Tequila Cocktails Defy Calendar Constraints

There’s a manufactured timeline out there that suggests some of the most popular tequila cocktails are reserved for summer. While it’s tough to turn down a salty Margarita or bracing Paloma during the dog days of August, it’s simply unfair to retire the spirit from your home bar when the leaves start to fall. A good blanco tequila, like Don Julio, can take you gracefully into the chilly stretch, seasonal cocktail in hand.

The flavors alone significantly soften winter’s bite — earthy, roasted agave rounded out by some zippy citrus rind. A good tequila functions on your palate like a well-tended hearth, a warm waft of brightness and spice, flickering and crackling in time like some ancient form of music. But we digress. Sipping blanco tequila neat before a glowing fire is one thing. We’re here to free it from the shackles of Margaritaville and let it frolic freely with its many fall and winter friends.

Like a good house, a good cocktail starts with solid bones. Don Julio Blanco offers a tremendous base, a sturdy skeleton that welcomes so much more than just triple sec and lime juice to really flesh it out. Think hibiscus, blood orange, turmeric, even matcha tea. And while you’re at it, get inventive with your garnishes. Welcome the coming citrus season with a dainty spiral or dried wheel. Accent your drink with sprigs and bundles of freshly trimmed herbs. You could even warm the finished cocktail on the stove for a few and opt for a mug over a coupe.

Just to be clear: We’re not anti-Margarita. In fact, with the clever employment of an ingredient like fresh apple cider, the drink can continue to play a starring role, even away from the umbrella and sun block. But tequila is not a one-, two-, even three-trick pony. This storied spirit is always welcome, despite what the calendar says. Here are five cocktails to prove it.

Game, Set, Matcha

Summer spills into fall in terms of fresh produce and farm-fresh flavors. Matcha brings that straight-from-the-garden essence to your glass, in terms of both look and flavor. Staring into the cocktail’s green hue is a joy, but it’s still second best to taking that first aromatic whiff, followed by a clean and vegetal sip. To take the drink to the next level, try warming it up.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
  • 2 ounces milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha tea powder
  • 1/4 ounce organic raw honey
  • 2-3 sprigs of mint for garnish


  1. Add matcha powder and milk into a shaker.
  2. Shake.
  3. Add tequila, milk, honey, mint, and ice.
  4. Shake and pour over a fine strainer into a 12-ounce highball glass.
  5. Add ice.
  6. Garnish with mint sprig.

Turmericana Cocktail

Turmeric and tequila are fast friends and you probably didn’t even know it. The mighty, earthy-sweet spice brings out the best of the spirit’s crisp nature and grassy flavors. In many ways, the spice does here what a good hop bill does to a quality beer, injecting an ideal amount of bitterness, which in turn is balanced out by the sweetness of the honey and ginger’s signature kick. Dazzling in the glass, the Turmericana flexes all kinds of autumnal flair.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
  • 3/4 ounce ginger honey syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt


  1. Mix turmeric and ginger honey syrup in a lowball glass.
  2. Add tequila and lime juice.
  3. Shake well with ice.
  4. Combine turmeric and salt on a plate. Rim glass with turmeric salt.
  5. Strain into glass with ice.


OK, so we can’t fully quit the Paloma. This riff on the classic Mexican cocktail embraces longer nights and shorter days in style. You get the bittersweet punch of Campari, enlivened by fresh citrus, just as grapefruit enters its best form of the year. Try agave nectar in lieu of simple syrup or throw in a dash of specialty sea salt if you feel like going a bit more savory.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
  • Grapefruit twist for garnish


  1. Add all ingredients in a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake for about 10 seconds.
  3. Strain over a coupe glass and garnish.

Rosella Blanco

If a standard-issue Mimosa bores you to no end, this ringer will leave you looking back, well, never. This brunchy cocktail has a potpourri of great aromas, thanks to vermouth and lavender. Plus, you get the ever-entertaining lava lamp effect of the carbonation.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
  • 1/2 ounce white vermouth
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 5 drops Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters
  • 1 1/2 ounces Fever Tree Ginger Beer
  • Hibiscus flower and orange peel for garnish


  1. Combine tequila, vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters into a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake gently.
  3. Strain into a flute over a hibiscus flower.
  4. Top with ginger beer and mist with orange peel.

El Diablo

For those of you simply dreading summer’s departure, this drink brings that summertime feeling all year long. It plucks the berry notes of the sunny season (via crème de cassis) and transports them to autumn, fortified to stand up to the change in weather. What to garnish with? Try some fresh rosemary or a candied fig on a skewer.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio Blanco
  • 3/4 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce crème de cassis
  • Top with ginger beer


  1. Add all ingredients except ginger beer into a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake for about 10 seconds.
  3. Strain over a highball glass filled with ice.
  4. Add ginger beer and any garnish.

This article is sponsored by Tequila Don Julio.