10 Classic Cocktails That Are Even Better with Tequila

They’re called classic cocktails for a reason. Drinks like the Manhattan and old fashioned are familiar, easy to make and even easier to drink…but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a new life. Might we suggest an unexpected upgrade such as…tequila? By swapping out the usual suspects (you know, rum, gin and whiskey) for Don Julio Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and 70 Añejo Claro tequila, you can make a whole new drink without changing much at all. Here, 10 classic cocktails that have been tequila-fied to prove our point.

1. Don Julio Negroni

Ah, the Negroni. This cocktail is not only delish but also deceptively simple to make. Typically, it’s one part gin, one part sweet red vermouth and one part bitter aperitif; simply swap the gin for Don Julio Reposado Tequila—it’s barrel-aged for a richer taste—and you’ve got a refreshing tasting drink that’s slightly less bitter than the original and perfect for whipping up during happy hour at home. (Don’t skip the twist of orange for a garnish.)

2. Anejo Old Fashioned

There’s nothing old fashioned (ha ha) about this cocktail, which we love as a night cap with friends. Swapping rich, aged Don Julio Anejo Tequila for the usual bourbon whiskey transforms the drink into a smokier version of the classic.

3. Paloma Spritz

If an Italian spritz and a paloma had a very delicious baby, this would be it. Top it off with a splash of soda water for extra fizz. It's summer in a glass.

4. Don Julio Bloody Maria

Upgrade your brunch spread with a Bloody Maria—she’s like the Bloody Mary’s fun cousin from the city. Go as wild as you want with garnishes (bacon, shrimp and gherkins are all game), or keep it simple with a stalk of celery.

5. Mojito Blanco

Mojitos have the ideal combo of sweet, tart and minty. And while you’ll normally find it made with white rum, subbing in Don Julio Blanco Tequila tones down the sweetness just enough to make it even more satisfying. Spending a sunny afternoon by the pool? Ready thy cocktail shaker.

6. Tequila Horchata White Russian

If you’re already swapping the vodka in a White Russian for tequila, why not take it one step further and use horchata instead of cream? It’s sweet, cinnamon-y and a natural complement to the coffee liquer—ideal for a cozy holiday gathering or a sweet treat just because.

7. Don Julio 70th Mulo

You’ve heard of a Moscow mule, but what about a Mexican mule? Don Julio 70 Añejo Claro Tequila is like a cross between añejo and blanco tequila: It’s barrel-aged for oaky complexity, then charcoal filtered so it goes down smooth. It only makes sense to pair it with ginger beer and lime—a little sweet and deliciously spicy. Serve it in a highball glass or a frosty copper mug during your next Taco Tuesday night for bonus points.

8. Blanco Soda

Hello, fancy. Sub tequila for the vodka in a vodka soda, then garnish with hibiscus flowers and mint leaves to kick things up a notch or two. Ready to wind down after a hard day's work? This is your drink.

9. Tequila Fizz

Nothing against the original gin fizz, but we’re officially trading it in for this pretty drink. Blood orange juice gives it its color, but you could use lemons, limes or regular oranges too. We love how the bubbles give this drink a fun flair, perfect for celebrations when you'd rather not go all in on sparkling wine.

10. Añejo Manhattan

In the case of the classic Manhattan cocktail, less is more. (Seriously, it’s only three ingredients.) Similar to rye whiskey, Don Julio Añejo Tequila is barrel-aged and has hints of vanilla and a spicy finish. Pair it with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of bitters for a spin the old favorite. Try this recipe the next time you host a dinner part to seriously wow your guests.

purewow author

Our editorial team works with a variety of writers and experts across all fields to produce thoroughly researched stories that resonate with you. Our mission is to be that...