sugar. Dissolve the sugar in to 400ml of fresh pink grapefruit juice. A makeshift bain-marie will help here. Strain through a sieve to leave the grated grapefruit zest behind. Recipe taken from The Hawksmoor.

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