National Tequila Day is almost here. Here are a half dozen ways to celebrate

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

National Tequila Day is July 24 — as if you needed a reason to celebrate. Here, we've rounded up six of our favorite tequila-based cocktails to mark the occasion. 

Cocktail recipes:5 kombucha cocktail recipes to try at home, from Nashville's Walker Brothers

Big Trouble in Little Tromba, as served at The Dutch.

Big Trouble in Little Tromba

This cocktail comes from The Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's modern American spot in Nashville. Made with ingredients like Tromba Blanco, reposado tequila, pineapple, lime, house grenadine, and Benedictine, this unexpected and unpretentious drink gets served in a painted skull with glowing ice at the bar. The recipe was developed by Reuben Santos, Head Bartender at The Dutch NYC.


1 1/4 ounce Tromba blanco tequila

1 1/4 ounce Tromba reposado tequila

1/4 ounce Benedictine

1 ounce Taylor's Velvet Falernum

1-ounce pineapple juice (if fresh is not available, we strongly recommend a good, shelf-stable brand such as Lakewood — try to avoid syrupy sweet juices with corn syrup)

1/2 ounce housemade grenadine (1:1 Pomegranate juice and sugar)

1/2 ounce lime juice

3 Amarena cherries (per cocktail)


Build all ingredients in a shaker tin and shake briefly. Add crushed ice to your serving glass of choice.

Strain over crushed ice and top with more fresh crushed ice. Garnish with a skewer of brandied or Fabbri Amarena cherries, parasol drink umbrella, and pineapple fronds if you happen to have some on hand.

A Day in the Sun gets finished with fresh cucumber, cucumber bitters and salt.

Day in the Sun

Located in the Historic L&C Tower, Deacon’s New South is a modern culinary concept with a Southern slant, offering a menu that nods to historic Nashville culinary traditions and the city's new epicurean influences.  

Salty, citrusy, and refreshing, Day in the Sun is made with Patron Silver, lime, agave, fresh cucumber, cucumber bitters, and salt, and created by beverage director Jenn McCarthy and lead bartender Austin Hamilton. 


2 ounces Patrón Silver

1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce agave syrup

1/4 diced cucumber

A few heavy dashes of The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters


Shake ingredients heavily with plenty of ice. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with a cucumber ribbon.

For a fun summer twist, add jalapeño or cilantro as you shake for a spicy or herbal summer libation.

The Sour Senor was created by Jordy Sadler, assistant general manager of Scout’s Pub in Franklin.

Sour Señor 

In Franklin, the neighborhood favorite Scout’s Pub recently unveiled a spring menu of punchy and refreshing cocktails, including the Sour Señor, a mix of tequila, lime, dry Curaçao, orgeat, and egg white. Here's how to make it at home


1/12 ounce Dulce Vida Blanco

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce Dry Curacao

1/4 ounce Orgeat

1/4 ounce simple syrup

1 egg white


Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and dry shake (no ice) until you can tell the egg white is frothy. Add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill the cocktail. Fill a Collins glass with ice and strain the cocktail over the fresh ice.

Pamplemousse And Topo Chico Palomas

Pamplemousse Paloma

This refreshing cocktail uses Pamplemousse La Croix and ginger syrup for a bubbly, summery sipper.


Ginger Simple Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled


2 grapefruit wedges

Kosher salt

Ice cubes, for shaking and serving

2 ounces of silver tequila

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce Ginger Simple Syrup (above)

2 ounces Pamplemousse La Croix, plus more if needed


To make the ginger simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, grate the ginger using a Microplane into a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula to press on the grated ginger solids to extract its juice. Discard the ginger solids and mix the juice into the cooled simple syrup.

To make the cocktail: Run one of the grapefruit wedges around the rim of a Collins glass.

Place about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt into a plate. Dip the rim of the glass in the salt. Fill the glass with ice cubes.

In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice cubes, combine the tequila, lime juice and ginger syrup. Shake until well-chilled, 15 to 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail mixture into the prepared glass. Top with the Pamplemousse La Croix. Spritz the second grapefruit wedge into the drink and then place the wedge in the glass. Serve immediately.

Watermelon margaritas taste like summer.

Watermelon Margarita

This watermelon sipper, full of fresh summer herbs, will help take the edge off the heat. Add a pinch of salt or rim your glass with a salt blend for extra flavor. 


1 1/2 ounce Tequila Don Julio 70

3 ounces watermelon juice

1/4 ounce lime juice

1/4 ounce agave nectar

2-3 mint leaves


In a mixing tin add agave and basil leaves and lightly muddle. Combine remaining ingredients with ice and shake well. Fine strain into tall/Collins glass. Garnish with a watermelon slice.

Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita

The first sip of this libation has a touch of sweetness, quickly followed by a refreshing burst of tart.


1 1/2 cups hot water

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

1 cup Cuervo Gold tequila

1/2 cup triple sec

1/2 cup prickly pear syrup

Salt, for serving


In a large bowl, whisk the hot water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the lemon and lime juices. Thoroughly mix in the tequila, triple sec, and prickly pear syrup. Refrigerate for one hour.

When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until frothy. Serve in salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with the lime wedges, either up or on the rocks.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com