Bartender pouring from shaker a classic tequila margarita cocktail

Blogs & Inspiration

How to Add a Tequila Twist to Classic Cocktails

It is often assumed that tequila is only enjoyable neat or in a traditional tequila cocktail, like a Margarita or Paloma. However, when swapped in for other base spirits, the agave can bring a depth and give new life to familiar or overused recipes.

Author: Deano Montcrieffe, Tequila & Mezcal Expert

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes


I’ve been specialising in agave spirits and tequila for over 20 years now and I really believe that tequila is one of the most versatile categories out there. There’s a real drive to offer customers something new and exciting that will challenge their perception of tequila and really showcase the drink’s unique flavours. Classic cocktail riffs are a great vehicle to achieve this, as they hold some level of familiarity with most people and are a fun way to introduce new folks to the story of tequila. These riffs aren’t just about twisting classic recipes for the sake of it, but, more so, it’s where the quality flavours of tequila can enhance a recipe and make the drink more accessible. Additionally, the familiar grouping of flavours in classic recipes really showcases the unfamiliar component, in this case tequila, and allows it to shine.


Creating new drinks is a great opportunity to play with the anatomy of a classic cocktail and here I’ve chosen the classic Negroni. The result, calling for Don Julio in place of gin, gave a fresh, lighter twist on the classic with subtle vegetal notes. It went down incredibly well.Launched in Mexico and the US in 2011, Don Julio 70 is the world’s first clear Añejo. It’s aged for 18 months and then undergoes a special filtration process. This removes the colour from the liquid, but retains the complexity of an aged sprit, making it a great fit for a Negroni.


If this has inspired you, here are a few recipes to get started with. This includes a Reposado Spritz, a White Negroni and a Casamigos Old Fashioned. Try them for yourself and get experimenting with tequila to discover the strength, subtlety and versatility of this amazing spirit. Invite customers to try something more adventurous and taste the unexpected.


Casamigos Reposado has a silky texture that’s filled with cocoa, caramels and wood notes. These dense textures are carried by the bubbles, putting more length in the drink and setting it up to be a summer classic. Try this Casa Repo Spritz and see how you get on.


A bartender’s favourite, the Negroni is a surefire classic and for good reason. This recipe Don Julio 70 White Negroni is a modern twist that honours the blueprint and bitterness of a traditional Negroni.


The Old Fashioned goes south in this great recipe Casamigos Añejo Old Fashioned to showcase the qualities of an añejo tequila.


  • It’s often assumed tequila is only enjoyable neat or as part of a traditional tequila cocktail.
  • When swapped in for other base spirits, the agave can bring a depth and new lease of life.
  • Tequila is one of the most versatile categories out there.
  • There’s a drive to offer something new that will challenge the perception of tequila.
  • Classic cocktail riffs are a great vehicle to achieve something new and exciting for tequila.

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