18 Utterly Refreshing Tequila Cocktails You'll Want To Make Again And Again

From classic Texas Ranch Waters to delightful Watermelon Margaritas.

Southern Living Watermelon Margaritas in two glasses ready to serve

Dotdash Meredith

Tequila was once an underrated liquor—outside of Texas icehouses at least—and relegated largely to the college-aged coalition. However, the agave spirit is finally receiving much-overdue attention and admiration by those who love a unique, refreshing cocktail. And it's about time! While it always comes in handy to have the perfect go-to recipe for iced-down Classic Margaritas and iconic Texas Ranch Waters, there's so much more that can be done to take tequila to delicious new levels.

We've got a frozen peach cocktail that tastes like summer in a sip, a serrano-infused watermelon spritz that goes down way too easy, and even a savory Bloody Maria that will make you rethink the traditional brunch drink. Read on for our 18 best tequila cocktail recipes that perfectly balance sweet, tart, spicy, and more.

01 of 18


Southern Living Paloma three drinks ready to serve

Dotdash Meredith

A simpler and fruiter version of a margarita, a paloma is a refreshing choice when you want a tart and sweet drink that looks extra pretty in your glass. You can use sparkling water, such as Topo Chico, or Jarritos if you prefer something sweeter.

02 of 18

Peach Margaritas

Peach Margaritas
Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Loren Wood; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Say hello to your new favorite way to make use of in-season peaches. These frozen cocktails are refreshing for a hot day, and don't forget the chile-lime seasoning for the rim. It's essential.

03 of 18

Texas Ranch Water

Texas Ranch Water
Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Perhaps the tequila drink that Texans are the most passionate about, ranch water is perfect in its simplicity. A traditional recipe only calls for three ingredients: tequila of your choice, fresh lime juice, and Topo Chico.

04 of 18

Bloody Maria

Bloody Maria

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

This spirited brunch cocktail (that is also a favorite for game days) gives a classic Bloody Mary a Tex-Mex twist. You switch out vodka for tequila instead, and we recommend adding a chile-lime rim.

05 of 18

Watermelon Margaritas

Southern Living Watermelon Margaritas in two glasses ready to serve

Dotdash Meredith

If you like margaritas with fruitiness, watermelon is such a delicious addition for a touch of sweetness and flavor. Tip: The watermelon is going to make or break your margarita. We call for a seedless watermelon to streamline the process, but you can also use your favorite farmers' market find.

06 of 18

Texas Margarita

four glasses of texas margarita with orange halves and salt rim
Will Dickey

The origin of this version of a margarita must stem back to Texans who prefer a little extra sweetness. Orange juice is the magic ingredient, which happens to pair well with Triple Sec, tequila, and lime juice.

07 of 18

Pomegranate Margarita

Pomegranate Margaritas in clear margarita glasses

Antonis Achilleos; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

The best blend of tart, sweet, and boozy, these pomegranate-infused cocktails take a couple extra ingredients, but it's so worth it for the colorful punch of flavor. Plus, they make a festive option during the holiday season.

08 of 18

Frozen Margarita

Frozen Margarita
Antonis Achilleos

Everyone needs a go-to frozen drink recipe for when it starts getting scorching-hot outside in the South. This makes a big batch for sharing.

09 of 18

Southern Sunrise

Southern Sunrise
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Thom Driver; Food Stylist: Tina Stamos

With this short ingredient list, you will memorize it after making the recipe just one time. This old-school cocktail calls for orange juice and grenadine for a sweet refresher.

10 of 18

Christmas Cactus Cocktails

Christmas Cactus Cocktails

Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

This drink is worth getting festive for—during the holidays and all year long. The slightly savory big-batch cocktail includes a surprising ingredient: clamato juice.

11 of 18

Strawberry Margarita Spritzers

Beer 'Garitas
Becky Luigart-Stayner

For those who like a slightly less strong cocktail, a spritzer is the way to go. These spritz cocktails are part margarita, part daiquiri. Use store-bought frozen daiquiri mix for ultimate hosting ease.

12 of 18

Mojitarita Cocktail

Katie Jacobs

If you love the taste of a fresh, mint-muddled mojito, but prefer tequila over rum, this recipe offers the best of both worlds.

13 of 18

Pomegranate Ranch Water

Pomegranate ranch water in glass with lime garnish

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Dress up a traditional ranch water by adding in a splash of pomegranate juice. It adds a sweet tartness, as well as turns it a party-ready color!

14 of 18

Classic Margarita

Classic Margarita

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

No need for pre-made, sugar-laden mixes with this simple go-to margarita recipe. (Homemade always tastes way better.) You can add agave syrup for sweetness if you want, but the orange liqueur provides a good bit.

15 of 18

Spicy Watermelon Refresher

Spicy Watermelon Refresher
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Fresh watermelon from your local farmers' market is going to mellow out the heat of this serrano-infused spritz and add classic summer flavor. Those desiring a weaker sipper can add a splash more of seltzer as needed.

16 of 18

Long Island Iced Tea

Long Island Iced Tea

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Caleb Clarke; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Tequila is just one of the stars in this hilariously liquor-heavy drink. Some people in Tennessee claim this cola-sweetened cocktail actually comes from Long Island, a community in Kingsport, Tennessee, not New York's peninsula by the same name.

17 of 18

Grapefruit Margarita

Grapefruit Margarita Tout

Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn

A mix of a margarita and paloma, this recipe is just the thing to quench your thirst on a sunny day hanging on the porch. A pinch of salt rounds out the bitterness of the grapefruit and the acidity of the lime.

18 of 18

Mint Margaritas

Mint Margaritas
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Fresh mint can easily upgrade any cocktail with just a little bit of muddling. From a glance, this recipe is a pretty basic margarita, but mint takes it to the next level.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles