Seven Tequila Cocktails Perfect for Outdoor Summer Sipping

With the first official day of summer just around the corner, it’s well past time to dust off the patio furniture and break out the Margarita glasses. Long days and warm evenings call for a specific breed of cocktail: those that can deliver lively freshness to the palate without exhausting it. It’s warm out there, after all, and outdoor cocktails simply drink better when they’re built with long-term sipping in mind, remaining flavorful and refreshing even as the melting ice slowly dilutes them in the late-afternoon heat.

Don Julio produces tequilas based around a flavor profile of crisp agave and bright citrus that serve as an ideal foundation for any number of essential outdoor summer drinks. Don Julio Blanco — the core liquid from which all Don Julio tequilas are derived — delivers distinctive notes of agave, lime, and lemon and provides the perfect backbone for a classic Margarita or Paloma. Meanwhile, its barrel-aged counterparts like Don Julio Reposado and Don Julio Añejo furnish rich honey, vanilla, and spice notes that play beautifully in more complex, savory, and even spicy summer cocktails.

So don’t sweat your next outdoor pour. These bar-approved summer cocktails will elevate any al fresco moment, whether you’re unwinding on the bar patio or entertaining in your own backyard.


Merging sweet, earthy, spicy, and citrus flavors, the Turmericana provides more depth of flavor than its simple construction might suggest. Dial the amount of turmeric up or down to suit your fancy; this classic spirit/sugar/citrus formula is ripe for personalization.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ ounce ginger honey syrup
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • Lime wheel

For turmeric salt:

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Lime wedge


  1. Mix ½ teaspoon ground turmeric and ½ teaspoon sea salt on a plate.
  2. Moisten the rim of a lowball glass with a lime wedge and dip the rim in the turmeric salt.
  3. Mix remaining turmeric and ginger honey syrup in a cocktail shaker and add Don Julio Blanco and lime juice.
  4. Shake well with ice.
  5. Strain into an ice-filled lowball glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel.

Añejo Spicy Margarita

The Margarita is practically designed for outdoor drinking. By calling for a proper aged tequila in your spicy marg, you’re placing the spirit’s round vanilla, sweet honey, and oaky butterscotch structure neatly up against the lime’s acidity and chili powder’s spice. This balance of flavors makes the difference between a mediocre drink and a truly fantastic cocktail.


  • 1¼ ounces Don Julio Añejo Tequila
  • ¼ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Lime wedge


  1. Pour Don Julio Añejo, orange liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, and chili powder into an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain into chilled rocks glass over ice (salt rim optional).
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.

Rose Quartz

The Tequila Soda persists because tequila and soda make for a great pairing. But there’s always room for improvement. Augmenting the classic tequila highball with rose water and some sweet red berry fruit adds subtle complexity that requires minimal additional labor.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 6 ounces sparkling water
  • 1 dash rose water
  • 2 to 3 strawberries or raspberries


  1. Add Don Julio Blanco, rose water, and strawberries/raspberries to a highball glass and stir.
  2. Add ice to the glass.
  3. Pour sparkling water over the ice and give a gentle stir to incorporate ingredients.

Blood Orange Paloma

This simple take on the classic Paloma — which typically calls for grapefruit juice and soda — augments the tangy tart characteristic of grapefruit with some added subtle sweetness via blood orange soda.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 6 ounces blood orange sparkling water
  • Lime wedges
  • Blood orange wedges


  1. Add Don Julio Blanco to rocks glass and top with ice.
  2. Top with blood orange sparkling water and garnish with lime and/or blood orange wedges.

Puesta Del Sol

A more savory take on the famed Tequila Sunrise, the Puesta del Sol trades the sugary sweetness of grenadine for the muted earthiness of turmeric and fruity spice of pink peppercorn. It’s the kind of concoction you can certainly drink on its own, but don’t hesitate to serve this next to some pre-dinner antojitos.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Reposado Tequila
  • 3 ounces fresh orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 dash orange blossom water
  • Pinch of pink peppercorns


  1. Add pink peppercorns to a cocktail tin and gently muddle.
  2. Add Don Julio Reposado, juice, turmeric, orange blossom water, and ice.
  3. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into rocks glass over ice and garnish with an orange wheel if desired.

Don Julio Añejo Old Fashioned

The classic Old Fashioned doesn’t necessarily scream “summertime”, drenched as it is in the heavier baking spice and brown sugar notes typical to bourbon whiskeys. But swap out the bourbon for gently aged Don Julio Añejo tequila, and you end up with something much lighter on its feet, exuding subtly sweet vanilla, honey, and a whiff of oaky butterscotch flavors while remaining firmly moored to the agave and citrus tones that distinguish Don Julios tequilas.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Añejo Tequila
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Orange peel


  1. Add all ingredients except peel to a mixing glass and fill with ice.
  2. Stir until thoroughly chilled, and pour into a rocks glass over a single large ice cube.
  3. Express orange peel over the cocktail and drop into the glass.

Don Julio Ranch Water

A staple West Texas highball turned outdoor bar menu standby, the Ranch Water first gained traction not least because of its simplicity. Built from a straightforward mix of tequila, lime, and fizzy water, it’s the kind of drink you can likely construct on a whim from ingredients you already have lying around. But as with any cocktail, better ingredients make for a better Ranch Water. With pronounced citrus notes and fresh agave flavors at its core, Don Julio Blanco shines in this classic heat-beating patio drink.


  • 1½ ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces sparkling mineral water


  1. Combine Don Julio Blanco and lime juice in a tall glass.
  2. Add ice and top with sparkling mineral water.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.

This article is sponsored by Don Julio.