9 Editor-Loved Cocktails to Celebrate National Tequila Day

From palomas to margaritas, and beyond.

July 22, 2022
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Lauren Lapenna.

To celebrate National Tequila Day, we’re shaking up tequila cocktails with our friends at Patrón Tequila. From lightly floral Reposado to smooth, golden Extra Añejo, their range of handcrafted tequilas are made with high-quality ingredients that’ll add an extra flavor boost to palomas, margaritas, and so much more.

Ready your cocktail shakers and mixing glasses: In anticipation of National Tequila Day (July 24) we’re coming in hot with a collection of our favorite tequila-based drinks. From creative sippers like a Raspberry Rose Paloma and a Smoky Tequila Mule to a classic lime and Cointreau-based margarita, we bet there’s something to please every palate in this list. (And hey, if you don’t want to drink your tequila, you could always pour it over watermelon.) But before diving in, it might be helpful to know your preferred style of tequila, which means knowing the differences between the three main types: blanco, reposado, and añejo tequilas.

Tequila Basics

  • Blanco, or silver, is the tequila baseline. Typically unaged, it’s diluted and bottled in its crystal-clear form. With a smooth, slightly sweet flavor, blanco tequila like Patrón Silver is ready for any cocktail, even something as simple as a tequila and soda (which happens to be my go-to when I’m at a bar with limited options). It has a lightly peppery finish that makes it ideal for experimenting with creative flavor additions, like a Raspberry Rose Paloma or a Tropical Sage Paloma.

  • Reposado tequila—typically a light shade of amber—is aged in oak barrels for at least two months, and up to one year. Patrón’s reposado is sweet in flavor with notes of oak and citrus, so it can hold its own in a cocktail. Try it in a classic margarita, or shake it up with a Spicy Mango Margarita.

  • Golden añejo tequila is aged for over a year in oak, which imparts notes of caramel and vanilla. Patrón uses a mix of French and Hungarian oak, as well as used American whiskey barrels for their añejo, giving it a complex flavor reminiscent of raisins and honey. Delightfully sippable on its own over ice, añejo also pairs well with citrus: try subbing it for the whiskey in an Old Fashioned.

Any style of this blue agave-based spirit would be fantastic in the cocktails we’ve rounded up for National Tequila Day below.


1. Classic Margarita

It feels wrong to mention a day dedicated to tequila without first calling out the queen of tequila cocktails, the margarita. This recipe is as classic as they come: tequila (any type), Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and agave syrup, on the rocks in a glass with a salted rim.

2. Raspberry Rose Paloma

This pretty in pink cocktail tastes as good as it looks. Shake fresh raspberry syrup with Patrón Reposado, grapefruit and lime juice, plus a few dashes of rose water, then pour into a glass with a crushed freeze-dried raspberry rim and finish the drink simply with club soda.

3. Spicy Mango Margarita

This mango margarita isn’t necessarily something you can throw together at a moment’s notice, but with a bit of prep, that first sip is well worth it. Award-winning mixologist Lynnette Marrero’s mango margarita starts with Patrón Silver Tequila and is shaken with mango shrub, grilled pineapple juice, and just a hit of hot sauce

4. Tropical Sage Paloma

Pineapple and sage may not be the first flavors you think of when you hear “paloma,” and that’s what makes this cocktail so genius. The two ingredients are simmered into a syrup, and from there shaken with Patrón Reposado and lime juice. Top each drink with grapefruit soda and you’re ready to cheers.

5. Smoky Tequila Mule

Pair a spicy simple syrup with lime juice, ginger beer, and Patrón Reposado to make this Smoky Tequila Mule. The spices from the chipotle syrup and ginger will enhance the sweet, citrusy Patron Reposado.

6. Hibiscus Margarita

The color of this Hibiscus Margarita is enough to draw in anyone, but wait until you actually take a sip. Recipe developer Shannon Mustipher was “inspired by growing up in Charleston, which is a really bright and floral city—just like the flavors in this cocktail,” which features Patrón Silver, spiced hibiscus syrup, fresh lime juice, and orange Curaçao.

7. Rosemary Paloma

Have you finished your bottle of Patrón Silver yet? If not, it’s time to try this Rosemary Paloma. The woody herb-based syrup and grapefruit soda make this cocktail something you’ll be excited to drink all year round.

8. Strawberry Margarita on the Rocks

Blended margaritas are fun, but this strawberry one is served on the rocks and is made with fresh strawberries. The juicy, floral fruit pairs so well with tequila and lime you should probably make a pitcher instead of a single serving.

9. Session Margarita

For those who prefer a less boozy beverage, but still like to enjoy a cocktail, look no further than the Session Margarita. A blend of manzanilla sherry, tequila (whichever style you prefer), orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and a touch of agave syrup, this lower-ABV margarita is just a flavorful as one with more tequila, but is a much slower start to the evening.

What cocktail are you mixing up for National Tequila Day? Tell us in the comments below!

Our friends at Patrón Tequila have been distilling their 100 percent Blue Weber Agave tequilas in Jalisco, Mexico for over 30 years. Each one of their handcrafted tequilas starts with high-quality raw ingredients—from smooth, citrusy Patrón Silver to ultra-sippable, oak barrel-aged Patrón Añejo. To add flavorful depth to your next cocktail, snag a bottle of Patrón at a retailer near you.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.