Tequila is known for being a great part drink – whether you’re doing a bunch of shots in a row or enjoying some fun and interesting cocktails, there’s a tequila for everything. While shooting straight tequila is fun for some, with a little extra effort and a few new ingredients, you can open up a whole new world of shots. Not only do these offer new and complex flavors but some of them look amazing. A tray of brightly colored shots can do a lot to liven up the party.
The best tequila shots strike a good balance between effort and ease. You don’t want a single shot to take you forever to make, but a little extra time can be well worth it. A handful of ingredients, a couple of steps, and a few minutes of your time is a reasonable expectation.
The shots outlined here are a great place to start. You’ll find plenty of fun colors and flavors, and they can all be adjusted to your taste. While certain ratios are recommended for the best outcome, you’re always free to add more or less of something to change the taste or strength to better suit you!
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The Best Tequila Shots
1. Tequila Sunrise Shot
The tequila sunrise cocktail is so fun and delicious that someone just had to turn it into a shot, too! This idea took off like wildfire and It’s now a pretty common one to order. It’s also pretty easy to make at home, though. Three easy ingredients and a couple of minutes are all you need. You can fancy it up with a little salt rim, too, if you’ve got the extra time.
To make this bright little treat, you’ll just need tequila, orange juice, and grenadine, plus lime to garnish – if you want. You’ll want to use a blanco tequila for this one, not only does this let the flavor of the orange juice shine but it lets the colors stand out. Something like Espolon is a great choice.
To begin, swipe a lime wedge over the rim of the glass and dip it in coarse salt. Add the tequila first, then the orange juice. Finish with a dash of grenadine and garnish with the lime wedge! Not only are these shots delicious but they look amazing – great for a summer party where you can have the sun shining in the sky and your glass!
2. Three Wise Men Visit Mexico
There is a famous whiskey shot known as the Three Wise Men that calls for equal parts of three classic whiskies – Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, and Johnnie Walker. It’s an intense shot with layered flavors, but it gets even better when these three J’s “visit Mexico!” To make this happen, you add a fourth classic J, this time a tequila. Jose Cuervo Gold is a premium and delicious tequila that adds a new dimension to this already legendary shot.
The tequila itself is made with a blend of aged and younger tequilas, creating a complex but balanced flavor profile when enjoyed on its own. It’s actually thought to have been used in the world’s very first margarita. Whether or not this is true, it’s still the perfect tequila for the beloved drink.
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, add equal parts of each spirit to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake it well. Strain it into your shot glass(es) and enjoy! This one is best served cold and although you’re (probably) taking it in quickly, there’s a whole world of flavors to enjoy in that little glass, so be prepared!
3. Mexican Flag
Fun and delicious, this patriotic shot is commonly served on Mexican celebrations like their Independence Day or Cinco de Mayo. This one isn’t as quick or easy to make as some of the others, but the result is well worth the effort. It’s a layered shot so the main thing to keep in mind is treading carefully to make sure each ingredient cooperates.
The original version of this shot uses equal parts grenadine, white tequila, and creme de menthe. To get the most out of the experience, a higher-end tequila is ideal. Something like Ocho Plata is a perfect choice.
To start this one, add grenadine to the glass first. Float the tequila on top of the grenadine, and the creme de menthe on top of the tequila. To maintain the layers, make sure you’re pouring as gently as possible. Using the back of a spoon can be incredibly helpful. If you pour it over the back of the spoon it disperses the liquid as it pours, making it much less likely to disturb what’s already in the glass.
Another version of this shot is called the Flaming Mexican Flag. Here, some overproof rum is added and set on fire! While this requires some safety precautions to be taken, it’s a fun way to spice things up, especially at a party. In this case, the shot is carefully drunk through a straw. You can also substitute the creme de menthe for anything with a similar color.
4. Gold Rings
The Gold Rings shot is perhaps the easiest on the list, requiring only two ingredients but producing something truly delicious. This shot mixes a well-aged, dark tequila with champagne for a rich, sparkling golden treat.
Any champagne should work here, so you can go with your favorite. If you love the shot, making it with different champagne each time will offer slightly different flavor experiences, so feel free to have fun playing around with it.
A good-quality tequila is important here, but so is the color. You want something that tastes great and maintains the beautiful golden color you’re after. Don Sergio Anejo is the perfect example.
To make the shot, simply add one ounce of tequila and a half-ounce of champagne to your shot glass and stir it a little. Garnish with a slice of lime for extra flair.
The Sangrita is a super fun shot that is just perfect for adding a little spice to your parties. The original recipe calls for orange juice and hot sauce, but you can customize this to your liking. You can make it as sweet or as spicy as you want.
The reason it’s so good at parties is that it’s most often a two-part shot. To get the most out of a Sangrita, start with a straight shot of your favorite tequila and chase it down with the Sangrita shot. While you may customize the flavors in this shot to your personal tastes, you can also make it according to the tequila you’re starting with – the possibilities here are endless.
To make a traditional spicy Sangrita, start with 1.5-2 ounces of a cheap, light tequila like Bribon. From here, you’ll also need:
- 1 ounce orange juice
- ¾ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce grenadine
- 3 dashes of hot sauce
To make it, add the lime and orange juice to a cocktail shaker with the hot sauce add ice, and shake well. Strain this into your shot glass and add an optional slice of jalapeno pepper, if you dare!
This is just one way to make the shot, other versions feature tomato juice instead of orange and tabasco sauce instead of hot sauce. The shot is yours to customize and it’ll make those straight shots a little easier to get down.
Alternate Uses for Tequila
We already know that tequila is great in plenty of cocktails, it makes some amazing shots, and some even enjoy certain expressions neat or on ice. This isn’t even it for tequila, though! There are some less common but just as legitimate uses for tequila that might surprise you.
You can use tequila to clean and disinfect areas that need a little TLC. It’s a great alternative to regular rubbing alcohol if you don’t have any on hand and it’s a natural alternative to many chemical-filled cleaning agents if you’d rather avoid those. The higher the proof, the better it will disinfect!
Oysters are a delicious delicacy that is often considered quite fancy. They’re usually soaked in melted butter along with a whole host of other ingredients to add flavor. When they’re done, splash some tequila on top along with a dash of hot sauce. This small change will give you a whole new take on oysters and might just be your new favorite way to serve them!
While drinking enough of anything is always a surefire way to pass out, tequila specifically is known to have relaxation as a side effect. This means that you don’t have to drink a ton and get drunk to help you sleep – many find that one to one and a half shots of tequila right before bed is enough to help them drift off faster.