Here are 3 warm and festive twists on Tequila drinks to help bring in the Fall season and keep the celebrations going during the cooler weather. Let’s get going with tequila drinks to celebrate the holidays!
1. Spiced Apple Margarita – great for holiday parties and Mexican-themed dinners featuring spiced sugar and salt rims that will have you licking your lips!
Spiced apple margarita (per cocktail)
2 ounces reposado tequila
1 1/2 to 2 ounces apple juice or cider, preferably organic
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice (about 1 medium lime, juiced)
1 teaspoon honey simple syrup (recipe below) or 3/4 teaspoon agave nectar
Dash ground cinnamon
Honey simple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
Cinnamon/sugar/salt rim blend and garnish
1 teaspoon sugar (I used coconut sugar, but cane sugar or turbinado sugar will also do)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Optional garnish: 1 star of anise per drink
First, prepare the honey simple syrup by combining the water and honey in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until the honey is dissolved in the water. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
On a small plate, use a fork to blend the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Run a wedge of lime around the top of each drinking glass, then turn the glass down at a 45-degree angle and roll the top of the glass through the cinnamon, sugar and salt blend. Fill the glasses with ice and set them aside.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Feel free to make 2 to 3 drinks at once. Pour in the tequila, apple juice or cider, lime juice, honey simple syrup and cinnamon. Put on the lid and shake the cocktail for about 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the prepared glass(es) and add a star of anise if you’d like. Salud!
2. Rosemary Grapefruit Margarita
Margaritas are not just a summer drink. With this recipe there are autumn notes to make this into a holiday classic cocktail. The sweet-tartness of grapefruit juice is balanced out by the piney herbal notes of the fresh rosemary. The rosemary also makes a fun garnish. Save a sprig for the garnish and smoke it slightly to a woodsy aroma reminiscent of fireplaces and log cabins adding a touch of dramatic flair.
- 2 ounces blanco tequila
- 2 sprigs rosemary, plus 1 extra for optional garnish
- 1/2 ounce Agave in the Raw
- 1 1/4 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or cocktail salt for rimming the glass (optional)
- If you’d like a salt rim, dump the salt out on a small plate. Prepare your (empty) rocks glass by rubbing the edge with a wedge of lime (or your spent lime or grapefruit wedges). Dip the wet glass rim into the salt mixture and move it around until the rim is well coated.
- Fill your rimmed glass with ice.
- Add the rosemary and agave nectar to an empty cocktail shaker (no ice) and muddle until the rosemary becomes fragrant.
- Add the tequila, grapefruit and lime juices, and ice to the shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds and double strain (pour over a mesh strainer) into your ice-filled glass.
- If you’re using the smoked rosemary garnish, carefully hold a match under a sprig of rosemary until it starts to smolder slightly. Add the non-smoking side of the spring into your glass.
3. Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
Easy to make margarita that celebrates the Autumn Season. Featuring the iconic flavors of apple, cinnamon, and cranberry with a base of tequila that’s sure to bring the fun for your cool weather parties! There is depth and warmth to this drink but will take a little patience and time in the preparation.
- 2 ounces apple-cinnamon tequila
- 1/2 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- Apple wedge or lemon twist for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, combine all of the ingredients.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.
- Strain into a chilled margarita or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with an apple wedge or lemon twist.
DIY Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
The signature ingredient in this cranberry margarita is the apple-cinnamon tequila. You will have to make it yourself because there are none available on the market. The great news is that it’s incredibly easy and takes very little work, just a bit of patience.
The tequila infusion requires just three ingredients: tequila, two apples and two cinnamon sticks. You will also want an infusion jar, such as a large mason jar with a lid that has a tight seal. You can make as much apple-cinnamon tequila as you like, though it’s often better to begin with half a bottle of tequila on your first batch.
For the tequila, a blanco (silver) tequila is nice, but a reposado tequila is even better. The tequila’s slight oakiness from aging and earthy agave flavors are perfect for the apple-cinnamon flavors.
Which apples are best? You’ll find that red apples are the better choice here. Any of the green varieties are just a little too tart for the flavor we’re going for. Save those for your summer vodka and gin infusions and use red apples for flavoring tequila, whiskey, brandy, and rum.
- To infuse your tequila, wash the apples and cut them into wedges that will fit into your infusion jar.
- Place the sliced apples and cinnamon sticks into the jar, then fill it up with tequila.
- Tighten the lid and give it a good shake.
- Store in a cool, dark place for five to seven days, shaking it daily to mix up the ingredients. After the fifth day, give your tequila a taste test.
If the flavor is to your liking, remove the apples and cinnamon. You can either strain them out or simply pull each piece out with tongs. Bottle your tequila with a tight seal and store as you would any other liquor.
If you think you’d like a little more flavor, allow the infusion to continue, checking it daily until it reaches your ideal taste. There may be a point where you want to remove the cinnamon and allow the apples to continue infusing to accentuate that flavor.
The beauty of this infusion recipe is that the ingredients are large so they’re easy to remove. That means you can customize it as you go. You may want a little more apple or a little more cinnamon and it’s all under your control. Have fun, take notes on this batch and tweak the flavor on the next round if needed.
The finished tequila can add a warm spark to many tequila cocktails. It also makes a great sipper or shot throughout the autumn and winter months.
No Time for the Infusion?
The apple and cinnamon flavors really do make this cranberry margarita unique and give the cocktail dimension. If you don’t have a week to wait for the tequila infusion, there is a faster way to get those flavors into the drink. The trick is to make an apple-cinnamon simple syrup.
While you could use fresh apples, the quickest way to get a great apple flavor is to split the syrup’s water with apple juice or cider. Using this cinnamon syrup recipe, simply use 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup apple juice. It can be ready within a couple hours and you’ll be all set to mix up your margarita.
When using the syrup shortcut, you will find it best to adjust the cranberry margarita’s sweetener, which is the triple sec. Knock the triple sec pour down to 1/4 ounce, add 1/2 ounce of apple-cinnamon syrup, and ramp up the lime juice to just under 3/4 ounce. This drink should have a nice balance of flavor and you can always adjust it further to suit your taste.
Which is your favorite recipe? Let us know how the drink recipe turns out by commenting below!