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Tequila is a magnificent spirit because it can be sipped neat like bourbon and scotch, but, like rum and vodka, it also blends wonderfully into mixed drinks. There are roughly 3 billion margarita variations that are mostly lovely, so it’s hard to go wrong there, but we’re going to try and avoid anything you could order at Applebee’s. As summer heats up, these cool tequila drinks will help keep you chilled.

VERACRUZANA

VERACRUZANA drink made with tequila with pineappleEvery ingredient that gets put into this drink is refreshing on its own, so the sum couldn’t be anything less than magnificent. Like so many tequila drinks, you could argue this is just another margarita variation, with agave instead of simple syrup and pineapple juice instead of triple sec, but does it really matter? Named after Veracruz, the center of Mexico’s pineapple production, this drink stands on its own. The only downside is the bad rap agave syrup has gotten recently for being crazy high in fructose, so if you want to switch that back to simple syrup ….

INGREDIENTS:
2 parts reposado tequila
3/4 parts agave nectar
1 part fresh lime juice
4 fresh pineapple chunks (per serving)
2 basil leaves (per serving)
Ice
Fresh basil leaf and pineapple wedge for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Muddle pineapple and basil in a shaker. Add ice and the wet ingredients and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with pineapple and basil.
From complex.com

ENVY

Envy drink made with tequila pairing nicely with a cigar Tequila, blue Curaçao, and pineapple juice—the only thing missing is a palm tree and Hawaiian shirt. Blue Curaçao is a cocktail favorite because of the stunning color it adds, but it is really sweet, often making it hard to drink multiples. For this drink, play with the amounts of blue Curaçao and pineapple juice used. You’ll shift the flavors slightly and get crowd-pleasing tones ranging anywhere from neon blue to emerald green.

INGREDIENTS:
3 parts blanco tequila
1 part blue Curaçao
1 part fresh pineapple juice
Ice
Maraschino cherry for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
Pour the ingredients into a shaker and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
By Colleen Graham, The Spruce

IN-SANDIARY

IN-SANDIARY drink made with tequila, watermelon, and lime

Every summer I try to make a drink or punch using watermelon, and every year I walk away unimpressed, wishing it had more … something. Thanks to the spicy rim, this drink has that extra kick. Created by renowned bartender Joaquín Simó at Death & Company in New York, this drink has a little bit of everything in each sip. The name is a play on words, combining “incendiary” for the spice, with “sandía,” the Spanish word for watermelon.

INGREDIENTS:
Lime wedge
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 cup ripe watermelon, seeds removed
2 ounces blanco tequila
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Ice

DIRECTIONS:
Use the lime wedge to wet the rim of the glass. Mix the salt, sugar, and chili powder on a flat saucer. Dip the glass in the salt mixture. Juice the watermelon until you have 2 ounces of strained juice. Add it to a shaker with the tequila, lime juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake well and strain into the glass. Garnish with the lime wedge.
By Joaquin Simo

For more on tequila, check these out these spring cocktails from Maestro Dobel, and this Horny Bull recipe, as well as everything you could ever want to know about tequila

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